Can security ever beat PEBKAC?

Can security ever beat PEBKAC?

Summary: When it comes to online security, can we ever overcome basic human nature? It seems that people are always too trusting, and the bad guys are always getting better at taking advantage of that trust.

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TOPICS: Security
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When it comes to online security, can we ever overcome basic human nature? It seems that people are always too trusting, and the bad guys are always getting better at taking advantage of that trust.

It's the old PEBKAC issue. The problem exists between keyboard and chair.

Two themes in the news recently have been feeding my pessimism.

First, the Australian Institute of Criminology reported that Victorians are still falling for the same old scams. Of the victims who admitted how much they'd lost, the average amount was $12,000.

Second, there's been yet another report of forged digital certificates, this time from Dutch certification authority DigiNotar. So even if people are doing the right thing, they can still be fooled into logging in to a fake website.

On Patch Monday this week, we explore some of these issues and more, with two information security specialists: Paul Ducklin, head of technology for the Asia-Pacific region with Sophos, and Chris Gatford, proprietor of Hack Labs, specialist in penetration testing.

Patch Monday also includes my usual look at some of last week's news headlines.

To leave an audio comment on the program, Skype to stilgherrian, or phone Sydney 02 8011 3733.

Running time: 27 minutes, 24 seconds

Topic: Security

About

Stilgherrian is a freelance journalist, commentator and podcaster interested in big-picture internet issues, especially security, cybercrime and hoovering up bulldust.

He studied computing science and linguistics before a wide-ranging media career and a stint at running an IT business. He can write iptables firewall rules, set a rabbit trap, clear a jam in an IBM model 026 card punch and mix a mean whiskey sour.

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