Infamous hacker Kevin Mitnick sniffs fiber, reads email | ZDNET

Mitnick demonstrates in under five minutes how he could get near your network, set up a clandestine connection, sniff your network, grab your passwords, email, anything sent "over the wire" unencrypted, and disappear within minutes. And you'd never catch him doing it.

Security companies and their customers are increasingly playing the attribution game - the battle to identify the world's most sophisticated hackers. Crimping Battery Lugs

Infamous hacker Kevin Mitnick sniffs fiber, reads email | ZDNET

Although it isn't obvious from the video, the hardware item that they discuss is an optic fiber clip-on coupler. It's not designed for the purpose that Mitnick uses it for, but it works and that's the "beauty" of being a hacker: You use hardware and software in creative ways to get the information and the results you want.

The video shows just how easy it is to eavesdrop on conversations on-the-wire, even if the wire is fiber optic cable. Standard cabling is easier still to tap without cutting any wires by simply using alligator clips to attach to the cables. However, if someone wants your data bad enough, he can quickly splice a cable and plug both ends into a small hub and collect all the data he wants. Cutting your cables isn't a problem for a thief and yes, they will do it.

So, someone wants to place a "vampire" tap into your network and there's not much you can do about it if he or she has physical access and a few minutes of uninterrupted time. What do you do?

As Mitnick explains in the video, use encrypted connections for everything you do and that includes email, chat, web browsing, remote connectivity -- everything.

Infamous hacker Kevin Mitnick sniffs fiber, reads email | ZDNET

Aluminum Cable Lug Take a few minutes to watch the video and then take a few more to write back, in the comments section, to tell me what you think.