As the world becomes more controlled by technology, are we fully aware of the true extent of the risk that cybercrime poses and how much of an influence it will have on society in the future?
Recent studies show that by 2025, more than 70% of the worlds white collar crimes will be committed online. The truth of the matter is that the world is not prepared for this and the regular man on the street – or small companies – do not know how to protect themselves.
In the past, hacking had such negative connotations to it that it quickly became a highly illegal activity to participate in. It still is illegal to use hacking to commit a crime, but the practice of hacking has grown to such an extent that we now have social hacking and the formulation of DEF CON groups that use hacking to help individuals and companies prepare for a possible cybercrime apocalypse.
GTconsult is a proud sponsor of DEF CON group DC2744, a DEF CON group based in George which actually encourages social hacking and creates a safe space for hackers to come together and share ideas. We spoke to DC2744 Chief Operations Officer, Adrian Tempelhoff, to find out more about the group and what it hopes to achieve.
Please tell us more about what DC2744 is all about
DC2744 was formed to create a social awareness around cyber protection and how the public is significantly unaware of how vulnerable they are when it comes to cybercrime.
Some of the services we offer are hacking services for the purposes of creating penetration tests for companies. We do not do anything illegal. We sit with companies and try to hack into their servers and networks. We then sit with them and make recommendations on how they can improve their internal systems and processes so that they are not vulnerable.
Ultimately DC2744 is about creating a space where like-minded individuals can come together and share knowledge and skills.
What role can DC2744 play in the South African technology space?
Cybercrime will only grow in this country. I have always believed that you have to employ a thief to catch a thief, a hacker to catch a hacker.
If the public does not know where or how they are vulnerable, they will not know where to look in order to find protection. That is at the heart of what DC2744 does, we help people discover where they are vulnerable, why they are vulnerable, and how they can turn this vulnerability around.
Perhaps we can also change the perception that people have about hackers. If we present our information in a theatrical way, we will draw the public attention to what we do and how we can benefit society.
While we are not the first DEF CON Group in the country, we are most certainly the most active. GTconsult will be the sponsor of this group and will put DC2744 on the map.
The growth potential of the group following this sponsorship is immense. At the moment, we get local exposure through a community newspaper that’s based in George. GTconsult will give us national and international exposure which will encourage people to look at what we do.
“At the end of the day, humans are products of their own social constructs. The messages we see in the media regarding hackers have always been negative. However, if we are going to win the fight against cybercrime, we need to change our viewpoint on hackers and see them as social agents of good. This is why GTconsult is getting involved with this,” said GTconsult Co-Founder and CEO Bradley Geldenhuys.