How not to get hacked, by Mr Robot’s tech adviser (and former hacker) Kor Adana

Network security expert, former hacker and Mr Robot's technology adviser Kor Adana reveals 10 ways to avoid being cyber-attacked by someone like Elliot...




“It’s easier now to protect yourself now than it was even five, 10 years ago,” Adana tells us. “There are a lot of services out there that use something called two-step verification or multi-factor authentication. I think it’s a great thing. If your email accounts or Amazon accounts or social media accounts offer two-step verification, I would enable it.”


“Use a different, complex, strong password for each account that you have. A lot of people make the mistake of using the same password for all their accounts, so if one of those gets compromised the hacker can just try that password on all your other accounts and end up completely onto you. The most recent famous example of this is Mark Zuckerberg’s Pinterest and Twitter accounts. They had real simple passwords that were the same, so once the hacker got one of them he was able to try it on all other accounts and was able to compromise another account.”


“Use complex pin codes and unlock patterns on your mobile device. I don’t think people are protective enough of their mobile devices – you have a lot of apps on there that store cash credentials for your accounts, so if someone is able to unlock your mobile device you’re giving them the keys to the castle.”


“I would be very aware of the security questions that you use for your accounts. Make sure it’s not easy to guess the answers. Actually, for my security questions, I just flat out lie. The problem with that is you have to remember what the lie is. But I completely lie and I have my go-to lies for my security questions and I don’t tell anyone what they are.”


“If I can guess what your mother’s maiden name [a commonly used security question] is because you post on social media a lot about your mum and you happen to include her maiden name on there, that’s a dumb move. So be careful about what you share on social media. I think people overshare far too often and it makes them vulnerable.”


“For the love of God, people need to keep their software up to date. Get into the habit of updating to the latest versions of apps on your phone, and OSs on your machines and on your tablets.”


“Don’t actually click links in emails. Don’t make yourself a target for fishing scams. Even if emails appear to seem legitimate, get into the habit of mousing over links and see if the url address is in the same text as the actual link. If you’re still unsure, copy and paste the link just so you know where you’re going.

“We showcase that in season one. That’s how Elliot hacked Shayla. I think he just sends her a social media password reset fishing email and she just clicks it.”


“I think people should be cautious about ‘ratting’ [where hackers use malicious programs to gain remote control of victims’ computers]. [But] if you’re up to date with the software and you’re using good security practices, the odds of you getting compromised in that way, they go down. People always talk about putting tape over your webcam, but if someone has access to your webcam they probably have access to your microphone and they definitely have access to your files. So the webcam is the least of my worries.” 


“Make sure you connect to secure wifi networks. Don’t use unsecure wifi networks.” 


“If you’re running antivirus and up to date anti-malware tools and make sure all your programs are up to date, that’s a good way of keeping yourself safe. Just make smart decisions to try to prevent an attack from happening. If that does happen, wipe your system clean and try to start again and use some better security procedures.” 


Mr Robot season two is available from today on Amazon Prime