Mafiaboy, reformed teen hacker, visits Edmonton; offers top 6 security tips

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service’s (CSIS) websites are back online after a cyberattack brought down the portal for the second time in less than 24 hours. CSIS websites back online after two cyberattacks in 24 hours IBM adding 100 full-time positions in New Brunswick IBM adding 100 full-time cyber security positions in Fredericton. Heartbleed bug Cost of cybercrime rising for companies in the US and abroad. “Yahoo’s stock started plummeting; the damages kept increasing and increasing, and then Janet Reno was on a podium [saying], ‘We’re going to get this kid.’ It was pretty scary stuff.”

The search ended two months later, with Calce being apprehended at his parents’ home in Montreal. He was tried and found guilty of 55 counts of mischief and sentenced to eight months in a youth detention center and a year of probation. As a young offender, he was only known in the media by his online alias “Mafiaboy” to protect his identity. But in 2008, Calce revealed his identity to the world by releasing a book entitled Mafiaboy: How I Cracked the Internet and Why It’s Still Broken. He discussed his fascination with computers and learning how to be a hacker.

On Thursday, Calce spoke at the ISA Automation Expo and Conference (AEC). Calce is now 30 and uses his hacker expertise legally, working as a cybersecurity consultant for major banks and corporations. While in Edmonton, Calce shared his story and talked about how he first got introduced to computers. He said his dad was awarded weekend custody of him as a child but didn’t know how to entertain his son, so he brought a computer home from work and let Calce play on it. When AOL first started, Calce signed up for the 30-day free trial but began to panic when that month ended.



“In a panic, I looked through the AOL program, and there was a tool in there that would allow you to appear as if you were an AOL administrator to the other users. So I came up with a little idea. I started messaging users, and my exact message was: ‘Due to a power outage, I would like to verify your login and password.’ I couldn’t believe it, but I got four people’s account information in the first four attempts.” In addition to sharing his story, Calce addressed current cybersecurity issues.

He also offered his top six security recommendations:

Download a good anti-virus firewall

“It’s as easy as one, two, three,” Calce said, “and it can add a perfect layer of security.”

Pick good passwords and change them often whenever you buy a new toothbrush, for example.

“Make it as complex as possible and change it occasionally.”

Research online privacy and security

“Put some time into it,” Calce said. “We’re on social media all the time; what would it do to take an hour out of your day to research better practices?”

Be aware and conscious of online banking and what you’re using your phone for

“People don’t realize that a keylogger on your system can give a hacker access to everything you’re doing… You’ve got to be very vigilant.”

Update your operating system.

“All your software should constantly be up-to-date because they’re working on fixing what could potentially be a vulnerability.”

Only connect to Bluetooth when you’re in the vehicle

“Bluetooth technology is almost like WiFi at this point,” Calce said. “It’s becoming a detriment. I know many people have it on their phones, and it’s active at all times… Some hackers will sit in cafés, get passersby’s, and steal as much information as possible.”