Teenagers hackers help BT to fight cyber crime

Mark Hughes, chief executive, BT security SUS-171221-132101001
Mark Hughes, chief executive, BT security SUS-171221-132101001

Teenagers and reformed computer hackers are being employed by BT in a battle to combat cyber crime.

The BT network faces more than 4,000 cyber attacks every day with both households and businesses being hit across the country.

And to test responses and make sure BT stays ahead, the company stages regular ‘war games.’

BT security chief executive Mark Hughes said: “As an ever increasing number of people and organisations make ever greater use of the internet, the potential impact of cyber-theft, cyber-vandalism and even cyber-extortion is exploding.

“It is a daunting thought that there are now about 27 billion devices connected to the internet – well over three times the human population of the world – and that this figure is expected to reach 125 billion within 13 years.”

BT’s security team detects 100,000 unique malware samples every day – more than one per second – and protects the BT network against more than 4,000 cyber-attacks daily.

BT has hundreds of analysts - many of them teenagers and reformed hackers or ‘ethical hackers’ - to help against the treat of cyber-crime.

Said Mark Hughes: “Companies need to have robust cyber security strategy and policies, which are kept under review and continuously put to the test. For larger organisations, this can include ‘war games’ to test the response to a cyber crisis.

“At BT we regularly run sessions pitching so-called ‘red teams’ of ethical hackers trying to penetrate our defences against the ‘blue teams’ protecting the network.”