I was lucky enough to spend a few days away with my wife last weekend, we have two small children, so this is a rare occurrence. In charge of our two little ones were my parents, for information purposes, they are 65 and 75. Both can turn on a laptop but still download free security as they claim to not really know what I do. I have tried to explain.
Anyway, upon our return home I discovered a large, stuffed tiger sitting in the kitchen. Not something I was expecting but when you leave two big kids in charge of two small ones, anything can happen. This tiger was not unlike the image below, but I have not used the original picture to hide his true identity. Now, this was no small toy, hats off to my old man who carried it back from the park about a mile away, it was bigger than our family dog. A Jackapoo for anyone wondering.
Looking at my face, which must have shown me wondering if I should start researching local retirement homes, my social media guru wife explained that she had seen this chap doing the rounds on Facebook (other social platforms available) and explained the story, so here goes. The tiger started its life in a park in our local town with a lovely little sign attached. The sign stated, “take me home and then place me somewhere soon for someone else to find”. Now the power of Facebook sent this bundle of joy on quite a journey. People were quick to welcome him into their homes as “one of the family” for a night or two before sending him on his way. Naturally, bringing smiles of joy to the masses of our town. Nice story, right? Not quite, guesses welcome as to how this pans out.
Sadly, this little fella held a dark secret, built inside was a camera. Yep, a camera. Even in the role, I do I couldn’t quite believe it and had lots of questions. How does the camera receive power? Does it have a tracker built in? Does it store the film locally or using a 4G SIM?
Although I cannot confirm this was for malicious purposes, I would hazard a guess it was and can think of two real reasons. 1. With a focus on children and viewing them at home (an unbearable thought) or 2. To scout out people’s homes for the purpose of burglary. Both difficult to comprehend.
I would like to be able to say, as a self-proclaimed tech-savvy individual, I spotted the camera. Sadly though, I had just finished a weekend away so was a little hungover and wanted to make the kids happy. So, without thinking we dutifully dropped it off with friends who actually discovered the camera and rightfully sent this poor bugger to the local nick.
As is apparent, I am in IT Security. I spend so much of my time looking at how security effects business and how we can reduce this risk. While I try to ensure I use this knowledge at home, I missed this completely. Now, I don’t want this blog to be fear driven. If this story did not have a sinister ending it would be a nice gesture. Even more so when you bear in mind it’s sometimes the small things that make the difference. However, it does show that regardless of IT Security knowledge we can all sometimes be blind to the risks.
To me, it showed the importance of making sure we educate our family, friends, customers, suppliers, staff and anyone that may want to listen to the importance of vigilance and to do our best to protect our identities, regardless of where the threat might originate from.
From a business perspective are you confident if a cute little tiger managed to get into your network that staff would be alert and stop it? Would they question if it is safe or sent to cause harm? (Poor example I know but I am trying to keep a theme going).
Something to think about maybe!
Which leads me nicely to a whitepaper my co-worker wrote which can be viewed here.
And for anyone wondering, we are still waiting to hear if the police can trace anything. We will keep you up to date with more information as I receive it.GO BACK