Hacking – not a game anymore; it’s Business

Hackers and Social Science Engineering

When we think of hackers, many of us think of geeks sitting in front of a bank of monitors trying to break into things. There’s some truth here, but there’s a whole new generation of very sophisticated hackers, and they’re learning all about your habits.

Most of us are aware that when we take a survey, search a topic on the internet, or buy something online, various companies are gathering data about us, our habits, our age, what we buy, where we shop, and so on. With this info, we are targeted with advertisements, our Google results are filtered and adjusted, and many other focused initiatives.

Hackers are using some of the same social engineering to prey on our older population, but they’re targeting you, too You give them your pet’s name, your anniversary date, the type of care you just bought, the kind of computer you have, how many kids you have, where you vacationed last year, and the list goes on. These details are on your Facebook and LinkedIn profiles, they’re in your blogs, you even provide pictures! It doesn’t take much for the next step on their part; a call or email that includes enough details that make the person sound like they know you. You don’t want to embarrass yourself, so the next thing you know, you’re confirming the details, or falling prey to the scam. Maybe they’ll just try your pet’s name as your password (hope you read my last newsletter about secure passwords!).

Keep your personal information … personal. Don’t be paranoid, but be cautious! — CMW