Washington: With so much debate going around privacy following the controversial revelations by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, it has been reportedly revealed by a journalism professor about the extent to which one can intrude and potentially destroy someone`s life and reputation with just a bit of technical know-how.
Adam Penenberg, professor at the NYU, in his personal account of a particular hack-attack, has revealed that for anyone using a digital device or otherwise, it is as simple as being hack-attacked as making a phone call.
Once his laptop froze mid-way a lecture session and his iPhone started to beep endlessly, despite being on silent mode, Penenberg decided to hire investigators and white hat hackers to exploit his digital sphere just to know what the limits could be, PandoDaily reports.
What came as a shock was that hired detective Dan Cohn, wasn`t only able to surpass all the bank, telephone, social and web securities that the respective companies boasted of, but had Cohn wanted, he could have easily make Penenberg bankrupt, from the comfort of his office.
The extent to which the NSA has intercepted people`s lives is yet unknown, however, Penenberg reveals that mere use of intelligence lingo while making a pretext call to banks or telephone companies can easily trap them into giving away crucial details about the user.
Despite such calls being technically illegal under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999, at least if used to obtain financial data from individuals or financial institutions, they are rarely enforced and hard to catch.
There are companies who specialize and rather pay hackers into extracting information about an individual from birth date, maiden name to last gas bill amount they paid.
Penenberg further revealed that for such individuals, `pen-test` or penetration test about an individual could include breaking into their home, hospital, web accounts and phone tapping, all this without `breaking any law `.