Black Hat: Kaminsky says Trump is a troll

The Republican nominee is all about getting a strong reaction, security expert says

Donald Trump is a troll looking to say whatever will stir up the most people, according to security expert Dan Kaminsky who delivered the keynote at Black Hat today.

“Don figures out what people don’t want to hear,” and then he says it, Kaminsky said in an interview after his speech.

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“It’s not that Donald Trump is the worst troll ever, it’s just that the American public has never been trolled so effectively. The reaction is the point.”

He says Trump’s controversial public statements are similar to trolls’ comments online: The more outrageous the comment from a troll, the more responses it gets. People who make constructive comments online, by comparison, get little reaction, Kaminsky says. Therefore Trump trolls to draw attention.

Asked what he thinks of Trump’s vs Hillary Clinton’s position on cybersecurity he said he didn’t know enough about their stances to compare. He hadn’t researched them, he says, but he had an opinion on Trump’s. “I don’t think he has one,” he says.

Kaminsky also had advice for people who are losing faith in the security and privacy of the Internet: Buy an iPad. “In a year, it still works,” he says, primarily because it’s so difficult to install any code on one that it’s hard for attackers to exploit them.

In addition, Kaminsky recommends that people put greater demands on their financial institutions if they are concerned about privacy and security of their assets. “Get detection on every single aspect of your financial life,” he says.

Every time a check clears or a charge is made, the customer should get immediate notification via text or email so they can reduce the time window for fraud to be committed against them. If the institution can’t provide that, move your account, he says.

That’s what he does. “If I make a charge on my AMEX, it’s on my phone before my card comes back,” he says.

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