Risk

1/22/2007
01:53 PM
Alexander Wolfe
Alexander Wolfe
Commentary
Connect Directly
Facebook
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

The Wily 9-Year-Old Who 'Hacked' Airport Security

They say social engineering is the most potent form of hacking, and now we have a 9-year-old who's proved it.

They say social engineering is the most potent form of hacking, and now we have a 9-year-old who's proved it.Social engineering is that easiest of all hacking techniques, where instead of doing the tough work of breaking through a security system, one exploits people's natural inclination to trust others. Kevin Mitnick, the hacker who served five years in prison for breaking into corporate computer systems in the 1990s, was notorious in this regard. After his release, he wrote a book extolling his exploits, many of which involved getting compliant people to hand over their passwords willingly.

Tell people you're Bob from IT, and they're pretty much willing to give up anything up to, and sometimes including, their Social Security numbers.

All this is by way of edging into the fascinating tale of little Semaj Booker of Seattle.

Seems Semaj, who the Washington Post reports is all of 9 years old and 4 feet, 9 inches tall, had upset his mom after stealing a car last week, driving it 90 mph while being chased by the cops, and then crashing it into a tree.

But that's only the beginning. He was carted back home in the custody of his mother. Apparently worried that he might be in a heap of trouble, he sneaked out of the house the next morning and made his way to Seattle-Tacoma International.

There, according to the story, "he single-handedly conned Southwest Airlines and the federal Transportation Security Administration into allowing him to board a flight to San Antonio via Phoenix."

Apparently, he told them he'd lost his boarding pass. Hey, who can say no to a little kid?

Predictably, a congressman is calling on the TSA to explain how this happened.

The kid, meanwhile, has one heck of an excuse for why his homework's late.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Facebook Aims to Make Security More Social
Kelly Sheridan, Associate Editor, Dark Reading,  2/20/2018
SEC: Companies Must Disclose More Info on Cybersecurity Attacks & Risks
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  2/22/2018
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
How to Cope with the IT Security Skills Shortage
Most enterprises don't have all the in-house skills they need to meet the rising threat from online attackers. Here are some tips on ways to beat the shortage.
Flash Poll
[Strategic Security Report] Navigating the Threat Intelligence Maze
[Strategic Security Report] Navigating the Threat Intelligence Maze
Most enterprises are using threat intel services, but many are still figuring out how to use the data they're collecting. In this Dark Reading survey we give you a look at what they're doing today - and where they hope to go.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2017-0290
Published: 2017-05-09
NScript in mpengine in Microsoft Malware Protection Engine with Engine Version before 1.1.13704.0, as used in Windows Defender and other products, allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (type confusion and application crash) via crafted JavaScript code within ...

CVE-2016-10369
Published: 2017-05-08
unixsocket.c in lxterminal through 0.3.0 insecurely uses /tmp for a socket file, allowing a local user to cause a denial of service (preventing terminal launch), or possibly have other impact (bypassing terminal access control).

CVE-2016-8202
Published: 2017-05-08
A privilege escalation vulnerability in Brocade Fibre Channel SAN products running Brocade Fabric OS (FOS) releases earlier than v7.4.1d and v8.0.1b could allow an authenticated attacker to elevate the privileges of user accounts accessing the system via command line interface. With affected version...

CVE-2016-8209
Published: 2017-05-08
Improper checks for unusual or exceptional conditions in Brocade NetIron 05.8.00 and later releases up to and including 06.1.00, when the Management Module is continuously scanned on port 22, may allow attackers to cause a denial of service (crash and reload) of the management module.

CVE-2017-0890
Published: 2017-05-08
Nextcloud Server before 11.0.3 is vulnerable to an inadequate escaping leading to a XSS vulnerability in the search module. To be exploitable a user has to write or paste malicious content into the search dialogue.