So far in our hacker series of shows,
we’ve concentrated mostly on the more nefarious type of hacking,
a milieu consisting of what’s known as black hat hackers.
These are the guys and girls that have honed their skills
to get through backdoors and steal information
that they might sell on, hold ransom,
or simply use to buy something on your credit card.
They might also want to cause mayhem just because they can.
Then we have the grey hats,
and those guys often exploit a vulnerability in a system
and then tell a company or organization that they have a problem,
a digital Achilles heel,
and you can pay them or hire them to fix it for you.
But now let’s have a look at the unsung heroes of hacking,
the protectors of the binary realm, the white hats.
So, who are these guys, the white hats,
the ethical specialists of finding faults in systems
and patching up holes?
According to Techopedia,
they are experts that are hired by companies or other entities
to break into systems.
“Here you go, do your best,” an employee might tell them.
They have in some cases been hired from the darkside
– usually not the hyper-criminally darkside –
and so are the perfect fit.
After all, if you wanted to hire someone
to ensure no one robs your bank
why not hire a bank robber?
They are there to make sure their nemeses, the black hats,
can’t do damage.
Their methods of hacking of course
might be very similar to the black hats,
they might have trained on the same training ground,
but their job is to try and keep one step
ahead of their foes, or the company’s foes.
They are indispensable,
and they are not just protecting company or government information
but protecting you.
You all have information online
that you don’t want to be seen, don’t want stolen,
and in part it’s thanks to these people
that you can sleep at night with the assurance
that the data you put online remains protected.
You could call them gatekeepers of information,
except they are also highly skilled burglars.
The best ones we’ll talk about soon.
If you’ve seen our other shows on hackers
you’ll know that organizations are keen to hire these people,
some of whom have been less ethical about hacking in the past.
You might have governmental departments
showing up to hacker conferences and headhunting individuals with a certain skillset.
One problem there, as Rolling Stone reported,
is that some of those guys might have the skills,
but they are not exactly office material
and some of them have criminal records,
not really good on a resume for an FBI interview.
Oftentimes organizations want to tempt the bad guys to the good side,
but we could say there is a certain level of badness
which might preclude that transition ever being made.
Still, we are about to tell you
about some former black hats that did do a fair bit of damage
before they hooked-up with the good guys and donned an office-regulation tie.
We have talked about this man before,
but we can’t do a show on white hats
without including someone who is often called
the world’s most famous hacker.
Let’s first say that Mitnick was imprisoned for his crimes,
but he’s often said his “blackness” was overstated
as he was made an example of.
He is somewhat the poster boy of hacking,
having been the inspiration for some of those hacking movies
which depicted 80s kids giving the government a hard time from their bedrooms.
Mitnick has said
that his early hacking wasn’t really techno-hacking but human exploitation,
sometimes called social engineering.
If you’ve seen the series Mr. Robot
you’ll know that hackers often get information
merely by deceit on the telephone.
That series was partly written by people who know hacking,
and social engineering works.
But Mitnick graduated to computers
and ended up hacking companies such as Nokia and Pacific Bell.
He went on the run after that
but he was eventually found
and sentenced to a long jail sentence for the crime he committed.
During his five years behind bars
he has said he was treated badly
and did quite a bit of time in solitary confinement.
His real love wasn’t stealing per se,
but he just enjoyed testing his skills.
At 16-years old for instance,
he created a program that simulated the computers at school,
and so when a teacher logged in Mitnick could get the information.
“ I took his password, logged in,
and just had a huge smile on my face that it worked, ”
he said in an interview in 2018.
But his curiosity got the better of him and his world turned darker.
After prison, though,
he started his own security company and concentrated his efforts
on helping others to stave off black hats.
In an interview he explained this switch quite clearly,
“It was a vicious cycle.
我因为入侵系统被捕 再入侵系统 再被捕 再入侵
I got busted, I did it again, I got busted, I did it again.
In a way, I still do it today…
But now I just get permission from my clients and get paid.”
Unfortunately this hacker is no longer with us,
having passed away in 2018.
He gained his notoriety for hacking The New York Times
as well as tech behemoths Microsoft and Yahoo.
But his world came crashing down in 2003
when he was arrested for those hacks as well as others.
不过 他还是忍着痛苦 在法庭上说
He took it on the chin, though, saying in court,
“ I want to answer for what I have done
and do better with my life.”
He also later said,
“ We all own our actions in fullness,
not just the pleasant aspects of them.”
In 2009, Lamo was involved in a controversial case
involving US whistleblower Bradley ( now Chelsea) Manning.
The latter had confided to the wrong man,
as Lamo was working for law enforcement
and he blew the whistle on the whistleblower.
Subsequently many people around the world criticized Lamo,
and many of his detractors were in the hacking community.
He became an outcast.
