Can a CEO be fired due to a cyber-attack? "Of course," says Christian Fredrikson, CEO of F-Secure, on the Center Stage of the CeBIT Global Conferences 2016.
"Hackers are fully aware that CEOs and other managers are the best targets for a cyber-attack."
Using a lot of information from social networks "social hacking" has become much simpler than ever - and so many unwary CEOs have already lost their job after an attack.
But not only CEOs are worthy targets for hackers. The internet of things is also a major threat to corporate networks. "Nobody intends to hack your fridge simply to turn the light on and off" Fredrikson said. "But the refrigerator could be the gateway to your corporate network."
He also showed that nowadays many groups have an interest in breaking into the networks of companies, individuals and governments: from the "White Hat Hackers" whose interest is to show security gaps via activists like Anonymous, criminal gangs, intelligence and the military to the terrorists from ISIS.
"Everything is interconnected today. That makes life better and easier, but also carries risks, "Fredrikson said. "What happens, for example, if your smart car is hacked?" The conclusion was clear: Every company must be protected - as well as staff in their private networks.
Millions of dollars worth of revenues with ransomware
On the open stage Mikko Hyppönen, CTO of F-Secure, took over from his CEO. He talked about the "unicorns of the cybercrime scene" - by which he meant criminal networks that make multi-billion dollar revenues through criminal attacks - just like the billion-dollar startups in the legetimate world. "A Russian hacker group made 300 million euros last year in Bitcoins using so-called ransomware," said Hyppönen. "And of course that was all profit, because they did not pay taxes."
If a normal company makes 300 million euro profit, then it belongs to the "tech unicorns" with a (virtual) value of more than one billion US dollars. "So we already have the Cybercrime unicorns," Hypponen said. And: "This is not getting better but worse."