Talk to Al Jazeera

Jason Moon: Preparing for a ‘digital 9/11’

The professional hacker looks at the murky world of cyber crime and the threat of cyber terrorism.

As a young boy, Jason Moon found a clever way to manipulate computers for immediate personal benefit. 

Human nature is that something always has to happen. We have to have the digital 9/11, the digital Pearl Harbour event before people really sit up and take notice, so unfortunately that's what's gonna happen.

by Jason Moon, hacker

Moon started hacking cash machines to get them to “spit out money… Just because I wanted to buy Star Wars figures and things like that.”

But after a turning point in his life, Moon decided to use his skills for the public good.

Following the 9/11 attacks he joined a group of young hackers determined to pry open networks and unmask the organisations and individuals who had financed the attacks. The result was a list of names handed over to US intelligence officials.

Since then, governments and corporations have caught up with online hackers, but only up to a point. Almost every week we hear how systems are infiltrated – from newspapers to movie studios, to government agencies.

Cyber attacks are carried out by countries as well as armed groups such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

So is there no effective way to stop cyber attacks? Will hackers always be a step ahead? And what could so-called good hackers to to fight back?

Jason Moon, a hacker who now advises governments and corporations on how to prevent cyber attacks, talks to Al Jazeera.