Lessons from a hacker - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Tech

'Human-hacking' is key to gaining personal info

Seconds. That's how long professional hackers say it takes to access your personal information. You won't believe how they're doing it – no technology required, no complicated computer skills.

"They're doing it through you," said Dave Chronister of Parameter Security. "Social engineering is being able to essentially hack the human."

Chronister is a so called ‘ethical hacker,' good at exploiting computers and people.

"If I want your information, I want to gain some sort of emotional bond and trust and exploit that in a way to meet my needs," said Chronister.

Companies use him to test their systems to tighten security.

"Understand - we are not just attacking technology, we are attacking people directly," he said.

Posing as a good guy armed with bad intentions, Chronister knows how to launch all kinds of attacks on your security system.

"You may also have where I act like a co-worker and I say 'hey I don't know how to get into this site'," said Chronister. "One hundred percent of the time somebody helps me get there."

Chronister says crooks use human hacking as their primary path to your personal information.

"You need to educate your employees from the end users to the technology staff to the CEO's," said Chronister.

He says preventing an attack could be as easy as telling your staff how to screen the delivery guy, or simply not to click on an unusual email. He says there's more crooks out there than you think.

"Always trust your gut," he said.

Chronister recommends using security codes to lock your personal cell phone. He also says it's a good idea to change all passwords often. He adds that it's a good idea to lie when it comes to a security question, saying hackers probably have no problem finding out your dog's name or where you went to high school.

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