Posted by: thescoundrel | September 5, 2008

Mining the Internet for Your Life and Money

Wow it is hard to imagine the amount of wealth I have missed out on considering all the winning notifications from world wide lotteries that I have received and that I have not returned their E-mail requests for my personal information. I must get close to a dozen lottery winning notifications a day. Of course the really well-known secret about all the lottery E-mails are that they are basically just a phishing expedition from greedy individuals hoping to catch the big one –> your personal information which they can then use to find an open crack in your Internet defenses that gives them access/control to your website and/or money.

In an interesting experiment a writer for Scientific American, Herbert Thompson, decided to see what a little personal information can help you get Internet access to. Armed with a name, state residence, the company she worked for and age guessing ability he went mining for whatever information about a friend that he could find on the Internet that would allow him access to her Internet accounts. With just those few basics of information he was eventually able to break into several of her Internet accounts that would have allowed access to her bank account. The Internet is basically a great way to enrich your life but any personal information you scatter across the Internet also contains a sharp-edged blade that can be used to slice and dice your personal life apart.

Link to the Scientific American/Herbert Thompson article – How I stole Someone’s Identity.

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