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Following the recent New York Times report about what may be the largest leak of C.I.A documents in history on WikiLeaks, Michael Hill, a cybersecurity expert and president of CyberAssure, warns about a potential new wave of cyber breaches. „Most hackers are far from being professionals,” he explained. „We call them script kiddies. They don’t actually know how to exploit the weakness in systems on their own but they know how to use hacking tools created by more talented hackers.”
Drawing attention to the report of thousands of pages of seemingly legitimate material describing sophisticated software tools and techniques that could be used by government hackers to break into smartphones, computers and even Internet-connected televisions, Hill went on to elaborate on the seriousness of the threat. „On a scale of the seriousness of threat agents, script kiddies are on the lower end, but at the top, the most serious, are state-sponsored hackers and we have the best of the best. Now with this event, the tools and techniques of our best cyber warriors are within reach of common criminals and others who would be typically easy to defend against with common cybersecurity countermeasures.”
According to satprnews.com, Hill warns of a new wave of cyber breaches using tools and techniques that were previously in the sole realm of government professionals. He suggests that with a wide distribution of more sophisticated methods for security breaches, bad actors from organized crime all the way to pranksters have just become more dangerous to us all.
The potential for cyber-crime could be unprecedented if these security exploits are used by more common criminal hackers. Tools and techniques target internet browsers to uncover passwords, the microphone on smart televisions to eavesdrop, and ways to compromise dozens of widely used apps.
„The biggest problem is that most of these tactics can now be performed by a much larger group of bad actors. Governments are not interested in stealing your identity or money;
criminals are. This WikiLeaks release has multiplied risks to many more users.”
However, offering a ray of hope Hill added, „Fortunately, it looks like many of these hacks are targeting older vulnerabilities that may have been fixed in more recent patches or system updates. So, word to the wise: keep your software and hardware up to date at all times if you want to reduce the risk of a breach.”