Computer (in)Security [A AN I PG PI W]

Now you probably read a lot about identity theft, and may have trouble sleeping at night. The first thing is you have better odds winning the lottery or being hit by lightning, assuming you are not an idiot.

What I mean by that is do not reply to an eBay or bank request for your password to be verified; do not send information to that British lawyer who has discovered you are the last surviving relative to the Duke of Cornwall (you didn't know that?), and above all set your computer to not allow guest access.

You see, what I sometimes do to alleviate boredom when traveling is to check the network to see what other servers (i.e. laptops) are on the network. Now as I use a Mac, I do not worry about the security of the computer. Yes, before you start, I know Macs have some potential security flaws, which are usually fixed quickly. And a Mac never got infected from surfing a website, nor opening a .JPG or .PDF file, nor from playing a Sony/BMG music CD with a "rootkit" infection. A Windows PC is notoriously insecure, but I digress...

Anyway, when you see a computer on the network, just try and log-in. My favorite is when "guest" access is open or they have the ID of "guest" on, but the password (which is "guest" also) is pretty easy to guess. I have also seen "Admin" (ID & password) and "Test".  I even ran across a laptop which looked like it might be someone else from my employer! I connect and reviewed an address book, and sure enough it was! When I told IT, they just said something to the effect that "oh yes, all the Service techs in that Division have their laptops unsecured, so they can share files easier". 

Anyway, I have had fun over the years. Whether it is getting someone's Qatar wedding photos or downloading the entire Queen discography I am amazed. Later I'll tell you about BlueJacking.

No comments: