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More How to Break into Banks -- Legally!

Next Peck looked for additional network interfaces. Sure enough, the Linux box was dual homed, meaning it had two network interface cards (NICs). He quickly bridged a route through the second NIC and discovered the bank’s entire network spread naked before him. He had gotten inside the firewall. “It made me feel like an elite hacker,” he said. “I was 22, expensive office.” He spread his arms out like a Pentecostal preacher: “I had a head this big.”

The client was thrilled with Peck’s report. Although the owner of that rogue computer had meant no harm, it had opened up a highway into the bank’s most sensitive systems. If Peck could break into the bank through it, so could a criminal. Later, Peck demonstrated to the customer how easily an attacker could use that kind of access to transfer funds out of the bank.

However, after this success, Greggory Peck’s nightmares grew worse.

“At some point in each dream,” he said, “I figure out how much money it would take to make stealing it worthwhile, $10 million. Then I would plan to move somewhere that there was no extradition. And then in my dream I’m running a penetration test. It’s so real, I see my commands on the screen, and I’m breaking into a clearinghouse. I understand how it works, SET, that’s secure electronic transactions.”

“Right about the time I prepare to flee the country,” said Peck, “That’s when I always wake up. Sometimes that’s when, in my dream, I get caught. Then in my next dream I’m better, I don’t make the same mistake. But I always wake up before I get to dream that I’m living the high life. Often I’m drenched with sweat.

“Even when I’m awake I would get the temptation. I’ll think it though, step by step. You get a god complex when you’ve had several successes breaking into banks.”

Peck takes great pains to insulate himself from the dark side that comes along with such detailed knowledge of various computer security methodologies. These include staying active in both commercial and Federal research teams where the labors of your efforts are recognized by your peers and personal gratification in your work is obtained. He further removed himself from temptation by moving to the east coast taking a job with a Washington, DC area contractor protecting Department of Energy computers. In this role, he evaluated Symbiot Security’s risk based graduated response capability appliance, essentially a device capable of providing automated strike-back and cyberattack capabilities. Yes, an appliance that, when once configured, is fully automated, so the software has an available strike back technology.  It takes some degree of understanding and training to enable the strike back features and a comprehensive understanding of TCP/IP networking etc.

One of Symbiot’s staff confessed to Peck that he was the one, back in July of 2001, who defaced a Defcon hackers’ convention website with faked photos featuring a hacker who used to wear a vampire suit.

Greggory Peck has now documented 10+ years of helping protect and defend both commercial and government sector clients. Today he has his own company, All Safe Computers, headquartered in Waco, Texas. According to his company's website, “All Safe Computers specializes in providing a full complement of IT Services to fit a variety of needs for both residential and business customers. This includes services for your PC or laptop, computer repair, computer networking, computer and network support & much more.”

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