Some thoughts on Chris Coyier’s interview with a Hacker

By Geoff Muskett

I’m a long time fan of the Shoptalk Show, and the latest episode was fascinating. Basically, Chis’ little site got hacked, he was able to track down the culprit somehow and interviewed him for the show.

When you think about hackers, you think of pasty computer nerds in a room with closed curtains. And yes, this guy is a computer nerd, but thats not the main reason he was able to compromise the account. He got in by old fashioned forgery, photoshopping an ID card and sending it in as a ‘scan’.

I found this quite eye opening, it’s easy to forget that there’s bad guys out there. Google has some advice about password security, but that wouldn’t have helped in this case. The guy tricked the hosting company into resetting the password and sending him the details. And this was Media Temple, on the of the best hosting companies out there – I host with them.

I think the best thing to do is not register with too many places online. Perhaps just keep it to the services you use a lot, and trust. It’s difficult though, as I trust Media Temple, and this happened.

Having said that, after this incident, if anything I trust Media Temple more. The issue of forgery has been publicly outed which forces them to change their systems so this cannot happen again. The hacker said this was his goal in the first place, not sure I believe him, but it certainly has raised awareness. Credit to Chis for that.

Go and listen to the show, it’s super interesting.


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