“Not Your Everyday Hack”: Cyber Security Wiz Kids Chime in on Sony Hack

A group of North Hollywood High School students who are national champions in cyber security are chiming in on the massive security breach at Sony Pictures and offering tips on how the public can protect themselves from hackers.

Their specialty is protecting computer networks from hackers, the same kind that broke into Sony Pictures last month and forced the studio to cancel its release of the film "The Interview."

The students said the attack was so sophisticated, it likely was planned well in advance.

“They probably spent a whole year or so just trying to find a single vulnerability to take advantage of,” said student Isaac Kim.

“It’s not your everyday hack,” added Henry Birge-Lee.

After North Hollywood High won the CyberPatriot VI competition in March, there were meetings with military generals and offers of college internships, all for a class that started as a way to get children away from video games and out of the house.

“Their parents are just so happy they (the children) are associating with other real human beings, yet the kids are happy because it's computer stuff,” said teacher Jay Gehringer.

The students are now aiming for their second straight national title.

For the rest of us who aren't so computer literate, they have tips against hacking:

  • Be careful about what you download and the websites you visit.
  • Have different levels of passwords. Financial passwords should be the most secure.
  • Keep software up to date to protect against vulnerabilities.

The children say that when they come across a problem they cannot solve, they simply Google it.

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