People Skills in the Digital Age Social Engineering and Owning the Box

Essay by alatheaUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, February 2005

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People Skills in the Digital Age

Social Engineering and Owning the Box

Aka "Alathea"

Theory of Information Systems, ISM 215


People Skills in the Digital Age:

Social Engineering and Owning the Box

I once worked as a Security guard for Quebecor World in Lincoln, NE. Nothing glamorous by any means, but unique in the fact that my 5.75 an hour rent-a-cop security guard job required me to go through a 1 month background check complete with credit record and criminal record pulls, interviews with the State Patrol, and multiple inquiries into my previous employment history. Why would this be necessary for such a mundane job? Who cares about the criminal background of a security guy on third shift at a printer?

Quebecor prints, among other things, AOL CDs and pre-approved credit card applications and has at any time several hundred thousand names, addresses, phone numbers, credit card numbers, and social security numbers in (relatively) plain view.

The dumpsters are locked outside. A special shredder devours waste paper into confetti pieces smaller than the end of an infants little fingernail, and then shreds them again. Not that these precautions are not a good start, but in about 10 minutes, an employee inside with a grudge or someone with access to some money can enlist the help of a for profit company to reconstruct paper shreddings into a semblance of the original document or just walk out of the facility outright with thousands of peoples' private lives in their hands. Noticed anything unusual in your credit report lately?

In this paper I researched social engineering. I examine a bit of its history, designate it as a non-technical means of obtaining information about and ultimately entry into a computer information system, I looked at two prominent 'old school' social engineers. I...