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RE: Social Engineering
From: Mike Fetherston <mike_sha () shaw ca>
Date: Thu, 05 Jan 2006 13:34:13 -0500

I think that for any solution to work (read: be *used* by the users) it has
to be simple and non-intrusive.  As a user, I would not like to have to do a
lookup on an external website to see if a caller is legitimate when asking
for information.  What if the internet connection is down?  What if the
server is cooked?  What would be the payment system?  How would that site
guarantee 100% security to it's (already paranoid) customers?  Is *that*
site "immune" to social engineering attacks?

For Idea #2, do you use Outlook reminders?  I have co-workers here with 130
reminders in their list.  The pop-up is simply ignored.  For this to work it
would better to enforce the policies instead of putting the data and user in
an honour system.  The use of ACLs and RBAC would fit well here.

I'm sorry to be negative about your ideas, but I share the sentiment that
social engineering can be overcome with proper training and education.
Software can be an element of that, but you need to train your users to
recognize potential social engineering attacks and to know when/how to use
your software.

To borrow the oft used quote, "You cannot fix a social problem through
technology."

Mike Fetherston

OK, Everyone seems to think that Social Engineering cant be solved with
software, so
I shall show you some of the ideas I have to defeat SE with software.

Idea 1: A Directory site.

The site will be used by companies to find out if Person X works at
company
Y.
how will this work?

Well, first an admin is nominated from the company (pref. someone who is
"up" on security i.e. a sys admin)
This admin will register the company with the site,
Then he will register everyone in the company with the site

If you want to view info in the site, you will have to use the un/pass
sent
when the admin registered you,
to prevent terminated users staying on the server, en email is sent from
the
site every X days with a link
(like the one securityfocus sends for you to finish your registration)
if you do not reply to the email after X days, you are put into an MIA
list
(if someone searches for you, you will not be found...
but you are not deleted either)
when this happens the admin will receive an email asking why you haven't
replied and if you should be deleted.

if someone tries clicking on the link after the expiration time for a new
link to be sent (or if you are deleted), nothing will happen..
just incase the person who got canned tired to reactivate his/herself.

I don't think I have covered all the bases here, but I will do more
thinking
later.

=------------------------------------------------=

Idea 2. Folder security information.

In Mitnicks book he says it is a good idea to rate information by security
priority.

e.g. If its Priority 1, then you cant send it tom anyone... even if they
work in the same company
P2, you can send it to a verified person in the company
etc...

So I want to write a program then, when you open a folder on the file
server, a message will pop-up saying:

The info. in this folder is Priority X,
this means you... blahablahblah..

Again, I will work more on this idea... and I have the added bonus of
testing it out where I work.

=----------------------------------------------=

So, let me know what you think, it would be interesting to hear if this
ideas are silly.

Regards,

Davie Elliott





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---------------------------------------------------------------------------
EARN A MASTER OF SCIENCE IN INFORMATION ASSURANCE - ONLINE
The Norwich University program offers unparalleled Infosec management
education and the case study affords you unmatched consulting experience.
Tailor your education to your own professional goals with degree
customizations including Emergency Management, Business Continuity Planning,
Computer Emergency Response Teams, and Digital Investigations.

http://www.msia.norwich.edu/secfocus
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