Live hacking: The intolerable ease of IT attacks

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istockphoto.com/HYWARDS

Cyber-criminality is his business. But he’s one of the good guys, not one of the bad guys. As a professional hacker, Sebastian Schreiber, Managing Director of SySS GmbH, uncovers the IT vulnerabilities in companies and then fixes them to prevent targeted cyber-attacks. During the official opening of EUROGUSS in January 2018, Schreiber demonstrated live on stage how simple it is to hack IT systems.

Sebastian Schreiber, CEO SySS GmbH/ Urheber: NürnbergMesse GmbH

It’s easy to get anxious and scared when you watch Schreiber at work. For example, he was able to manipulate the prices of expensive furniture in well-known web shops in his favour, so that a new coffee table now costs just €21.14 instead of the original price of €2,114. He hacked into mobile apps like the popular German-language Quizduell game by marking the correct answers on a quiz participant’s mobile phone and helping that player win. And he used a wristwatch to attack a wireless alarm system. Schreiber warned strongly against using wireless mice, because they’re very easy to hack. The demonstration got very personal when he sent a fake SMS with offensive content to the mobile phone of presenter Tanja Collischon, supposedly from a male audience member’ phone.

Urheber: NürnbergMesse GmbH

The threat from cyber-crime is a major issue for companies in this age of digitalisation and the networking of production. According to the BSI, the German Federal Office for Information Security, 70 percent of German companies have been attacked by hackers in recent years. Protecting themselves from such attacks is one of the greatest challenges that companies face.

 

 

You too can learn how best to do this at it-sa, the IT security fair and congress taking place in Nuremberg from 9 to 11 October 2018.

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