Encouraging CS Careers – Six Backdoors in Less Than an Hour!

Farmers Insurance for inspiration CS stories? If you doubt the answer is yes!, you haven’t read: “I HAD SIX BACKDOORS INTO THEIR NETWORK IN LESS THAN AN HOUR” by Jason Kersten.

From the post:

Hired hackers share real-world stories of breaking into computer systems (legally) through phishing scams and other high-tech mischief

It was a moment that would likely make any bank robber’s or computer hacker’s head spin: Joshua Crumbaugh talked his way behind the teller windows of a small bank in Maryland by posing as an IT technician working on the bank’s email system. As he installed malware designed to give him even more illegal access to the bank’s systems, he noticed the door to the vault was open. When no one was looking, he walked in. Piles of cash filled shelves, all within easy reach.

He turned around, held out his phone, and took a selfie. Later, he sent the picture to the bank’s CEO.

Fortunately, no crime had been committed. The CEO had hired Crumbaugh, a penetration tester (also known as a “pen tester”), to test the bank’s security. In his 10 years as a pen tester and CEO of PeopleSec, Crumbaugh has hacked everything from an NBA stadium to an oil rig. For the bank test, he identified the bank’s Internet Service Provider, called the bank pretending to be from the ISP’s customer service department, and set up a service appointment. “They were overly trusting,” says Crumbaugh, noting the bank’s own IT guy had also given him remote access to its systems without checking his credentials.

According to the 2016 State of Cybersecurity in Small & Medium-Sized Businesses report from the Ponemon Institute, a research center for global privacy, data and IT security issues, more than half of the 598 businesses surveyed had experienced a cyber attack in the prior year. A full half of respondents experienced data breaches involving customer and employee information. The companies surveyed spent an average of $900,000 cleaning up the mess, and many spent an additional $1 million to pay for disrupted workflow as a consequence of the security issues.

Teachers in middle or high school need only read the first story and allude to the others to have a diverse group of students clamoring to read the post.

There are boring CS careers where you squint at a lot of math but this article highlights more exciting life styles for those with CS training.

Here’s an inspiration picture to go with your pitch:

More details to go with the image: Inside the Secret Vault: $70 Billion in Gold.

Warn your students about the false claim that cybersecurity benefits everyone.

Correction: Cybersecurity benefits everyone who is happy with the current distribution of rewards and stripes.

People who are not happy with it, not so much.

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