Last weekend at …

Last weekend at the H2K2 conference they demonstrated some amazing feats of social engineering by calling a Starbucks store and getting the employee on the phone to give them all kinds of information that he shouldn’t have given. Here’s a story about a college student who used social engineering to get into her school’s computers and change her grades. Of course, she got busted because she changed only her own grades.

Technology Review: Who’s Afraid of 1984?

What happens when you combine Amazon with Google? You get this.

One more reason to cancel your land-based telephone service. If the FCC isn’t going to protect the consumer from telemarketing leeches, then you’re going to have to take measures to protect yourself.

Basic Privacy Protection: When signing up for new services and buying products, I have refused to give the sales droid on the other end any more information than they need. For instance, why did Con Edison ask for my Social Security Number? I refused to give it to them and made them explain why they needed it. When a company requires that I give them a phone number I always give my work phone number and not my cell phone number. When buying things online, I always enter the phone number 000-000-0000 and give them specific email addresses that I can then trace back later to the offending e-commerce company when the spam starts coming. It’s increasingly a consumer-hostile world both online and off. If you don’t protect yourself from spam, marketing pitches and potential identity theft, then nobody will. You have the control; don’t forget that. Only give out minimal information or just enough to allow product/service fulfillment to happen and you sould be OK.

December 17, 1998: Russian political leader calls U.S. and British airstrikes on Iraq a political mistake.

Krasnoyarsk territory governor Aleksandr Lebed has called the U.S. and British attack on Iraq a failure for Russian diplomacy. “Now the U.S. will get its own Chechnya,” he told Interfax on Thursday. “The U.S. is a great power, and its Chechnya will be appropriate,” he said. Lebed said the Muslim world may unite against the U.S.

Sadly, Lebed was killed in a helicopter crash in April of this year. He was widely reported to be the likely successor to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Posted by Cameron Barrett at July 18, 2002 08:25 PM