How To Protect Yourself Online, With Former Black-Hat Hacker Hector Monsegur

Image from Science Channel

This week on The Upgrade we talk with Hector Monsegur, Director of Assessment Services at Rhino Labs.

Hector Monsegur is a former black-hat hacker. Under the alias Sabu, Hector hacked corporations, news outlets and Middle Eastern governments. After he was caught, Hector became an informant for the FBI.

He now makes a living on the right side of the law, helping companies discover where their vulnerabilities lie and how they can avoid getting hacked. Hector also appears on the US Science Channel show Outlaw Tech, which explores the complex security systems designed to stop hackers, and the high-tech arsenal being employed on both sides of the law.

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This Week’s Discussion

We covered a lot of ground this week, including:

  • What The Hacker’s Manifesto meant to Hector as a poor kid on the Lower East Side
  • Why he turned so quickly from hacktivist to FBI informant
  • Where the newest hackers are coming from
  • What separates Edward Snowden from Chelsea Manning
  • The first thing everyone should be doing to protect their personal data
  • Why everyone has something to hide
  • How to identify your “attack vectors”
  • Why the Google Docs phishing scam was good news
  • The importance of setting up your own VPN
  • The dangers of oversharing

How To Set Up Your Own Completely Free VPN In The Cloud

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a great way to add security to your browsing while also preventing snoopers (including your internet service provider), but VPN providers are notoriously sketchy. You could do some research to find a good one. Or you can make your own in about 10 minutes.

Read more

Our Upgrades of the Week

Every week we like to let you in on the upgrades we’ve made in our own lives. This week we’re talking about an appliance that’s transforming dinner; seeing the world (or your home, anyway) through rose-coloured light bulbs; gaining perspective; and something called “turning your phone off”. (Weird.)


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