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Vacation Checklist: Put Lights on Timer, Hire Petsitter, Feed Facebook?

by John Pescatore  |  July 7, 2011  |  2 Comments

One of the major aspects of the advanced threats that are getting past “check the box” defenses these days is the level of targeting – these aren’t your grandfather’s worms that are succeeding today. There have been many attacks targeting CXOs that appear to have done research on social media to personalize phishing email and even attack web site content.

Basically the attacks are taking advantage of changes in social norms around sharing information. This may seem to be something new, something driven by social networking, but the reality is that social networking is a symptom of the changes in social norms, not the cause. Heck, the Jerry Springer show debuted 20 years ago and we’ve had people spilling their guts on TV¬†reality shows ever since.

But social network sites do raise the ante because the guts spilled stay spilled and are easily searchable. The web site PleaseRobMe.com had been demonstrating how silly people were in posting “We’re having a great time here in Hawaii away from our unguarded home…” but now The Register reports that for a small fee a home security firm is offering its customers a “Feed Facebook, Tend to Twitter” kind of service – the logical equivalent of putting your lights on a timer.

Of course, if you are tweeting about how great the poi is at the luau at the same time that your security firm is tweeting for you about how you are sitting in your living room petting your Rottweiler and cleaning your shotgun…

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John Pescatore
VP Distinguished Analyst
11 years at Gartner
32 years IT industry

John Pescatore is a vice president and research fellow in Gartner Research. Mr. Pescatore has 32 years of experience in computer, network and information security. Prior to joining Gartner, Mr. Pescatore was senior consultant for Entrust Technologies and Trusted Information Systems… Read Full Bio


Thoughts on Vacation Checklist: Put Lights on Timer, Hire Petsitter, Feed Facebook?


  1. Joey Farr says:

    with social media sites around i think online marketer’s life is easier than ever. thanks to those who started it.

  2. Jay Heiser says:

    I wonder how soon it will be before we have to change our idea of what constitutes a privileged user. There seem to be some service providers that are letting their admins get phished, which suggests they are letting them read email and surf on the same PCs they use for administrative and privileged access. I suggested we need to clamp down on these sloppy practices and a Gartner client responded that execs were privileged users, too, and maybe they shouldn’t be allowed to manipulate spreadsheets or deal with proprietary data on the same PCs they were using to get phished on.



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