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How most compromises are made

Learn how systems are often compromised in this user-submitted tip.

How most compromises are made

This tip was submitted to the searchSecurity Tip Exchange by user Arjen de Landgraaf. Let other users know how useful it is by rating the tip below.

In New Zealand, we find that most serious compromises are still caused by contractors and third parties throwing away draft instruction manuals, development notes, etc. with user-IDs and passwords in them.

It is a hobby of hackers to steal the paper rubbish in the middle of the night. Hackers trace the rubbish deposit locations of firms, check the security guard timing, jump over the fence, chuck the bags over and take them home to "dig for gold."

Breaches made through a seemingly "legitimate" access using valid IDs and passwords are almost impossible to detect. A number of large corporate systems in final development stage have recently been compromised this way, where hackers leave Trojans embedded in the final code. This allows them to return into the systems when released for production.

This was last published in August 2001

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