Theregister.co.uk | Apr 17 2007 | link
Chocolate the key to uncovering PC passwords
Three years since the last time they pulled this stunt, cheeky researchers can still wangle IT passwords with free chocolate and flirting.
A train station survey of 300 office workers carried out by Infosecurity Europe researchers in London revealed the disturbing statistic that 64 per cent would hand over their office computer passwords for a bar of chocolate “and a smile”…
…Good-looking, chocolate-bearing researchers apparently had to probe a bit harder with the IT professionals than random train platform suits in order to get passwords, but the questions were simple.
Researchers asked IT conference delegates if they knew what the most common password is and then asked them what their password was. Only 22 per cent of IT professionals revealed their “Open Sesame” at this point, compared to 40 per cent of non-techie commuters. If at first they refused to give their password, researchers would then ask if it was based on a child, pet, football team, etc, and then suggest potential passwords by guessing the name of their child or team. By using this social engineering technique, a further 42 per cent of IT professionals and 22 per cent of commuters inadvertently revealed their password.
More proof that the largest risk in any network is the human component. Anyone want a Snickers bar?