The Mainframe Security Threat, Inside and Out

It’s not easy to hack the mainframe, but it is possible. Naturally, it’s easier for company insiders, who already have privileged access to key mainframe information, to wreak havoc. In a recent SHARE presentation, Charles Mills, Director of Advanced Projects for SIEM solutions provider CorreLog, Inc., recounted the story of John Skermer, an IMS programming manager at Barclays Bank who was convicted of diverting millions from the company to his personal account. While it is harder for external hackers to access your data, they also remain a threat. Mills told the story of hacker and The Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm, who managed to find his way into the z/OS mainframe at Logica, a Swedish IT firm, and the account of a copyright lawyer for the Motion Pictures Association of America. External hackers need access to privileged information like IDs and terminal or IP addresses. The challenge is that some of that information is being quietly exposed, and hackers keep an eye out for it. 

Read more about tools that mainframers can use to prevent data breaches such as these and watch Mills’ full presentation from SHARE Providence.