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09 November 2009
Stefan Raab (Host/SR): Now we have a young man with us that, How should I say, some people may see him as a criminal, but he’s a hacker. He’s a very very sincere hacker. He was the youngest hacker to speak before Microsoft and CIA experts at the worldwide hacker conference in Las Vegas. please welcome, Mr Peter Kleissner.
SR: Hello Peter, you’re 18 years old ?
Peter Kleissner (PK): Yes that’s right.
SR: So how criminal are the things you do ?
PK: Half criminal
SR: Not criminal at all ?
PK: Half criminal
SR: Oh, half criminal ! Have you already had problems with the authorities ?
PK: Partially, but nothing really serious
SR: Why what have you done ?
PK: Because I haven’t done anything very criminal such as hacking into bank accounts…
SR: But you could when you wanted ?
SR: Theoretically ?
SR: Na na na <roughly translates to tsk tsk, naughty>
SR: So how endangered are normal computer users without much awareness ?
PK: Well I’ve also hacked your website. Yesterday.
SR: You’ve hacked our website ? What have you hacked ? what can you do with it ?
PK: Well when you go on my blog, or on twitter, there’s a link to the TV Total website that says that the program is cancelled.
SR: You can do things like that ?
PK: Yep. The people read that
SR: And then ?
PK: Then they think the program’s cancelled.
SR: Oh ok. You can do that of thing. Very interesting. Do you already know how long you have to spend in jail for that ? or …
PK: Ui <surprised>
SR: .. hasn’t it arrived in the post yet ?
PK: It’s on its way
SR: Can you only do that kind of thing on websites, or could you get access to the private… the private email account of… “Angela Merkel”
PK: Yes, with enough equipment and time
SR: Really ?
PK: It happens all the time that famous people have their accounts hacked and their emails made public. It happens a lot.
SR: What do you have to take care of if you’re a normal computer user ?
PK: When you get an email from me, I wouldn’t open the attachment.
SR: So that means you have to open the email ?
PK: Yes thats the vulnerability.
SR: So if you don’t open up the email from unknown senders then nothing can happen ?
SR: or is it enough when I’m just online ?
PK: It depends. There are various possibilities.
SR: So you sit in a car with an antenna looking for wireless networks to hack into, so that you can see which porn sites the other people are looking at currently ?
SR: You could do that ?
PK: Yes. But I don’t
SR: <laughs> Do people think that you don’t do it ?
SR: This opens up loads of possibilities. How did you get into it ? what did you have to learn to be able to do it ? Was it hard to learn ? you’re only 18 after all. How long have been look into this subject ?
PK: I started about 2 years ago, I worked for an Anti-virus company and I learnt everything about viruses there.
SR: You have recently done a presentation at the world-wide hacker conference in Las Vegas, and spoken there with Microsoft and CIA experts. Can they learn something from you ?
PK: definitely !
SR: So they can learn something from me, I can tell you how I got into your website and how to prevent it.. as long as you give me money. Is that your business model ?
PK: My business model is that I tell software developers how to secure their systems.
SR: That’s what I said.
PK: Yeah well, kinda.
SR: So you first find a potential customer and show them the failures in their software. In cases where it might happen again you can sell them a system/process to prevent it ?
SR: Isn’t that blackmail ?
PK: No. Only the way you say it.
SR: So it’s a business model…
SR: .. you would say
SR: Is that how you want to earn money in the future ?
PK: Yes, I already do like this. It works well
SR: Putting all this aside, the hacking of a website is already a criminal act !
<Peter looks for nearest exit / crowd laughs>
PK: That’s right.
SR: What kind of fines would you have to pay if you got caught ?
SR: If you hack a site like TV-Total and write that the programs cancelled for example !
PK: But normally nobody is interested in that
SR: If nobody goes to court, then there’s no crime ! <proverb>
PK: There’s still foreign countries I can escape too
SR: Ok, but then you’re never allowed back !
SR: That’s not so… Ah yes, you have to go back to Austria. Austrians look forward to going home !
SR: So what does the future hold for you ? You’re still in school correct ? You’re doing your A-Levels ?
SR: And then ?
PK: I want to go to University. To study Computer Science (Informatik)
SR: I thought you already knew everything ?
PK: Not everything, there’s still something to learn.
PK: … and to brag !
SR: To brag ?
PK: Yes. I have to spend my time somehow.
SR: Do you need some special equipment for what you’re doing ?
PK: No a normal notebook is enough.
SR: A normal notebook ? and then the right knowledge.
SR: Understood. So I wish you, at the very least with your legal activities, every success… and keep your fingers away from illegal stuff. Promise me that ?
SR: Peter Kleissner ladies and gentlemen.