Here's $50; Steal The Identity Of Everyone In Baltimore

from the no-problem dept

The fact that it’s easy to steal identities is nothing new. Stories like that have been showing up for ages. However, to demonstrate just how easy it is Johns Hopkins professor Avi Rubin told his students to take $50 and (legally!) try to obtain as much information as possible on people in the city of Baltimore. As you might imagine, it wasn’t particularly difficult, mixing a variety of publicly available info and some social engineering, quite a bit of data was collected. Then, to make the situation even more fun, they compiled the data into a nice, searchable database. Just another reminder of how easy it is to steal someone’s identity. Still, what’s not clear is how to stop such things from happening. Most of this data is public for a reason. So, once again, perhaps a better solution is setting up the data in a way that everyone can manage their own data and see who accesses it. If the data is going to be out there, hiding what’s happening from the people most at risk doesn’t make much sense.

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Comments on “Here's $50; Steal The Identity Of Everyone In Baltimore”

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Harry Monroe says:

Consider the source

Avi Rubin is the guy who once wrote an editorial, from his academic pulpit, criticizing one electronic voting systems while sitting on the board of directors of another company that made a competing electronic voting system. Did he disclose his conflicted interest? Of course not.

Take his works with a large bit of salt.

VotersUnite (user link) says:

Re: Consider the source

Actually, Prof. Rubin immediately disclosed the conflict, tendered his resignation and divested himself from all stock options. By the way, the company he discussed was not competing with the company he was an officer of. The company he was discussing built and sold complete voting systems; the company he was an officer of only does software. Get your facts correct.

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