A Lesson From a Famous Hacker at Infosecurity Europe 2006

We attended the Infosecurity Europe 2006 conference in London last week. A highlight of the conference sessions was the so-called Hackers' Panel, which included Gary McKinnon (aka Solo), who is accused of hacking into 97 United States military and NASA computers and faces the threat of U.S. extradition from the United Kingdom.

When asked how his exploits were first discovered, McKinnon answered that he'd miscalculated the time zone -- he was using remote-control software to operate a Windows PC while its user was sitting in front of it. The lesson for IT is to lock down applications that permit a PC to be remotely controlled. Such applications include GoToMyPC, LogMeIn, MyWebExPC, and the Application Assistance tool built into Windows XP.

Having said that, such applications can be extremely useful for remote diagnostics, if you're the default technical support desk for family and friends. Our current favorite is LogMeIn, which offers its service free of charge, but also has a premium version with additional features.

... Richi Jennings

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