Frank Abagnale has consulted the FBI, major corporations, and government agencies for more than four decades as a fraud expert.
Before that, he made a name for himself as a world-famous con artist, eventually immortalized in the Steven Spielberg film “Catch Me If You Can.” Today, the reformed confidence man is using his sunset years to reflect and talk to as many people as possible about identity theft protection.
For Abagnale, that starts with the most glaring password mistakes hackers take advantage of to seize our personally identifiable information. (CNBC)
We think our passwords keep us safe, but that’s just a fantasy. They don’t protect us from hackers or maintain the privacy of our online information.
Look around at the technology that surrounds you today — iPhones, online banking and shopping, Google, smart TVs — none of them were invented in the 1960s. Yet usernames and passwords, the most prevalent security mechanisms still used, were invented in 1963, more than half a century ago.
The inventor of the computer password, Fernando Corbató (who passed away this year at 93), said himself that “passwords have become kind of a nightmare with the World Wide Web.”
In 2016, Michael Chertoff, who served as secretary of Homeland Security from 2005 to 2009, echoed Corbató’s views. “A closer examination of major breaches reveals a common theme: in every ‘major headline’ breach, the attack vector has been the common password,” he told CNBC.
Continue reading why the password is the weakest link in cybersecurity and how you can protect your identity at CNBC.