Magazine article University Business

Keeping Cyber Attacks at Bay: What to Know about the New Breed of Hacker

Magazine article University Business

Keeping Cyber Attacks at Bay: What to Know about the New Breed of Hacker

Article excerpt

Hackers are often portrayed in the media as pale-skinned, basement-dwelling lone wolves, creating nuisance viruses that disrupt networks. But Darren Hayes, Computer Information Systems program chair at Pace University, says times are changing. "These people are rapidly being replaced by sophisticated government-backed infiltrators and criminal cyber-spy rings that can inflict far more damage than a Distributed Denial of Service that takes a network offline." He'll discuss this new breed of hacker in his UBTech session "Cyber attacks on the rise and how to stop them. "


Hayes says there are two classes of hacker. One is the organized cyber criminal gangs from countries such as China and the former Soviet Union states that look to get into a system and steal money quickly. The other is a more sophisticated, persistent attack, sometimes involving months of reconnaissance to learn about the architecture of a corporate network and the systems that are running on it.

"Traditional methods of security--antivirus filters, firewalls, and intrusion detection systems--are rendered useless," Hayes says. "In many of these sophisticated attacks, the organization has already been compromised, so there has to be a shift away from the idea of perimeter security. These people are already in your network--what do you do now?" Hayes will discuss how both these groups operate in his session. He'll cite real examples such as the breach at Target last year that resulted in the theft of personal information from hundreds of thousands of customers, as well as the case of American cyber criminal Albert Gonzalez, "who was able to come into control of most of the payment cards that exist on this planet."


Phishing attacks are familiar to anyone who has ever gotten an email from a Nigerian prince begging for help to move enormous sums of money out of his country to the U. …

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