Dmytro Budorin is the co-founder and CEO of Hacken, a leading cybersecurity consulting company with an essential focus on blockchain security. Hacken offers a wide range of security services such as blockchain security consulting, web/mobile penetration testing, coordination of bug bounty programs, crypto exchange ratings, and education on cybersecurity. It was founded in August 2017 and is a part of the Hacken Group. Read and learn a real lesson about cybersecurity and vulnerabilities in Crypto smart contacts, Defi Protocols, and Exchange security levels.
Interview Date : 11th November 2020
My name is Dmytro Budorin. I earned good karma by working for Deloitte for 8 years, but I spoiled my karma a little bit when I started to work for the government. That is when I turned to the crypto industry. I started the cybersecurity consultant company Hacken to create a safe haven for people to feel secure online. Presently, we provide multiple consultant services. We are very big crypto enthusiasts, and at the same time, cybersecurity fanatics too. We strive to make the world a safer place.
From Government Sector to Private Sector
In 2017, a virus started to spread in Ukraine, where Russian hackers attacked Ukraine. Some people are saying that it is the biggest hack attack in the world so far. At Deloitte, I became the winner of the Deloitte CIS Audit Challenge with my Audit BigData SAP solution. This solution became widely implemented in CIS offices. I ended up becoming one of the top executives within Ukraine’s military defense industry after its large-scale reform was launched by the government in 2014~2015. However, at the time of the virus attack, I was working for the Ukrainian government. It was too bureaucratic, thus I thought I and my team could be much more efficient if we worked for the private sector and gave the government services. I can say that was probably the second-best decision of my life making Hacken. My first best decision is my wife.
Ukraine 2017 Cyber Hack Took Over the Nation
Around 40% of government organization laptops were attacked by this virus. A lot of people suffered, and a lot of information was lost. The issue was that a lot of people were using one local account software that connected your basic account ledger book. That ledger was a government taxation report program that was quite easy to use. I even know the founders of this program, and they are very nice programmers. Unfortunately, the Russian hackers attacked this particular program and installed the malware inside the application update of that program. The inventors didn’t know about it. When it was time for a regular update to release some new features, the creators proposed their users to install this update, but once the customers installed it the virus got into their computers. For 2 days, the Russian hackers turned on the malware and attacked the government and citizens with it. The victims said they saw a notification message about their computer being under attack. If they did not send BTC to the mentioned address, the users’ hard drives would be inscribed to lose all data.
What was the Hard part of the attack?
The virus was not the most complicated thing. The complicated thing was how the attackers delivered the virus into people’s computers. Their approach was quite creative. The ransomware attack, called Petya, is a family of encrypting malware, and it was first discovered in 2016. Different types of Petya were first seen in 2016, which propagated via infected email attachments. However, in June 2017, the new variant of Petya was used primarily to target Ukraine and later became a global cyberattack.
It was a huge shock and eye-opening lesson for a lot of people. Government organizations were not prepared at all for this, and people are not good at informing themselves about proper virus prevention settings. Consequently, a lot of people lost a lot of data. I have been hacked once in my life, and I have broken a bone once in my life. If one of those would happen again, I would prefer to have another bone broken, but I don’t want to be hacked again. It was a painful experience.
Hackers Are Attacking Private People
Hackers are turning their attention from institutional targets to end-users and private people because it is easier and more portable. Also, hackers are lazy. They don’t want to hack a bank, because that would be like a real tough job. However, hacking people and then intimidating and blackmailing them is easier. There are a lot of people who give in. More people from developing countries are more prone to do as hackers say.
Young Hackers are Graduating
Hacking has become a trend online. There are a lot of forums and platforms, especially a very big Russian forum where you can do a course on how to hack an individual. Thus, a lot of 14~15-year-old children do those courses, and after a couple of months, they start hacking and attacking people online. Unfortunately, it is reality. Today, you can find anything on the internet. In the Russian language, such online sites and such promotions are not banned. There are ways to ban such websites, but no one is doing anything about it. Then authorities do not consider such issues, similar incidents will happen in all countries around the world.
