Identity Theft Is Still Easy: Just Ask People For Their Info

from the this-again? dept

It seems like every few months there’s yet another story put out by yet another security company with some gimmicky way of pointing out just how easy social engineering is. Usually, these involve giving people something trivial in exchange for the info they want. It can be a ballpoint pen or a piece of chocolate. Of course, a year and a half ago, one firm showed that the exchange in question is completely meaningless, because people will give you their data for absolutely nothing at all. Of course, you hope that all of these publicity stunts, combined with all the stories of identity theft and data leaks in the last year might have made people a bit more aware. Nope. The latest one of these publicity stunt reports shows that, once again, people will give out all sorts of private info in exchange for nothing at all. So, no reason for criminals to break into systems or pay for access to large databases. Just ask people for whatever you want to know about, and you have a decent chance of finding out.

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Comments on “Identity Theft Is Still Easy: Just Ask People For Their Info”

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Mysterious Bob says:

How do you know the info is accurate?

How did the RSA team determine that the people who responded to their survey provided accurate information? As I’m sure most people who read Techdirt do, I lie like crazy whenever I’m asked for personal information on a Web site. This extends into meatspace. I’ve gone so far as to sign “FSM” on (with a swirly bug-eyed doodle beside it) on various charitable donation forms. If I were approached in Central Park and asked for personal info I’d have a lot of fun making up answers.

–Mysterious Bob.

Dick Wexelblat says:

true or false, who can tell?

I just registered on a web site (to buy Dutch licorice if you care) and for whatver reason they demanded my date of birth “Date of Birth (required) (example 06/21/1970)” So I entered 06/21/1970, of course. My grocery store discount card has me as W.G. Harding, 1600 Penna Ave, Washington DC. Why tell the truth when they intrude?

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