Cyber Insights for 21st December 2016 from The National Cyber Skills Centre
And so this is Christmas…How much time are you taking off? Just a few days, or are you ‘shutting down’ between Christmas and New Year. I don’t blame you if you do, whats the point of going into the office, it’s very quiet and not much is happening. Everything will be fine until January 2nd.
If I was a cyber criminal and I can promise you that I’m not, this time of year when the most people are distracted by presents, mince pies and family conflicts, would be the perfect time to undertake an attack on the less protected members of the business community.
I’m not alone in these thoughts as distraction has been used to great effect in many crimes. In the film adaptation of Frederick Forsyths cold war thriller, The Fourth Protocol, MI5 officer John Preston (Michael Caine) breaks into the residence of British government official George Berenson (Anton Rodgers) on New Year’s Eve. He gains access to a safe, by ‘gently’ blowing off its doors. The explosion, muffled by an ingenious use of a plastic bag full of water, occurs exactly on the stroke of midnight, when fireworks are going off and everybody is looking the other way. This wasn’t an opportunistic crime of course, reconnaissance had been undertaken, as had planning. He used a wonderful social engineering trick of appearing drunk on New Years Eve (who isn’t) in order to confuse the doorman and gain access to the building of his target.