The computer systems that run our world—the ones that secure our financial information, protect our privacy and even keep our power grid running—all have a critical, unpatchable weakness, says Christopher Mims writing for the Wall Street Journal. It’s the humans who use them.
As the toll of data breaches and hacks mounts, and the specter of a “cyber Pearl Harbor” looms, it’s worth asking: how do we defend against a breach not of our computers, but of the minds sitting next to them?
Facebook, for example, is a huge trove of everything from our contacts to our whereabouts, and tons of information about us that we don’t even know we are revealing can be gleaned from it by clever algorithms, from our tastes to our politics.Friending strangers on Facebook through fake accounts— and then leveraging mutual connections to gain access to the network of a mark—is a common tactic of the “social engineering” style of hacking that is proliferating among today's bad guys.
You might ask who would be naive enough to be taken in. The answer is plenty. In one study of 150,000 test emails sent to two of its security partners, researchers at Verizon Enterprise Solutions found that 23% of recipients opened the email, and 11% clicked on the attachment, which under normal circumstances would have carried a payload of malware. Or, as Verizon’s 2015 data breach report so colorfully put it, “a campaign of just 10 emails yields a greater than 90% chance that at least one person will become the criminal’s prey, and from there, it’s bag it, tag it, and sell it to the butcher.”
But how can you keep human error out of the equation, for example,if you’re a J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.—which recently suffered a breach of data about 76 million households—and you have more than 250,000 employees?
Steve and Sinclair review a fascinating Wall Street Journal piece. In the Q & A segment, estate planning attorney Richard Dwornik joins the A-Team to discuss real world situations where a general durable power of attorney in combination with a trust could have worked but didn't, and why. In Segment 4, Steve reviews a real world Sting that you may have thought was just a story for a movie.