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The List - One year, hundreds of stories. 2014-15 Progress Report.

Russian hacking case shows vulnerability of U.S. networks, UB expert says

People choose convenience over security, says professor of communication Arun Vishwanath

By Rachel Stern

Release Date: April 8, 2015

“There is no technology that can stop these attacks because of their low technology, social engineering nature.”
Arun Vishwanath, associate professor of communication
University at Buffalo
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Arun Vishwanath, UB associate professor of communication

 

 

BUFFALO, N.Y. – It is not all that surprising that Russian hackers were able to gain access into parts of the White House computer system, said Arun Vishwanath, associate professor of communication at the University at Buffalo.

“There is no technology that can stop these attacks because of their low technology, social engineering nature,” he said. “Hackers enter networks using a simple email with a hyperlink or attachment which when clicked, unbeknownst to the user, opens a backdoor that compromises the network.”

Most anti-virus software are built to protect networks from outside incursions, not insider file requests, Vishwanath said.

People easily fall victim because they don’t pay attention and because of their media habits, he said. Additionally, smartphone usage accounts for the vast majority of successful breaches.

“As the Hilary Clinton server snafu just demonstrated, people choose ease of use or convenience over security,” he said. “For most, security is an afterthought because nothing ever happens directly to us – because often the true cost of such breaches are kept concealed from us.”

Media Contact Information

Rachel Stern
Digital News Specialist
Tel: 716-645-9069
rstern2@buffalo.edu

Media Relations (University Communications)
330 Crofts Hall (North Campus)
Buffalo, NY 14260-7015
Tel: 716-645-6969
Fax: 716-645-3765
ub-news@buffalo.edu