Cатсн²² (in)sесuяitу / ChrisJohnRiley

Because we're damned if we do, and we're damned if we don't!

Peter Kleissner on TV Total (revised)

After 2 months, I’ve finally had a few minutes to complete a translation of Peter Kleissner’s TV-Total interview I posted about back in November. I’ve posted the text of the interview below, and tried to work it into a Closed Caption for YouTube (see link below). It’s rough, but you get the idea.

If the susbtitles are a little large and don’t fit the screen, please click the video and view it directly on YouTube’s site.


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.

<entrance music>

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 ?

PK: Theoretically

SR: Theoretically ?

PK: Yes

SR: Na na na <roughly translates to tsk tsk, naughty>

<crowd laughs>

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 ?

PK: Yes

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 ?

PK: Yes

SR: You could do that ?

PK: Yes. But I don’t

SR: <laughs> Do people think that you don’t do it ?

PK: No

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 !

<crowd laughs>

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 ?

PK: Exactly

SR: Isn’t that blackmail ?

PK: No. Only the way you say it.

SR: So it’s a business model…

PK: Yes

SR: .. you would say

PK: definitely

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 !

PK: Yes

<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

<crowd laughs>

SR: If nobody goes to court, then there’s no crime ! <proverb>

<crowd laughs>

PK: There’s still foreign countries I can escape too

SR: Ok, but then you’re never allowed back !

PK: <laughs>

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 ?

PK: Yes

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.

SR: Ok

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.

PK: Exactly.

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 ?

PK: Yes

SR: Peter Kleissner ladies and gentlemen.

<entrance music>

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