Kevin Mitnick warns Obama’s Blackberry still hackable


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By Johnny Daniels
Contributing Writer, [GAS]

kevinmitnickWhile President Obama is going around thinking that his sparkling, very expensive new smart phone is secure and hacker-proof, convicted hacker Kevin Mitnick has some bad news for him – it’s not secure at all.

Mitnick, who spent nearly 5 years in prison for hacking offences, told Fox News that the way into Obama’s device would be to target the people he is emailing – because their computers will be much less guarded than Obama’s will be.

If a hacker can get into the computer of one of Obama’s email correspondents, the next step would be to discover the closely guarded email address of the president.  They could then use the friend’s email address to impersonate that person and send Obama an email trying to entice him to open a virus-infected attachment or lure him to a virus-infected website.

The theory is sound enough, but to be honest, I don’t see it happening.  I’d like to credit the president with some intelligence that a) he has a virus scanner installed on his Blackberry (there’s almost no viruses made for mobile devices anyways) and b) he can spot when someone else is impersonating his friends.  For example, I know how my friends write.  I know their “style” and I know their “voice”.   If someone else tried to pretend they were them, my sixth sense would kick in and I would know right away that they were imposters.

Plus as President of the United States, I would like to think that even if his best friend sent him an attachment, he would err on the side of caution and would think twice before opening anything.

But I accept the gist of what Mitnick is saying and I hope that Obama’s email friends get some help from the NSA with their computer security.   It’s in everyone’s best interests after all.





15 Responses to Kevin Mitnick warns Obama’s Blackberry still hackable

  1. a) Is useless. There’s nothing stopping people from writting viruses for any given platform, no matter if they already exist or not. And a mobile antivirus will be no better than a regular antivirus, this is, will still be vulnerable. And this is not about intelligence, it’s about the technical knowledge of Obama’s security experts and the strength of their security policies.

    And about b), just read “The Art of Deception”, by Mitnick himself. There’s no “I know how MY friends write”, unless you have some kind of superpower (no, style and voice recognition are not superpowers, they will fail against the first social engineer out there).

  2. What a poorly written article for a site with the word “geek” in it’s title.
    First and foremost allowing the president to carry this device or any device for that matter leaves questions about who is really concerned about security. The man is human and could lose or misplace the device.
    As for virus security we are assuming this device does indeed use the Blackberry OS. But what if it does not? Could be a special Linux shell or maybe a Symbian variant. Look the guy is not getting service from AT&T. The device no doubt uses a VPN for all communication.
    And why the need to check email and for what purpose? The president has a Secret Service detail that is in constant communication with the FBI and Homeland and are used to report any critical information to the president. He is not getting gmail alerts on the war in Iraq. Michelle is not emailing for the time of dinner that evening. Pelosi is not emailing him funny pictures of Rush Limbaugh. The man has an itinerary for godsake. His whole day is planned and the length of each meeting or event is outlined before he leaves the whitehouse. I mean he does not sign into google calendar to see what he got going on at 1pm.
    In my opinion the whole Blackberry thing is a charade.

  3. a) Is useless. There's nothing stopping people from writting viruses for any given platform, no matter if they already exist or not. And a mobile antivirus will be no better than a regular antivirus, this is, will still be vulnerable. And this is not about intelligence, it's about the technical knowledge of Obama's security experts and the strength of their security policies.

    And about b), just read "The Art of Deception", by Mitnick himself. There's no "I know how MY friends write", unless you have some kind of superpower (no, style and voice recognition are not superpowers, they will fail against the first social engineer out there).

  4. What a poorly written article for a site with the word "geek" in it's title.

    First and foremost allowing the president to carry this device or any device for that matter leaves questions about who is really concerned about security. The man is human and could lose or misplace the device.

    As for virus security we are assuming this device does indeed use the Blackberry OS. But what if it does not? Could be a special Linux shell or maybe a Symbian variant. Look the guy is not getting service from AT&T. The device no doubt uses a VPN for all communication.

    And why the need to check email and for what purpose? The president has a Secret Service detail that is in constant communication with the FBI and Homeland and are used to report any critical information to the president. He is not getting gmail alerts on the war in Iraq. Michelle is not emailing for the time of dinner that evening. Pelosi is not emailing him funny pictures of Rush Limbaugh. The man has an itinerary for godsake. His whole day is planned and the length of each meeting or event is outlined before he leaves the whitehouse. I mean he does not sign into google calendar to see what he got going on at 1pm.

    In my opinion the whole Blackberry thing is a charade.

  5. ‘Impersonating’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘write like him/her’, or talk like ‘him/her’.

    (i hope) He does not even open/receive mails that are not signed (with a RSA key or something).

    Stealing someone else’s key and send a fake message that looks authentic is still easier than hacking directly into the phone.

  6. 'Impersonating' doesn't necessarily mean 'write like him/her', or talk like 'him/her'.

    (i hope) He does not even open/receive mails that are not signed (with a RSA key or something).

    Stealing someone else's key and send a fake message that looks authentic is still easier than hacking directly into the phone.

  7. I for one will be noting the auther of these articles from now on. Johnny Daniels, if that is your real name, will be on the “This guy is not just naive but completely clueless” list. I bet you knew Lois Einhorn was hiding Mr Winky the whole time.

    FREE KEVIN!!
    Oh wait… they finally did.

  8. I for one will be noting the auther of these articles from now on. Johnny Daniels, if that is your real name, will be on the "This guy is not just naive but completely clueless" list. I bet you knew Lois Einhorn was hiding Mr Winky the whole time.

    FREE KEVIN!!

    Oh wait… they finally did.

  9. I assume Kevin Mitnick knows what he's talking about. After all, that is what he went to prison for. Hacking into other people's technology. And now he gets paid to prevent it. Maybe Obama should listen to him.

  10. I assume Kevin Mitnick knows what he’s talking about. After all, that is what he went to prison for. Hacking into other people’s technology. And now he gets paid to prevent it. Maybe Obama should listen to him.

  11. Kevin Mitnick is hackable
    the idea he is not is jackable
    Sarah might do it
    she is maverickable
    Obama is brainable
    maybe a honeypotable???

  12. Kevin Mitnick is hackable

    the idea he is not is jackable

    Sarah might do it

    she is maverickable

    Obama is brainable

    maybe a honeypotable???