What's the Biggest Security Problem?
Experts, hackers debate cyberterror, digital teens, and holey software. Cyberterrorism is a joke, organized crime syndicates grow their own hackers, and the greatest threat to e-commerce is a metaphorical “angry Bulgarian teenager,” said security experts in a lively panel here. The sometimes serious, sometimes riotously funny debate covered many of the most pressing computer security threats of the day. Participants were reformed former hacker Kevin Mitnick; Maryann Davidson, Oracle’s chief security officer; Gregor Freund, Zone Labs’ chief executive; and Jeff Moss, organizer of the Black Hat security conference. Mixed Concerns “Generally, cyberterrorism is considered a joke. You’re much more likely to piss off some teenagers in Bulgaria than Hezbollah,” Moss said, referring to the Palestinian terrorist organization. “If you can defend [your networks] against teenagers, you can defend against terrorists.” Oracle’s Davidson decried how quickly today’s malicious hackers can turn a just-announced software vulnerability into a usable hacking tool. “The gap between a theoretical exploit to a practical hack has gone from weeks, to days, to hours,” she said. The telecommunications networks are a weak spot, noted Mitnick–and he should know. He spent years evading capture while manipulating telephone networks. “The possibility that an outsider can compromise a telecom provider is pretty likely,” he said. Full Story