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.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 7th, 2005 @ 6:05pm

    No Subject Given

    Hey Mike,

    Can I have your Full Name, SSN, Home Address, Phone, Mother's maiden name, and favorite pet's name please?

    Eh? Hey come on, I'll even give you nothing at all. Whaddaya say??

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Jonathan Smith, Nov 7th, 2005 @ 7:15pm

    Re: No Subject Given

    Why sure Anonymous Coward, I think I saw a post of yours somewhere else that I liked.

    Jonathan Smith
    137 Kings Ave

    There you go, hope you enjoy it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 7th, 2005 @ 7:17pm

    Re: No Subject Given

    He already has nothing: I gave him nothing for christmas last year.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Jared Anderson, Nov 7th, 2005 @ 8:43pm

    Re: No Subject Given

    hahaha,people now a days...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 7th, 2005 @ 9:58pm

    No Subject Given

    Online job applications ask for everything including SS number.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Mysterious Bob, Nov 7th, 2005 @ 10:31pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Dick Wexelblat, Nov 8th, 2005 @ 10:03am

    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?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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