Thursday, April 7, 2016

Proof Almost 50% of People are Computer Security Morons

In what’s perhaps the most enthralling episode of the hacker drama Mr. Robot, one of F-Society’s hackers drops a bunch of USB sticks in the parking lot of a prison in the hopes somebody will pick one up and plug it into their work computer, giving the hackers a foothold in the network. Of course, eventually, one of the prison employees takes the bait.

Using booby-trapped USB flash drives is a classic hacker technique. But how effective is it really? A group of researchers at the University of Illinois decided to find out, dropping 297 USB sticks on the school’s Urbana-Champaign campus last year.

As it turns out, it really works. In a new study, the researchers estimate that at least 48 percent of people will pick up a random USB stick, plug it into their computers, and open files contained in them. Moreover, practically all of the drives (98 percent) were picked up or moved from their original drop location. Very few people said they were concerned about their security. Sixty-eight percent of people said they took no precautions... more