TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Online Scammers Pose as Company Executives in 'Spear-Phishing'

Re: Online Scammers Pose as Company Executives in 'Spear-Phishing'

mc (
Thu, 18 Aug 2005 10:25:36 -0400

This type of phishing by phone was already known by 1975. It was one of the
first computer security issues I ever heard about. "Hello, I'm from the
computer center [or, I'm in the corporate office] and I'm working on your
account. Can you tell me your password?"

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Yes, it is an older style of phishing
and does go back twenty years at least. I do recall an office I worked
in during the early 1980's which had credit bureau terminal machines,
and on the wall behind the machines, a poster of a very stern looking
Uncle Sam, his fingers pursed over his lips, with a message saying
"Uncle Sam Wants YOU to Keep the Trust. Do not let other employees get
YOU in trouble ... neither your supervisor nor any executive of your
company is _ever_ going to ask you to provide them with your password,
nor ask you to 'pull a bureau report' for them personally, other than
in the regular course of your employment. If you receive a telephone
call from someone claiming to be in authority to do that, please let
your supervisor know immediatly." The message then concluded by
telling the penalties for doing so: "Under the law, providing credit
bureau information to an unathorized person is punishable by (whatever).
Why risk your job and your freedom by helping someone who claims to be
_your friend_ in this way? They're not your friend; they're just trying
to use you." Then a smaller picture of the stern Uncle Sam once again.
Finally at the bottom of the poster the statement, "Has anyone ever
bothered you in this way? Do you want to talk to someone about a
situation at your place of employment? Call 800 - (whatever) in complete
confidence." PAT]

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