Kevin P. called himself Dark Dante, some called him a black hat hacker, and others called him a criminal.
Kevin was distinguished for being the first hacker to ever be charged with espionage due to his discovery of federal phone taps of several consulates in the Los Angeles area, including those of China, Israel, and South Africa.
Kevin’s began his escapades at the age of 17, when he hacked into the U.S. Department of Defense.
However, he was not prosecuted for this action and let off easy, which probably urged him to continue hacking.
In 1988, authorities suspected Kevin of hacking the database on a federal investigation of corrupt politicians.
Kevin knew that the FBI was on to him so he went on the lam.
During his time being a fugitive, he stayed one step ahead of the FBI by hacking several federal computers and revealing details on his case, along with wiretaps on foreign consulates, suspected mobsters and the ACLU.
During his 17 months on the run, Kevin and two friends hacked phone lines to radio station KIIS-FM 102 in Los Angeles, ensuring that they’d be the ‘lucky’ 102nd caller to win a competition held by the radio station.
Between the duo, they won two new Porsches, $20,000, and two Hawaiian vacations.
Although Kevin had pulled off many crimes, this heist was probably his most famous one and probably why he is remembered as one of the world’s best cybersecurity hackers.
Kevin was later featured on the TV show Unsolved Mysteries and he was captured shortly after the episode aired, when employees at a local supermarket recognized him.
When federal agents finally had their hands on Kevin they didn’t exactly know what to do with him, since he held a lot of classified information in his head.
Kevin was eventually charged with money laundering and wire fraud.
After serving five years in prison, he was released on the basis that he would not have any access to a computer for an additional three years.
Kevin allegedly cleaned up his act and is reported to be a law-abiding citizen.
While he may not have stolen billions from bank accounts, he held federal classified information that was of national security interest, making him one of the most dangerous hackers in the world.
The reality is, these days, hackers and criminals don’t just target governments or big companies.
They target the average citizen too. And, they do this through the “smart” features they have in their home.
What I mean is, many individual homes have security systems or smart home devices that can be accessed remotely, or more importantly, hacked remotely.
This is why, I want to share with you the most common overlooked risks when creating your smart home environment.
Power outages. One of the biggest risks involved with smart home devices is that they require electricity to work.
This problem is even worse when it comes to systems that control our entire homes.
For instance, if the power goes out for days, and you are worried about looters, your security system may be useless if it doesn’t have a battery back up.
Another thing is, many smart home devices obviously use your home internet.
So, when the power goes out they may not work unless they have some sort of cellular system back up.
In other words, make sure your system absolutely has a battery backup.
Hire a professional. These days, you can buy complete home security systems online that you install yourself.
While this is a great option, if you are not somewhat familiar with the technology, I would definitely recommend hiring a professional installer.
Many remotely accessible home security systems are slightly more complicated to install than the regular security systems.
It’s better to be safe than sorry, otherwise you might end up ruining expensive equipment or forgetting a security step that leaves the entire system open to hackers.
Back-up access. Let’s say you come home from a bad day at work and you can’t open your door or can’t turn off your security alarm, all because your phone is dead.
My point is, when you have smart home devices, you can’t forget to keep your phones or tablets charged.
The entire purpose of a remotely accessible home security system would be lost if you do not keep your phone charged and you do not have back up access to get into your house or garage.
Safety features. One of the most common overlooked features of smart home devices is safety features.
You don’t want to forget to add fire and water safety features.
For example, make sure that your smart home system includes smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, heat detectors and water detectors.
In the event of a fire or water outbreak, the security system would alert the monitoring service and the fire department.
In the 1990’s, Bill Gates built one of the first homes using so called smart home devices.
These days, smart homes aren’t just for billionaires, but remember, technology can, and will fail.
So, if you do decide to make your home a “smart home,” always have a backup plan in place.