Join Tom Tobiassen for an in-depth discussion in this video Kids: Hackers or computer scientists?, part of Cybersecurity Awareness: The Internet of Things (IoT).
- [Instructor] Kids are today's up and coming hackers and computer scientists. That's not necessarily a bad thing. In today's cybersecurity world, we have white hat hackers and black hat hackers. The white hats are the good guys that learn the hacking skills and use those skills to develop ways of protecting the internet and our private information. Brought up in the world of technology, their curiosity, resources, determination, and availability of time has provided a great opportunity for them to learn and become involved in the internet.
Some, the black hats, take the skills learned and venture into the dark underside of the internet. The dark internet can be a dangerous place. We will look at the dark net later. A great starting point for the young future white hat hackers of the world is their own homes. Working with the internet-connected devices in one's home, the future hacker gets to look at these devices and see just how secure they are.
Be advised that the information provided in this course is for your education only and is to inform you on just how vulnerable you, your home, and your business can be to hackers. How secure are the internet devices connected in your home? We have had things connected to the internet in our homes for a long time, things like laptops, tablets, and printers. With the internet of things becoming more real, we now have a bunch of new things, like light bulbs, cameras, and thermostats.
How many of these things in our homes old and new can be hacked? Young kids that might become future hackers or computer scientists may not be to the point where they can write computer programs and code. Today, one only needs to search the internet for code that can be used in hacking, so a lot of skill is not all that necessary. Searching the internet provides tons of already written code making code writing totally unnecessary to the youngest of potential white hats.
A quick search of the internet reveals that most internet-connected devices are easily hackable. Today, there are numerous tutorials, commands, and scripts, and even instructional videos that will walk the future hacker step by step through the hacking of devices. Are you surprised to hear that all this information is available to hackers? Do you think this could be possible? How many homes today have IP cameras? The baby monitor or security camera used in today's home and even business security systems use the internet protocol or IP.
Or how about the smart TV connected to the internet? Today's TVs are frequently connected by IP. A quick search of the internet will return a one-line exploit that will likely let the hacker into many IP cameras and here's how it works. Let's say that your camera's connected to the internet and protected by a password. A key is generated from the password and sent back and forth to the camera. The key is used by the computer to see what is coming from the camera.
By using a very simple intercept program, a hacker can see the key coming from the camera, the hacker then sends a command with the key to the camera to change the password to whatever password she wants to use. And then the hacker can see whatever is on the camera. It's just that simple. The good news is that this hack requires the attacker to be on the same network, so the best protection in this case is to secure your wireless networks.
Let's see what it might take to hack a light bulb. Guess what? Internet device manufacturers are getting smart about security vulnerabilities and including updated software that makes it much more difficult to hack these devices. It's important that you keep your devices current with the latest security patches. How about that webcam on your computer? How easy is it to hack the camera that is staring right at your face? In the case of the webcam on your computer it takes the installation of a virus on your computer.
The easiest way to get a virus installed on any computer in the world is to send it through an email with an attachment that contains the virus. What happens if you open that attachment on the email? The virus is started when you click on the attachment and it opens a connection back to the hacker's computer. The connection enables the attacker to do all sorts of things to the victim's computer including taking control of the webcam on the computer.
In this case the virus in sample emails that are very attractive to potential victims are readily available to the youngest of hackers. Web cameras normally have a small light that indicates when the camera is on, so keep an eye out for that light and when someone may be watching. If the light is on and you aren't using the webcam, you may have been hacked. As an extra layer of safety, small camera covers or even post-it notes can be used to ensure that the camera cannot be watching you when you don't want to be watched.
There are many ways that a hacker can get a virus onto your computer. Be careful of links, emails, and attachments from people you don't know. The damage that can be done on the computer or a whole network of computers is staggering. One virus can give the hacker access to just about everything. Make sure that you are running an antivirus program and keep it up to date. Kids may also be victims as they learn the craft of computer scientists or hacker.
In many cases, the hacking tools used to create viruses is a virus itself and can hack the hacker. Just exploring the hacking craft can be very dangerous so good things for everyone, kids to adults, to remember are always use a good antivirus software package and keep it up to date. Keep your operating system and products up to date with the latest security patches. Use strong passwords on everything and don't share them with anyone.
A strong password is a mix of letters, numbers, and special characters that are not easy to guess or figure out by what you have posted on your social media. Secure your wifi network with encryption and a strong password. Be careful when opening email attachments or clicking on website links that come from anyone you don't know. Not all devices are easy to hack because the devices are patched or good antivirus programs are running.
Some devices that are connected to the internet have the ability to connect with the manufacturer to stay current with the latest security patches. Many devices don't have security built in so it's up to you to determine how secure your devices are. To wrap this up, the youngest kids today can hack your home and do not need to learn to write code. The world's future computer scientists and white hat hackers may be living under your roof or if your wifi network is not secure, they could be the neighborhood kids hacking into your network.
Take precautions when using the internet, use strong passwords and secure your wifi. Next, let's talk about security bounty hunters.
Note: This course was recorded and produced by Mentor Source, Inc. We're pleased to host this training in our library.