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Bad / inaccurate news reporting from the BBC

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I just heard an audio clip linked on the main page of the BBC’s news site under the following heading “Government e-mail hacked by 12-year-old”

The report starts off ok, saying that computer security experts demonstrated how to download software from the internet which could be used to “hack” into email accounts but then goes downhill. (well ignoring the fact that downloading software which is able to eg able brute force accounts is a long way off actually carryout a successful penetration into a system) :blink:

The boy in the report describes himself as an avid game player, and not a computer whiz kid, with the same knowledge as most other 12 years. - If he described himself this way I seriously doubt he has the skills to do what the BBC report later states not once but twice: “With little more than a laptop and phone socket he can get on the web, hack into and read personal / private emails” “In less than 5 minutes Tom has logged on, downloaded the software, and is intercepting and reading other peoples emails. No details are provided as to whose emails although by the title of the story one would think that government emails are being intercepted.

The only thing I can think of is that he was running some packet capture software on his LAN but, and reading eg his moms email but that’s hardly a story! Also apart from this being unlikely, the phrase "email has arrived on my screen" doesn’t offer up any clues, along with the distinct lack of any technical jargon. :wacko:

Sure it is possible a 12 year old boy could “hack” into government emails but the report offers no credible facts indicating this 12 year old boy can, and did the BBC really sit by and watch a 12 year old “intercepting” other peoples (government officials) emails? ;)

Then the reporter seems to think that it’s a very big deal that a 12 year old can spoof an email, making it appear to be from the prime minister,:o im sure there are a few people half that boys age who could also spoof emails, along with almost anyone else with a little more than basic knowledge of email (not to mention the many web based re-mailers available). :huh:

Overall a bad bit of reporting. :grr:


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