Security researcher involved in NBC Russia hacking piece disputes report

Security researcher involved in NBC Russia hacking piece disputes report

Recently NBC News ran a hysterical hacking story suggesting that you'll be hacked within minutes when you step off the plane in Russia. Now a security researcher involved in the story, Kyle Wilhoit, is disputing how it was presented. Trend Micro:

Whether to execute “applications” or to open a Microsoft Word document, all the attacks shown required user interaction in order to compromise the device.

What's more, the threats depicted in the NBC news piece could happen anywhere - physical location is largely irrelevant on the Internet. It's not specific to being in Russia, in Moscow, Sochi or anywhere else.

So, contrary to the report, people aren't being arbitrarily hacked the second they start up their cell phone or connect to a public Wi-Fi spot in Russia. They're doing something to compromise their computer's own security.

So the question becomes, did NBC really no know any better, or was an accurate story not what they were after?

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Peter Cohen

Mac Managing Editor of iMore and weekend Apple Product Professional at a local independent Apple reseller. Follow him on Twitter @flargh

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Reader comments

Security researcher involved in NBC Russia hacking piece disputes report


For months all we've heard are terror warnings, corruption, and anything "dirty laundry". The liberal media jumping on a story like this? A surprise? HA! Don't let facts get in the way of a good story.

NBC seems to have not known any better at the least and at the worst slanted the piece to draw in viewers. Anyone who is half tech savy can see a file downs when going to a webpage but you still have to run that file. On Android that file shouldn't be installed because most people have the option that won't install files that are from "unknown sources" meaning the file doesn't come from the play store. Basiclly all I can say for NBC is they should have had other security experts watch the piece and way in before airing it. If they all say this is BS then they should have re edited the spot to show the dangers but not to dramatize it saying your "hacked."

There may be some truth to the story, they may not have all the facts. It is something to consider.

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