Stealing Digital Assets with Knives

René Pfeiffer/ October 22, 2011/ Discussion, High Entropy

This article on the ElReg® web site caught my attention today. Police forces in England and Wales read the statistics stemming from crime reports more closely. They think to have found a correlation between the increase of robbery and robbery with knives and the demand for smartphones to sell on the black market. The stolen devices could now be in demand for the hardware (probably), the software (doubtful) or the identity information stored on them (what about this, then?). The protection level of personal data and identity information is quite low for most phone owners.

Of course, there are „lies, damned lies and statistics“ and you have to be careful to draw conclusions from a quick glance of a news article. Then again correlations is what you are interested in when building your radar. You definitely want to have some kind of advance warning before your security measures get hit by an incoming iceberg (security-wise icebergs hit you, not vice versa). Before selecting data sources to check against correlations, make sure you spend some time checking your model (you have one, right?) and using an ample amount of data (you do collect data, right?) else you end up deploying IDS systems wherever you go and enabling all available rules (was very trendy 10 years ago). Don’t gather data without gathering intelligence first. It’s easy to get this wrong.

What’s your guess for the increase of robbery and robbery with knives? Stealing hardware or information? Better find out before these pesky icebergs arrive.

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About René Pfeiffer

System administrator, lecturer, hacker, security consultant, technical writer and DeepSec organisation team member. Has done some particle physics, too. Prefers encrypted messages for the sake of admiring the mathematical algorithms at work.