Edition: United States  
One News Page
“Probably the fastest-access news portal in the world”
> >

‘Silicon Valley’ Fact Check: Can You Hack a Major Tech Conference? Renowned Programmer Weighs In

The Wrap Monday, 19 June 2017
‘Silicon Valley’ Fact Check: Can You Hack a Major Tech Conference? Renowned Programmer Weighs InWarning: “Silicon Valley” spoilers ensue. 

In the latest episode of HBO’s “Silicon Valley” (aptly titled “Hooli-Con”), the guys sought to covertly grab attendee data at Hooli’s annual tech convention. Beyond the moral boundaries being crossed — which Jared did not want to step over — Richard, Dinesh and Gilfoyle had a colossal challenge on their hands: setting up rogue wifi “pineapples” around the convention in order to have users login to their system and allow the Pied Piper team to pull information.

It’s an entertaining storyline, though it seems pretty inconceivable a small team of engineers could hack a major tech conference as did the gang in this season’s penultimate episode.

*Also Read:* 'Silicon Valley' Fact Check: Are 'Blood Boys' a Thing?

But it’s not completely out of the question, according to software guru Jeff Atwood — co-founder of Stack Overflow, a programming community with more than seven million members.

“It is partially credible, as people would connect to the local malicious wifi and you could serve them ‘fake’ versions of sites,” said Atwood in an interview with TheWrap. “However! It is almost completely mitigated by HSTS [HTTP Strict Transport Security] which any large site would definitely already be using.”

In layman’s terms: If Apple or Google were lazy enough to use a vulnerable internet connection for its attendees, it would create an opening for hackers to funnel users towards their wifi. Of course, this is rarely the case.

*Also Read:* New 'Silicon Valley' App Tells You if You're Eating a Hot Dog or Not

There is one sticking point for the “Silicon Valley” crew in this scenario, though. To have attendees skip over their hack, it would “require that either the user has visited this URL before, or the URL is already big enough to be on the HSTS browser preload list,” according to Atwood.

Atwood laid out three ways a “small window of attack” could be pulled off like the “Silicon Valley” maneuver:

1. If it is a new HTTPS URL the user has not visited before, and it is not on the HSTS preload list.

*Also Read:* 'Silicon Valley' Fact Check: Could Shazam for Food Really Get Funded?

2. If that URL is not HTTPS (very implausible, because every credible big site uses HTTPS these days).
3. The URL is HTTPS but the app or website is not using HSTS preload. Sort of plausible, but a BIG security oversight for a company of any major size!
Got all that? In reality, a data breach that could enable a “Silicon Valley”-style attack is more likely to come from a small startup rather than a tech giant like Facebook (or the fictional Hooli). It’d also help if the hypothetical company’s security team turned a blind eye to the perpetrators — just as Hooli’s team did in the latest episode of HBO’s comedy series.
*Related stories from TheWrap:*

'Silicon Valley' Fact Check: Is Jack Barker Based on Steve Ballmer? (Video)

'Silicon Valley' Star Zach Woods Talks T.J. Miller's 'Sad' Exit, Jared's Secret Friends

Where Does TJ Miller's 'Silicon Valley' Exit Leave the Show — and HBO?
Share on
Share on
Post on 
Share by
Source: AOL Build VOD - < > Embed
News video: Haley Joel Osment Chats About "Silicon Valley"

Haley Joel Osment Chats About "Silicon Valley" 26:33

Haley Joel Osment takes the BUILD stage to discuss his recurring role in HBO's hit tech comedy series, "Silicon Valley." The series follows the struggle of Richard Hendricks, an engineer trying to build his own company. Osment plays a tech whiz who responds to the unconventional M.O. of Erlic. In...

Recent related news

As Silicon Valley gets ‘crazy,’ Midwest beckons tech investors

Local entrepreneurs and big investors are scouting the Midwest for startup investments that range up to tens of millions of dollars, far more than local angel...
bizjournals - BusinessAlso reported by •Mashable

AIM to Highlight REL61™ at the SMTA Silicon Valley Expo & Tech Forum on November 29th, 2017

AIM Solder, a leading global manufacturer of solder assembly materials for the electronics industry, is pleased to announce their participation at the SMTA...
PRWeb - Press ReleasesAlso reported by •Mashable

Former Uber board member and VC Bill Gurley says it’s time for Silicon Valley’s unicorns to ‘grow up’ and get profitable

Former Uber board member and VC Bill Gurley says it’s time for Silicon Valley’s unicorns to ‘grow up’ and get profitable
· *Tech venture capitalist Bill Gurley thinks Silicon Valley 'unicorns' are growing up and realizing they need to be profitable.* · *But he also said that...
Business Insider - BusinessAlso reported by •bizjournals

How a Nashville tech company attracted Silicon Valley's attention without trying

Silicon Valley is the epicenter of the country's technology boom, but unlike other startups that salivate for West Coast investors, Nashville-based Built...
bizjournals - BusinessAlso reported by •Mashable

You Might Like

Other recent news in US

Chilly weather forecast for 2017 Macy's THANKSGIVING Day Parade in NYC and Philadelphia paradeHere Are The Major Restaurants Open On THANKSGIVING DAY
Thanksgiving, Net Neutrality, Ratko MLADIC: Your Wednesday Evening BriefingTHANKSGIVING DINNER Disasters: Expert Advice On How To Salvage Any Meal
USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar PLEADS GUILTY to sex abuseKids Get Free Coats on 'BLACK FRIDAY,' Courtesy of Knights of Columbus
3 missing after US NAVY plane crashes into PacificFOX NEWS FIRST: Aircraft carrying 11 crashes in PACIFIC OCEAN en route to USS Ronald Reagan
U.S. Calls Myanmar's Actions Against Rohingya ETHNIC CLEANSINGTrump At Mar-A-Lago; Melania, Barron Get White House CHRISTMAS Tree


Environmentally friendly: One News Page is hosted on servers powered solely by renewable energy
© 2017 One News Page Ltd. All Rights Reserved.  |  About us  |  Disclaimer  |  Press Room  |  Terms & Conditions  |  Privacy Policy  |  Content Accreditation
 RSS  |  News for my Website  |  Free news search widget  |  Help  |  Contact us  |  DMCA / Content Removal
How are we doing? Send us your feedback  |   LIKE us on Facebook   FOLLOW us on Twitter   FIND us on Google+