Small Business: Hackers For Hire

Banks pay TraceSecurity and other companies to steal from them--and then show them the holes in their defenses

Jim Stickley and his accomplice, Dayle Alsbury, adjust their fake fire-inspector uniforms, then saunter into a brown brick credit-union building. Their walkie-talkies are blaring with a recorded dispatcher's voice, downloaded from the Internet and transmitted from their getaway car. After they flash their homemade badges, the two men are waved behind the tellers' counters and into the inner sanctum of the credit union. Within just half an hour, they have gained access to the entire computer network, security system and customer data--unbeknownst to any employee on the premises.

Thankfully, they're not genuine bad guys. Their fake uniforms and IDs are supplied by...

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