Your Identity For Sale

Concurrently and subsequently with “Mock the Week” last night, there was an astonishing investigation on the security, or rather lack of it, of our data.  This was in the BBC3 show, “Your Identity for Sale” from the Mischief series.  You can catch it here for a few days before it’s pulled; https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00ddwmf

Playing some sort of quirky dizzy blonde, Rebecca Wilcox weaved her way surprisingly easily through all sorts of security checks.

This is the standard way that “hackers” break into computer systems.  They don’t spend hours pinging sites with random passwords – no, the best way is to simply phone people up and by a process called, human engineering, simply wheedle enough information from various people to get what they need.

In Wilcox’s case, she only needed one call to Tesco’s Clubcard Call Centre to get everything she needed to know about a person….  She could then have walked away with all that person’s property in the scenario presented!

The big coup of the show was to get enough info on Michael Wills MP, the Minister of State for Justice, and sign up for a shed load of credit and store cards in his name.  These could then have been easily used to purchase goods leaving our erstwhile representative with a hefty shopping bill but no goods!  She handed them over to him!

Wills claimed that because he was a public figure all the info was in the public domain (which shows an astionishing disregard in my opinion), so it was an easy thing to do.

But in actual fact, the methods employed could have been applied to anyone in this country!  Wilcox and her team showed exactly how to do it.  You don’t need to be famous – all you need is to have your data in computers, spread across the country – and everyone has!  A point was made about the planned ID Card miasma – surely now’s the time to ditch them?

Unfortunately, the TV Review in The Scotsman appeared to miss all this.  It was exactly because she appeared to be a dizzy blonde that Wilcox strode through the security barriers.  This is how con-people work – they aren’t what they seem to be!

This post on this consumer site spotted all this instantly.  Perhaps they should swap jobs!

By Strangely

Founding member of the band Crawling Chaos from the North-East of England