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Monday, October 24, 2016

What comes to mind when we hear the word “hacker”? We think of someone who is an IT expert and a skilful programmer—a true professional in their field. But, is that really so?

In February 2016 a hacker group penetrated the IT infrastructure of the Bangladesh Central Bank. The attackers acquired information about the bank's accounts and requested the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (one of the 12 Federal Reserve Banks in the United States), which holds Bangladesh's gold and currency reserves, to transfer an amount from the Central Bank's account to the accounts of a non-commercial organisation, the Shalika Foundation in Sri Lanka and the Philippines.

However, the perpetrators misspelled the organisation's name by entering “fandation” instead of “foundation”!

Today, the level of competence of cybercriminals has decreased significantly: a basic knowledge of Perl is enough to produce code that won't be detected by an anti-virus. And, if they can code in the Assembly language, they can easily write a bootkit.

Indeed, today being a hacker doesn't require any exceptional abilities—the onus is not on the hacker to look for vulnerabilities or withdraw stolen money. They can simply buy exploits and droppers (find out more in the issue Criminal licensing). The prices of malicious files on underground forums are quite affordable to anyone who is interested in making illicit profits. Information about hacking techniques and the corresponding utilities are also readily available.

It’s little wonder that many hackers get bored. But what’s next?

In the future, hackers would like to be employed in the IT industry and put their experience to use, but alas “botnet operator” isn’t really the best past experience to list on a CV.

The Anti-virus Times recommends

There are lots of interesting professions involving information technologies, and ample opportunities exist to get the required qualifications and become a truly competent and highly sought-after professional. And get a high salary, too!

And if an interview reveals that the candidate previously made a living as a hacker, their chances for success will be next to zero.

Everyone makes their own choices in life. Sooner or later, all secrets are revealed.

And, in the end, all offenders are brought to justice.

By going against society even just once, people will inevitably find themselves rejected by it.


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