Lamo later explained his actions to The Guardian, saying,
“ There were hundreds of thousands of documents,
let’s drop the number to 250,000 to be conservative,
and doing nothing meant gambling that each and every one
would do no harm if no warning was given. ”
He later went to the light side and became a security consultant,
but his life was never easy after the Manning controversy.
He received death threats regularly
and he was also known to abuse substances.
When he died in 2018 his autopsy was inconclusive.
Here we have dark to light to the great unknown.
Robert Tappan Morris
A New York Times headline from 1989 reads,
“CORNELL SUSPENDS COMPUTER STUDENT.”
The story tells of a 23-year old student
who had “ jammed a nationwide computer network. ”
What had Morris been up to?
Well, he is now known as the man that created the first worm-like virus,
known as the Morris Internet Worm.
All over the place computers were slowing and crashing
and no one knew what had happened.
This worm that Morris had created he intended not to wreak havoc,
and it’s said he only created it
to see how far it would spread
and so be able to judge the size of the internet.
Except it just kept replicating and soon he couldn’t stop it.
We are told that when it was done
the worm had infected 10 percent of the world’s Internet servers,
which is some accomplishment.
According to one of Morris’s friends back then,
the student knew he had made a “colossal” mistake.
He was later arrested and charged
under the then new computer fraud and abuse act,
getting off lightly with just a fine of $ 10,000
and a few hundred hours of community service.
If you did that now you’d get yourself into way more trouble.
Since breaking the Internet,
Morris has dedicated his time towards research
and he also co-founded the incubator company Y-Combinator.
He has tenure at MIT and has served as an advisor to various companies.
Also known as Dark Dante in another life.
Mr. Poulsen rose to notoriety
after doing something we’d all likely love to do.
He won himself a Porsche,
but he didn’t exactly play the game fairly.
To ensure that won he hacked a radio station’s phone lines.
he made it so he was guaranteed to be the winner.
But then he graduated
from phone lines to hacking into federal systems
and getting his hands on FBI wiretap information.
He was eventually caught and ended up
with a $ 56,000 fine and also a prison sentence.
In an interview with Gizmodo in 2015,
Poulsen said that he was busy consulting for a Hollywood hacker movie.
He also became a journalist and
at times has helped law enforcement track down darker characters
that plague the Internet.
As for hacking, he said in an interview
that it often starts with phishing.
He said a hacker will often send a phishing email
to a person working in a big organization
such as the NSA.
The email looks legitimate because the hacker has learned
what kind of email the agent might get.
He also said this in another interview, this time with Vanity Fair,
“You certainly are seeing that these days attacking somebody’s P.C.,
instead of attacking their server,
and logging their key strokers and all of that.
This is exactly what the hackers are doing right now.”
所以 要保持谨慎 提防被黑
So, beware folks.
This hacker was once a member of the hacking conglomerates
Legion of Doom and Masters ofDeception.
He started young,
and became one of the world’s most famous hackers
after he was arrested by authorities in 1990.
He was accused of various things,
包括攻击AT & T的网络系统
including crashing the network of AT & T.
He was a minor when he did that,
but still served a year in prison
and was handed 600 hours of community service.
Many thought he didn’t deserve this,
and yet again they said another person had been made an example of.
This seems to happen often,
because there’s nothing more authorities fear
than someone sneaking around in their networks.
Abene went on to do lots of TV appearances
and speaking about security to some of the world’s leading publications.
He also started his own consultancy firm,
but that didn’t do too well.
“ After my own consulting firm folded
after the dot-com bust in the early 2000s,
I continued doing independent security consulting
for a lot of large companies, ”
Abene told CNET in an interview.
“ A fun job I had recently was writing the encryption routines
for the online streaming service for Major League Baseball.”
Anon and famous
The people we have talked about
are just some names you see in the media,
but black hat hackers that have turned into white hat hackers
are usually nameless.
They are guys that have just been taken out of the wild
and brought into the office.
We know that the FBI has employed some of these people,
but reports tell us
the likes of Google, Uber and even Starbucks
have been putting reformed black hats on their payroll.
We might also remember
that the likes of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey
also hacked into emails (Zuckerberg) and a network of a potential employer (Dorsey),
and no doubt many others have done similar things.
Hackers are threaten to everyone,
not just be companies but everyday people like you and me.
In fact, you might be a bigger target than a company with professional security.
That why you need dashlane.
Think of them as your own personal cyber body guard
in the dangerous cyberworld
and the one and the only tool you need to keep safe online.
We now make sure our whole team is secured by dashlane
with the VPN password generator.
And breach alerts to let you know
when your login suffer breaches or hacks.
Dashlane actively works to protect your cross all of you devices
so you can rest easy
What do you think about Black and White hat hackers?
Let us know in the comments!
Also, be sure to check out our other show
Did North Korea Really Hack Sony Pictures Because Of a Movie?.
Thanks for watching, and as always,
don’t forget to like, share and subscribe.
See you next time.