President-elect Donald Trump has a very active Twitter life, often tweeting into the wee hours of the night and/or morning. Commenting on recent allegations that Russian hackers interfered in the U.S. presidential election, Trump tweeted (very early, at 5:21 am on Dec. 12): “Unless you catch ‘hackers’ in the act, it is very hard to determine who was doing the hacking. Why wasn't this brought up before election?”
But, is it possible to catch hackers in the act?
According to John McAfee, the eccentric cybersecurity pioneer and creator of one of the first commercial antivirus software, his new products can catch hackers in seconds. The former presidential-hopeful told Bloomberg Radio that “within 10 seconds” of hackers getting into a system, his products can identify the hacker’s location and can instantly send messages to IT manager teams to deal with the situation.
As McAfee says, his company is like an alarm company—it identifies threats, but leaves it up to the breached parties to respond to the threat. He added that early threat detection allows companies to protect their systems before hackers get the chance to plant malware, saving them valuable time and money.
Even with state of the art intrusion detection systems, if companies ignore the alarms, the resulting fallout can be disastrous. On. Nov. 30, 2013, hackers planning their attack against Target Corp. set off alarms and the information security team in the company headquarters in Minneapolis was alerted. But nothing happened, according to a Bloomberg report. This resulted in 40 million credit card numbers and 70 million addresses, phone number and other personal information being stolen.
Following a devastating data breach incident, law enforcement agencies have successfully identified and arrested hackers in some cases. The high-profile cyberattack on U.K. telecom company TalkTalk Telecom Group Plc resulted in the arrest of a 17-year old boy, who admitted that he did it just to show off, BBC reported. It is possible to catch hackers but even with the help of the four-hand-hacker-buster technique it is very difficult to fend them off.
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