Don’t Gamble with your password resets!

Written by Inspired Solutions on 20 June 2018 in Sponsored Article
Sponsored Article

The cautionary tale of the Leicestershire teenager who hacked high-ranking officials of NATO allies shows the need for improved password security

Kane Gamble, the Leicestershire teenager, is the terrifying example of what happens when IT help desk security measures take a disastrously wrong turn.

Gamble was only 15 years old when he waged an eight-month campaign of “cyberterrorism” between June 2015 to February 2016, whereby he gained access and leaked the details of high-ranking foreign intelligence officials and government employees.

By impersonating his multitude of victims while on the phone, he conned call centres and IT help desk employees at international telecommunication companies into divulging confidential information. 

From there, Gamble proceeded to reset passwords and gain access to “extremely sensitive” documents on military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Not only did the teenager have unlimited access to secure information, his reign of cyber terror continued after deliberately leaking details of 20,000 security officials and targeting the boss of the foreign country’s spying agency, as well as the ex-director of the foreign country’s home security agency. 

This personal, sensitive information was leaked online to various websites, including WikiLeaks.

The passwords of the ex-deputy director of the country’s home security agency were reset, and he claimed he and his family were bombarded with phone calls, resulting in them getting police protection. 

Gamble used the phone numbers he obtained to call and taunt his victims and their families and take control of their devices, including iPads. 

Evoking fear amongst his victims, the British teenager hacked into the country’s security chief’s home television and made the words ‘I own you’ appear on screen. The wife of the country’s homeland security chief was left a chilling voicemail message asking: “Hi Spooky, am I scaring you?”.

Prosecutor John Lloyd-Jones QC told a sentencing hearing at the Old Bailey: "The group incorrectly have been referred to as hackers. The group, in fact, used something known as social engineering, which involves socially manipulating people – call centres or help desks - into performing acts or divulging confidential information."

With a British teenage boy, who had not yet even sat his GCSEs, being able to gain access to the foreign country’s top-secret government files, the security of passwords and the information delivered by IT help desks has become subject of intense scrutiny and investigation.

Using self-service password reset with multi-factor authentication (i.e. sending a code via SMS) would have prevented all these breaches. 

That’s why major organisations that want to be as secure as possible use ReACT – the leading self-service password reset tool. ReACT can secure all your systems and is the only solution that can secure all three security systems on the mainframe. 

 

Inspired Solutions distributes software in the UK and Ireland. Its portfolio of products addresses the most important areas in the datacentre for both mainframe and distributed platforms.

Share this page

Tags

Categories

Related Articles

Conservative manifesto: five tech takeaways
9 December 2019

Rounding up the Tories’ key pledges in the area of digital and data, including a new cybercrime force and tax incentives for investments in cloud computing

Election 2019: Which party has most to say on digital, data and technology?
10 December 2019

Examining the language of each party’s manifesto reveals significant differences in the amount and focus of proposals related to technology and data policy – as well as in the wider themes of each...

Related Sponsored Articles

Three best-practice measures in the event of a data breach
3 December 2019

To have the best chance of an effective response and a full recovery, organisations should have a robust incident response strategy in place, says BT 

How to take control of your network
26 November 2019

We hear from BT about why delivering a great customer experience depends on your network visibility 

The future of voice: how to successfully transform your legacy voice estate
19 November 2019

Organisations are increasingly having to replace their legacy voice infrastructure as traditional analogue and ISDN lines are being phased out. BT talk about how they can help the transition...

Case Study: Cryptocurrency, connectivity and the cloud
12 November 2019

BT presents findings from cryptocurrency firm Gemini on how they're providing customers with direct connectivity thanks to the Radianz network