Internet Anthropologist Think Tank: Hackers holy grail

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    Sunday, February 15, 2009

    Hackers holy grail

    There's a new "holy grail" for hackers — President Obama's super-secure BlackBerry.

    Despite warnings from his advisers, the president insisted on keeping his beloved PDA, which now has specially designed superencrypting security software.

    But that just makes cracking into it more challenging — and, yes, it can be done, says the world's most famous hacker.

    "It's a long shot, but it's possible," Kevin Mitnick told "You'd probably need to be pretty sophisticated, but there's people out there who are."

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    Mitnick served nearly five years in prison after pleading guilty to charges of wire and computer fraud for hacking into computer systems at some of the country's largest cell-phone and computer companies during the 1990s.

    With his hacking days behind him, he now heads Mitnick Security Consulting.

    "If I was the attacker, I would look to Obama's close circle of friends, family and associates and try to compromise their machines at home," Mitnick said. "The objective would be to get Obama's e-mail address on the BlackBerry."

    Mitnick said someone with access to Obama is much more likely to be targeted by hackers because their networks, particularly those used at their homes, would be much less secure than those used by the commander-in-chief.

    Once armed with Obama's coveted e-mail address, a hacker could theoretically send an e-mail to Obama in an attempt to lure him to a Web site that has previously been breached in order to transfer "malicious code," Mitnick said.

    Obama administration officials declined to comment Friday.

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