EXCLUSIVE: Former FBI Secret Agent Says You’re Vulnerable to Hackers around the World
By Neil A. Carousso
Earlier, the Washington Post reported that Russian government hackers infiltrated the Democratic National Committee computer network, gaining access to their entire database, including Democrats’ opposition research on GOP presumptive nominee Donald Trump.
“This cyber crime is huge,” said Robert Strang, a security expert on terrorism, personal and corporate security as well as investigative matters. “There’s really no limits to what’s happening in the world right now.”
Strang has seen security breaches in both the private and public sector throughout his career. He started as a special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, working for the United States Justice Department for about 10 years before founding Investigative Management Group, a unit of Strang Holdings Corp., for which he is the Chief Executive Officer.
Strang says many cases that his company investigates involve individual hackers in the Philippines, China and Eastern Europe who steal American companies’ information from outside the U.S.
“There are not enough bad guys to buy all the available information that’s out there on the black market,” said Strang, continuing, “It would be like we’re flooded with drugs, there’s not enough drug users and you’re giving it away, almost. It’s so cheap. There’s so much, yet, there aren’t enough bad guys to buy it.”
The security expert points out the only positive thing about new technology, which makes personal, corporate and government information “vulnerable,” is the fact that it will become antiquated in a short period of time. New technology is emerging too quick in order to effectively secure.
“If you’re connected to the internet, you’re vulnerable; there’s no question about it,” said Strang.
Citing today’s Washington Post report, the DNC network has been compromised for about a year. “The intruders so thoroughly compromised the DNC’s system that they also were able to read all email and chat traffic, said DNC officials and the security experts,” journalist Ellen Nakashima wrote.
While the DNC claims no donor or personal information “appears to be accessed or taken,” this intrusion is “one of several targeting American political organizations,” writes Nakashima. Both Hillary Clinton and Trump were targeted by Russian spies. Republican political action committees were targeted, too, according to U.S. officials. Further information on those cases are not public.
Strang ensures that corporations he secures around the world have top-notch security and intelligence gathering services through the IMG platform, a company that has been successful in the high-end investigative market because of the resources of a large firm without the bureaucracy of the largest firms and government agencies.
Even with the best security systems, Strang emphasizes the importance of being selective in content included in electronic communication. Conducting business through the Internet, including e-mail, is risky. Sensitive and confidential material is best to be presented in person.
“I’m certain the government must do it as well,” said Strang adding, “You know common sense and the fact that we are being hacked and these kinds of thefts do take place on a regular basis.”