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The Lockdown

Thycotic’s Cyber Security Blog

100% of hackers support data privacy, but over half will crack your passwords for a price

Written by Joseph Carson

September 1st, 2016

The world’s elite hackers all come together during the most coveted hacker conference in Las Vegas for Black Hat.  The conference now running for its 19th year consists of six days of intense training, workshops, briefings, sessions, and knowledge sharing between hackers.

We took the opportunity to ask hackers about data protection, privacy, and government spying among other topics.  In an effort to learn more about the methods by which hackers are able to successfully break into and compromise enterprise networks, we sponsored our third annual official poll conducted live onsite at Black Hat USA 2016. We secured 250+ responses where respondents self-identified as white hat and black hat hackers, and the results documented reveal their attitudes towards data security and privacy along with their willingness to exploit weaknesses in password protection – in some cases just for fun and in others for a significant amount of money.

42% of hackers believed that the government has been spying on our personal data for years as well as private companies and other nation states as per the revelations by Edward Snowden. In the past week this just got real again and more concerning to know the hacking tools used by the NSA have now been leaked online by a hacking group known as “The Shadow Brokers” whom are demanding $568 million in bitcoins to leak all of the hacking tools that include malicious malware, private exploits, and remote access tools.

While the NSA are tasked with intelligence gathering to monitor, collect and process data for security, with these hacking tools now available to anyone does this cause more harm than good for our security?  30% of hackers believe that this will cause more harm than good while 40% believe cyber criminals will use the same hacking tools for malicious activity. 42% believe that even with these hacking tools being leaked it makes no difference, as cyber criminals and nation states already have their own hacking tools.

The world governments, organizations and citizens are now rushing to patch their systems since this leak as it now makes them vulnerable and exposed to anyone who can get access to those hacking tools.

In the survey we asked hackers if they would be willing to help the FBI hack you with 44% responding that they would not help, while 42% said they would help hack, and 13% weren’t sure what they would do.

But, after 44% of responders said they would not help the FBI hack an encrypted iPhone, we asked how much they would demand to be paid by the FBI for hacking and only 38% of respondents said no amount of money would be enough – all other respondents decided they would help the FBI hack for some amount of money. 10% would be willing to hack you for $1 million – $50 million USD, 23% willing to hack you for $50 million or more, and 9% would hack you just for fun.

A whopping 77% of hacker believes that no password is safe and that companies do not do enough to protect and secure themselves.

We also asked hackers for recommendations on what governments, organizations and citizens can do to protect and secure themselves from hackers.  What makes their job difficult and more challenging?

To learn more about what the hackers recommended and also more interesting results and revelations download our Blackhat report.


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