Friday, September 16, 2005

He Wanted to Hack a Hilton

The teenager from Massachutetts, who allegedly admitted to hacking Paris Hilton's cell phone has been sentenced to eleven months in a juvenile facility. He was also found guilty of other misdeeds, such as making bomb threats and hacking into records of at least one Internet Service Provider.

The identity of the teen will not be revealed because he is a juvenile.

The original reports in the media stated there were several people involved in the hacking incident made infamous by Paris's cell phone. Confidential sources, who provided information to the Washington Post, stated that they tricked a T Mobile employee into providing proprietary information about T Mobile's systems. The group was then able to change the passwords of accounts and take them over. For the original story by the Washington Post, click on the title of this post.

The Washington Post admits in the article that they couldn't verify a lot of the information, however it does appear some tangible evidence was presented to them.

What the article does expose is that a lot of times (hacking), often perceived as highly technical is often accomplished with what is described as "social engineering", or in plainer language, "a good old fashioned con."

We are probably seeing one juvenile, who allegedly was part of a larger group caught and made an example of. Hacking, which often leads to financial crimes, is attractive to criminals of all types because they are unlikely to get caught and the penalties are light. Quite often, even when the crooks are identified, a victim with less clout than a Hilton has a hard time finding any law enforcement agency willing to pursue their case. One of the problems facing law enforcement is the fact that these crimes normally cross numerous juridictions, often involving international borders.

Paris Hilton's cell phone being hacked, which revealed a lot of personal information on other celebrities might seem trivial to some; however it is indicative of a larger problem. In the end, awareness seems to be the most effective protection. Perhaps the media attention given to this because it involved Paris will serve to educate more people?


Jade said...

Great post!

Simply, not just a Paris Hilton is at risk, what about the millions of us who nobody would ever notice if their personal stuff was hacked unless it showed up on a credit report? By then, a relative could be killed via "random" violence.

spyware detection said...

This is true. We never know what individuals may do with information gathered from our phones, pc's and internet. That's why I'm so activily against spyware and other trojans and hacking malware.