When journalist Adam Penenberg challenged a team of hackers to find out as much as possible about him via the internet, he was disturbed by their discoveries. He described the high level of information they were able to gain, including his bank accounts and passwords, as “chilling”.
As part of an experiment into the world of online hacking Penenberg gave a team of ethical hackers his name alone. He then challenged them to find out more without breaking the law.
The team started by sending a malware link to Penenberg’s wife, who then opened the link. By doing so, she gave control of her laptop to the hackers.
From here, the team was able to access the family’s income details, social security numbers and even the password for the couple’s online banking account.
Before long, the team had access to every account Penenberg had ever set up, from Facebook through to Amazon.
The experiment proved the importance of taking security precautions online and making sure passwords are not stored in easy to find locations.