Jake Davis, a former hacktivist and leading member of the hacking collectives Lulzsec and Anonymous, discussed his criminal past CalculateCyber Security Summit 2021.
He detailed various hacks committed by the groups he was a part of, admitting they shut down the CIA’s main website for an afternoon “because someone challenged us to do it on Twitter.”
“Our very naïve youthful goal was to expose the lack of a global security posture by hacking everything that exists. In hindsight, it was incredibly ruthless, but we’ve been very successful in pursuing targets like the CIA, which someone on Twitter challenged us to take down.”
But “things soon got out of hand,” Davis admits, explaining that many members of the group were teenagers and didn’t understand the extent of law enforcement’s response to their actions.
“We had this isolated view where we didn’t really realize this was happening in the real world until our ridiculous images of a cat flying through space made the front page of the Wall Street Journal. Then we were number one on Twitter and boy band One Direction was number two. At that point we realized things had gone too far.”
Davis was then arrested in July 2011 by the FBI, working with a number of international law enforcement agencies.
As a reformed hacker and security consultant, Davis recommends a variety of strategies to help organizations improve their security posture, including multi-factor authentication.
“The two-factor authentication is extremely important. Please do not use SMS for this, as the entire Telekom network should be destroyed and rebuilt.”
Calculate‘s Cyber Security Festival is back for 2022, with an in-person event in central London on June 9th, followed by virtual days on June 15th and 16th. Register now to confirm your place!