Former hacktivist provides security advice
Jake Davis, former hacktivist and leading member of hacking collectives ‘Lulzsec’ and ‘Anonymous’ discussed his criminal past at computing‘s Cyber Security Summit 2021.
He opened up about various hacks committed by the groups he belonged to, admitting that they took down the CIA’s main website for an afternoon ‘because someone dared us to on Twitter.’
“Our very naive, teenage goal was to expose the lack of a global security posture by hacking everything in existence. In hindsight it was incredibly reckless, but we were very successful in going after targets like the CIA, which someone dared us on Twitter to takedown.”
But ‘things soon got out of hand’ Davis admits, stating that many members of the group were teenagers and didn’t understand the scope of the law enforcement response to their actions.
“We had this isolated view where we didn’t really realize this was happening in the real world, until our ridiculous imagery of a cat flying through space appeared on the front page of the Wall Street Journal. Then we were trending number one on Twitter and boy band One Direction was number two. We realized at that point that things had gone too far.”
Davis was then arrested in July 2011 by the FBI working with a number of international law enforcement agencies.
Now a reformed hacker and security consultant, Davis recommends a host of strategies to help organizations improve their security posture, including multi-factor authentication.
“Two-factor authentication is extremely important. Please do not use SMS for this, because the entire telecoms network should be all destroyed and rebuilt.”
computing‘s Cyber Security Festival is back for 2022, with a face-to-face event in Central London on 9th June, followed by virtual days on the 15th and 16th. Register now to confirm your place!