Auditor and world-famous hacker has security advice for you

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Steve Gold, the hero/villain of the 1980s Prestel hack will draw on his experiences to advise members about IT security at the 'E-business for accountants' seminar in Birmingham on 15 July.

Gold, who trained as an auditor, gained notoriety in computing circles when he and his colleague Robert Schifreen found a simple user ID/password combination that gave them system administrator access to BT's Prestel information and email network.

The hackers allegedly broke into Prince Philip's mailbox, but of more concern to the authorities, Prestel was also a back-up network for the US and UK military authorities and had the launch codes for the UK's nuclear missiles stored in its root directory.

A few weeks after publishing details of their exploits in the Daily Mai...

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By Anonymous
18th Jul 2008 17:22

Proportionality ....
Todays hackers are a lot more sophisticated that those of the past and have moved far beyond 'shoulder surfing'. It is not about 'stumbling across' passwords, but rather implementing ideas on how to circumvent & outwit todays security in order to achieve their goals; historic serendipity does not make a hacker in todays understanding!

In this respect the computer experiences of those in the past bear little relevance to todays scenarios - although resulting legislation, pursuit by the police & legal system is another matter

Today one doesn't even need to have the expertise to write ones own program - everything is for hire/sale and it is perfectly possible to purchase BotKits or 'timeshare' on BotArmies. The real questions surround bots and to date comprehensive answers are in short supply

There is no denying that security is a major issue but it must it must be proportionate and not get to the stage of the 'tail wagging the dog' - to this end there is currently an on-going debate about the 'IT Security Circus'

Nevertheless, all this is a lifetime away from the 1980/90's approach & the days of CompuServe

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