Almost everyone you know is blissfully unaware of the digital footprints we all leave, and how that information can be used against us. The problem is that you understand, and if you spent much time thinking about it you’d probably lose your mind. So as a coping mechanism you choose not to think of how you could be attacked or how your finances could be wrecked, if targeted by the wrong person.
Just in case you didn’t have enough to worry about today, you can check out this great first-person account of a personal pen test on Pando Daily. A NYU professor challenged the folks at Spider Labs to take a week and find out what they could about him.
It wasn’t pretty. But then again, you knew that’s how the story would end.
What I learned is that virtually all of us are vulnerable to electronic eavesdropping and are easy hack targets. Most of us have adopted the credo “security by obscurity,” but all it takes is a person or persons with enough patience and know-how to pierce anyone’s privacy – and, if they choose, to wreak havoc on your finances and destroy your reputation.
The story details the team’s attempts to gain presence on his network and then devices. They finally went through the path of least resistance: his wife. The tactics weren’t overly sophisticated. But once armed with some basic information it was game over. The pen testers gained access to his bank accounts, brokerage information, phone records, and the like.
What do we accomplish by reminding ourselves of the risks of today’s online life? Nothing. You know the risks. You take the risks. The benefits outweigh the risks. And now I’ll crawl back into my fog to become once again blissfully unaware.