Former hacker: 'Hackers will always find a way to get data'

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In October 2012, US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta warned of an attack that would paralyse and shock the nation and create a profound new sense of vulnerability. He was referring to the risk of cyber attacks - what he called a "Cyber Pearl Harbour".

Now, the New York Times newspaper says hackers from China have been repeatedly penetrating its computer networks, searching for files on wealth amassed by the family of China's Premier Wen Jiabao.

Robert Schifreen, a former hacker turned security consultant, told the BBC's Jon Sopel that criminals are aware that we are increasingly "living our lives online" and they are taking advantage of that.

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