Hacking is a trillion-dollar business.
Andre McGregor is the head of security for TLDR Capital, a global advisory firm specializing in the token economy and he was the latest guest on the podcast of Andrew Busch, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chief of Market Intelligence.
Prior to working at TLDR, McGregor spent time working for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) protecting the US from hackers primarily in China.
Quoting a friend from cyber-security, Busch said, “hacking generates about a trillion and a half dollars per year.”
Busch continued that hacking is another form of research and development, meaning that hackers steal other company’s ideas.
McGregor said that people hack for the same reason why the notorious bank robber, Willie Sutton, robbed banks, “because that’s where the money is.”
“There’s easy money to be stolen until we educate people on this space.” McGregor said.
McGregor further explained that hacking- for criminals- is easier, less costly, and less dangerous, which is why many choose hacking over the sort of robbery Sutton was known for.
Specifically, in virtual currency, hacking is a near every day experience, Busch said.
“In the crypto- these (hacks) are just always in the headlines. That is one of the most consistent things in the space, that someone is being hacked.” Busch said.
“It’s kind of slowed down a lit bit of what’s been in the news which is a good thing; or it’s also possible that people just aren’t reporting it anymore.” McGregor responded.
McGregor was a presenter at the recent CFTC conference on fintech and Busch recounted a startling pronouncement he made there.
“If your password is less than seven characters, you’ve already been hacked,” Busch quoted McGregor from the conference.
McGregor said that hackers favorite place to hack is people’s emails: “I’m sure every businessman that’s listening has been told that spear phishing, phishing, emails with malicious links and attachments end up being compromised is still one hundred percent true,” McGregor said, “Over ninety percent of attacks still come from emails, why, because it’s a system that is open and available.”
Hacking, McGregor said, is easy in a frightening way.
“I would say the most poignant moment of me being a cyber special agent was the moment that I took an offensive hacking course. It’s white hat hacking and it was a bunch of agents that took it.”
He described learning how to control other people’s computers, “Once I started doing that, I realized ‘oh way’ this is as easy as turning on the computer and writing an email.”
With hackers everywhere, McGregor’s company helps other companies- especially those which deal with crypto- protect themselves against hacks: “Our team of security experts works with individuals and organizations to establish and develop good physical security practices, in addition to the necessary cyber security protocols required to safeguard their assets. Security is already at the forefront of all TLDR’s efforts, and with the continued growth and development of the blockchain space and increase in crypto activity, TLDR has seen the need to expand its security division’s offering.”