Feeds

Obama's BlackBerry still hackable, warns Mitnick

You'd be a nut to try and crack it

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

President Obama's 'bullet-proof' BlackBerry might still be cracked, according to uber-hacker Kevin Mitnick.

The social engineering pioneer and ex-con turned security consultant said that although breaking into the supposedly super-secure device would be difficult, it wouldn't be impossible. "It's a long shot, but it's possible," Mitnick told Fox News. "You'd probably need to be pretty sophisticated, but there's people out there who are."

Mitnick, who spent five years in prison for hacking into the computer systems of US mobile phone and IT giants, said step one in the attack would be to obtain Obama's closely guarded email address from his circle of friends and associates. Once the address was obtained, perhaps after breaking into the PCs of Obama's confidants, a targeted email could be sent to Obama. This email would direct Obama to a website hosting exploit code, the scenario suggests.

Such an approach would be thwarted if web-browsing was disabled on the device, of course.

Would-be elite hackers looking to make a name for themselves would also do well to bear in mind that any attempted hack would bring down a lot of heat. "The government would go after them full force," Mitnick said.

Of course, the greater risk of attack against such a prime intelligence target comes from a well-resourced foreign intelligence agency rather than a common-or-garden computer hacker.

Whether Obama is still using a BlackBerry - as opposed to a Sectera Edge, an outwardly similar secure smartphone approved by the NSA - is not clear. "Nobody has really said with certainty what device he is actually using," Randy Sabett, a partner at Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP and a former NSA employee told Fox News.

Both BlackBerry firm RIM and Whitehouse officials declined to comment on the issue. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?