IT Tips: How a Hacker Works

In the third installment of the "IT Tips" series, Jon Pertwee, head of infrastructure at Bata Brands, speaks to Bata World News about hackers and the way they operate, in order to highlight the threat posed to the corporate world by those who participate in hacking activities.

He explained: "This month I think it’s important to show everyone how things look from a hackers point of view, and how easy it is to be hacked without knowing it. We all see viruses and malware as an annoyance. Our anti-virus might annoy us once in a while with pop-up messages, maybe our computer slows down a bit, but really we think, ‘how dangerous can it be? I’ve got a firewall after all.’"

To illustrate just how dangerous hackers can be, and how important it is to be vigilant when potentially sensitive information is involved, Pertwee has shared a video with Bata World News, featuring one of the leading experts on the subject.

Pertwee, discussing the video, stated: "Let me introduce you to Kevin Mitnick. Kevin spent his formative years as a hacker. He is now one of the world’s top cyber security experts, and over the next 17 minutes, he will show you just how easy it is to get hacked – note how he is demonstrating on a fully patched Windows computer with an up-to-date anti-virus – and what a hacker can see from his side of things. Spoiler alert: they can see everything."

In the video, Mitnick examines several of the techniques hackers can use in order to breach security and get hold of sensitive data. These include using USB keys to infect computers with malware, enabling them to take control of the computer and view the information it contains, and obtaining valuable product information by gaining people’s trust and using basic facts gleaned from ordinary, everyday telephone conversations.

In conclusion, Pertwee added: "I hope I haven’t given you sleepless nights, or made you paranoid. From what I know about IT and security, I’ve had plenty of those myself."

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