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>> AMITA: He's a paid hacker, bank robber and thief.
Jim Stickley joins us now. In the headlines today is a report that Chinese
hackers have accessed U.S. weapons systems and recently a group of people in New York
were invited for allegedly spending $45 million using prepaid debt cards on ATMs.
How is this happening? >> The technology is so far ahead of the security
that's trying to keep up and it comes down to that.
People are apt to want to be on the latest cutting edge with with whatever they're offering
the security is not staying up with it. >> AMITA: How do people, institutions, guard
against this rapidly changing technology. >>> It's extremely difficult, it's been proven,
it's extremely difficult, often patches and updates are important, that's what you need
to do. With governments, they need to continually
review their policies and locking it down more and more.
People shouldn't have access to this unless they are top certified people and even those
folks should have limited access to parts of it and not the whole thing.
>> AMITA: You're hired by major companies to hack within their systems, how do you go
about doing that? >> Most of the time they will hire us to pretend
we are hackers, so we will start *** ago way from the outside and figure out how we
can gain access and based on what we find we report back and say okay here are your
issues and resolve these and we test over time until we can't get in anymore.
>> AMITA: Do you ever go about it from the inside?
>> Absolutely, we will generally do it at the office, during the day, I dress up as
a fire inspector, I have my gold badge and I've never been so charming or good looking
as when I've been a fireman but they treat you well and you go in and steal whatever
you can. >> AMITA: How have you been able to breach
these systems and what kind of data have you been able to retrieve?
>> Complete compromise and that's rare if we don't.
If we are hired to steal everything out of a bank's database that's what we will do,
mother's maiden name, account securities, we have done government facilities, I remember
one I was robbing where they had assault rifles and I thought I was going to get killed here
but unfortunately I didn't and we were hired to access and steal.
>> AMITA: When you bring your talents to the government agencies what is their reaction?
>> It's generally that nervous shock like they're surprised because it shouldn't be
as easy as it is. >> AMITA: What can consumers do to protect
their information online, credit cards, so social security numbers.
>>> Keep up with the updates and patches. People never patch their computers.
When you first boot it up a lot of times it will say, some sort of update or patch is
available, don't click "remind me later" say "go ahead and install that now" and if you
do that you're hedging against the risks and antivirus is totally important.
>> AMITA: We heard about ATM machines that take your card and don't give you cash, how
widespread are those? >> They are out there and skimmers are out
there as well, a device where when you slide your card in the machine it's recording what
your card says and as you get it back you don't realize someone is stealing your data
on the machine. >> AMITA: But you do realize it when you don't
get any cash back. >>> On those you did, but I built a fake machine
and you would enter your pin and it would say we apologize for the inconvenience and
people would say, I guess it's down and they turn and walkway ask they never think twice
that it's maybe not a real machine. >> AMITA: How savvy is a person in detecting
when their computer has been hacked? >> I think it's impossible.
In the old days your computer would get really slow and that was the obvious "tell" but technology
has come a long ways. There is really no way you will know until
you start getting collection notices or when you log into your bank account and suddenly
there is no money there, other than that knowing when your computer has been compromised is
almost impossible. >> AMITA: That's troublesome.
>>> Very difficult. >> AMITA: Thank you for joining you, Jim Sticley.
>>> My pleasure.