In a world of digital technology, it is easy to forget one sobering fact: our identity can be stolen from under our nose, with one click of the mouse, propelling us into nightmares in a matter of minutes, anytime, anywhere and on any one of our darling gadgets. Hackers, malware, botnets and all form of digital threats are ever more sophisticated, waiting in the shadows for that one opportunity to steal your sensitive information. Bob’s guest this week on the Entrepreneurs series, Terry Cutler of Cyology Labs, reminds us of just how vulnerable our data really is, through chilling real-life stories, such as that of a simple USB key left purposefully behind, in any targeted enterprise’s lavatory, where an unsuspecting (albeit good-willed) employee can just pick it up, plug it in and thus, lead the hackers right into the company’s core data. Cutler did a story on this particular hacker’s tactic, called ‘Keys in the Urinal’. “I tried to break into this company and couldn’t do it, so I went over there one day, dressed casually, and asked the receptionist to use the bathroom.” And voilà, the trap was set. That little USB key was connected to his system, just waiting for someone to plug it in and open the company’s back doors wide open for him. Or how social ruse is used to plan a cyberattack: “I could be walking to, let’s say, a retail outlet and I’ll look for the least-paid employee, with his headphones on, and say, ‘hey, I’m from IT. I’m doing an upgrade on your network. Can you let me into the server room?’”. It takes no more than a couple of hours after that to compromise a company.
Computer technology offers a bounty of resources but there is also a very pressing and daunting danger side to it, which must imperatively be addressed. And that is where Terry Cutler comes in. Cyology Labs strengthens privacy measures by identifying risks, doing reverse social engineering (Terry plays the role of the hacker, trying to crack the security) in order to implant safety measures and propose a culture of vigilance adapted to the specific requirements of an enterprise or a home. Cyology Labs also offer courses on how to protect your system. The first step is to audit the computer and see if it leaks data, and after patching up the holes, Cutler will teach you how to easily come up with an undecipherable password, how to secure your information on social media, how to detect threats, how to identify frauds, how to find out what personal information about yourself is floating on the web, and how to protect your children against cyberpredators. But he reminds us that no matter how stringent our defenses are, there are no silver bullets against cybercrooks and that a computer’s security is only as strong as its weakest link. That weak link is usually human error. Come and crack the code, this week on The World Show.
SCULLY/THE WORLD SHOW is devoted to one-on-one interviews with some of the world’s most significant and famous personalities. Host Robert Scully has been described by Canadian daily La Presse as “the best interviewer on television.” Since its debut in Canada in 1983, the series has featured Nobel laureates, heads of state, royalty, authors, financiers, athletes, designers, diplomats and philanthropists.
I’m a government cleared cybersecurity expert (a Certified Ethical Hacker), and the Vice-President of Cyber at SIRCO, an investigations and protections firm in Montréal, Canada.
I’m also a frequent contributor to National & Global media reportage about cyber-crime, spying, security failures, internet scams, and the real social network dangers that families and individuals face every day.