Educate Yourself by Yourself
What you can do as a user is keep educating yourself. Cybersecurity is not that difficult of a thing if you just follow some simple rules. The rules include always using different passwords for different accounts, and always using a 2-factor authentication application. It is better to use a password manager application. Also, you should not link your password and 2-factor authentication to a sim card, especially not if you travel a lot. Next, you should always subscribe to a darknet counter tool to be alerted if your data is leaked from somewhere. If you follow these basic rules, hackers will need more time and effort to hack you. So, they will just say “no thank you” and find another person to hack. Approximately 70% of the people who use the same password all the time are most likely to get hacked.
Hacken was created by 2 cybersecurity companies emerging in 2017. We combined our forces to become a strong player in the blockchain security market. The main thing we do is to educate people, and we try to educate people from different aspects. For example, we have a project called the Crypto Exchange Cybersecurity Ranking service where we are constantly monitoring exchanges’ security. We provide users with information about what exchange does to improve their cybersecurity. We think that’s very important to be aware of because a lot of exchanges do not pay enough attention to this aspect although they may say “we are the most secure” or “ security is our highest priority”.
The second thing that we are building is an application called Hacken AI. This application is for the user to reach individual cybersecurity perfection.It is a unique educational program on the main cybersecurity topics including Account Management, Anti-Phishing, Privacy, and many more. Users can learn how to stay secure, and get to know essential basics about cybersecurity. It is to be released in 2021.
What to Do Right Away?
The most important thing is to know how you can back-up your passwords and security level. People are lazy sometimes, and they don’t take some proper steps to make sure that “if you need the back-up information, you will find out where it is”. People do screenshots of passwords or important information, but what happens when they lose their phones? They will have no methods to take back their wallets.
When you buy jewelry or something very expensive, you make sure to protect it. You don’t just put it on a bookshelf, but you keep it in a safe. It usually will be a place you trust. You have to start thinking the same about your passwords you need to safely back it up. A screenshot is not enough. Hacken AI, for example, includes Account Management, Anti-Phishing, Privacy, etc., and with such password and information managers, you can keep your information safe.
Crypto Traders Be Aware
If you are a user, a holder, or do crypto trading, spending 10 minutes and creating a proper plan to back up all your passwords is smart. If you have 4~5 wallets, and your passwords are all over the place on an excel sheet or in a word document on your laptop, it is not safe. It is very risky. You should either put it down on paper, and put it in a very safe place, or in a password management app or tool by trusted makers.
Some people keep their passwords in apps like Evernote. For those people, I want to remind them of the case of Ian Balina, a famous YouTuber who also backed his passwords and information in Evernote. He was hacked online when he was doing a Livestream YouTube video in 2017. Due to that hack, he received damage of more than 2 million dollars’ worth of tokens. The incident was devastating, but the case was quite simple. The backup information for his wallet had been stored in his Evernote. Also, his computer was connected to the internet. The hacker found Ian Balina’s email address on the internet and went to the dark web to find the password of Ian Balina. That was a password Ian Balina had used in his college days, but the hacker still inserted the email address and the password to Ian Balina’s Evernote. Unluckily, the hacker was able to log in as it was still the same password for the Evernote. Then, he got the password, etc. back up to Ian Balina’s wallets, and stole all his assets worth 2 million dollars. This should be a lesson for all of us: don’t keep your backups and passwords in any online tools.
Why Is BTCTurk the Most Secure According to Hacken?
There are different types of people who create and establish exchanges. In most of the cases, unfortunately, the founders of some PR business developers and marketing business people who know how to promote and sell, but don’t know about the technology behind it. In very rare cases, actual IT and CTO are founding and managing exchanges. An example of that is CZ’s Binance; it is quite secure in its security level.
BTCTurk is another rare case where IT people have created the exchange. They are perfectionists in testing their exchange’s cybersecurity and maintenance. Most exchanges do the exchange cybersecurity level test after the launch, but they did it before the launch. Also, it is the biggest exchange in the Middle East region.
Just like in Russia, and anywhere else in the world, there are hackers from all places in the world who try to hack exchanges every day. Certainly, hackers will try to hack BTCTurk as well. Hence because of that danger, they have to take several measures to protect their exchange. I don’t think that it is an unexpected result that BTCTurk is the most secure exchange there is because it is a result of hard work from great IT people.
Turkey has many Bitcoin fanatics, and daily around 3000 BTC is transacted in that area. It is estimated that Turkish users have Bitcoins of approximately 30 billion dollars, and this number is on the rise.
Interviewer , Editor : Lina Kamada
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