Friday, December 03, 2010

Bring out the Dancing Pigs!

"Given a choice between dancing pigs and security, users will pick dancing pigs every time."

Once someone explained that line to me, I loved it. Basically, Bruce Schneier (a US computer security consultant and cryptographer) explained, "If the computer prompts him with a warning screen like: "The applet DANCING PIGS could contain malicious code that might do permanent damage to your computer, steal your life's savings, and impair your ability to have children," he'll click OK without even reading it. Thirty seconds later he won't even remember that the warning screen even existed."

That basically seems to summarize computer security these days. Users often get taken in by phishing schemes, download viruses, give out personal information, and do other things that compromise security...for the promise of dancing pigs. Smart hackers do this and create attractive links that people will click on.

As you can see, there are tutorials taking potential phishers through the process of stealing information. Stopping sites posting information like that is like playing Whac-A-Mole.

Congrats, you shut down a phishing site! Put down the hammer, I don't think others will pop up!

I do not know that most Americans are adequately prepared to figure out what sites are legitimate and which ones are not (and to read warnings). Sadly, people seem to learn by making mistakes and losing their personal information or getting hacked.

No comments: