To paraphrase Robert Siciliano, today’s guest on The CyberHood Watch partners, Dave & Bill’s, CHWradio show, stated…It is a flawed system. We have built it on paper, plastic, embossed certificates, and unfortunately, these documents are easily accessible for duplication. With the right piece of illegally obtained or counterfeited paper in hand, you can duplicate an identity.
Introduced in the late 1930’s was the launch of Social Security Numbers and the onset of what Robert coins as “The Functionality Creep”. What began as an identifier for Social Security Benefits; Social Security Numbers became the magnet for all identifiers in multiple industries (Bankers – Financial Institutions – Credit Agencies – Law Enforcement etc.) to track our identities.
These nine numbers now exist within enormous and numerous databases…We are a data-base-society. The past frequency and use of Social Security Numbers transacted in everyday life has been farmed throughout a multitude of databases. That single identifier once compromised is the key to the flawed system housing your identity, which provides the gateway to criminal activity in your good name. Once someone presents himself or herself as you and another individual believes it is you…The system is broke at that moment.
The Internet and its propensity for misuse can also find its way into other debated issues like RFID, biometric technologies, nanotechnologies, digital technologies if not mindful of their applications, we may open several new Pandora security threat boxes.
Robert discusses the smart card, which may resemble a mini version of “functionality creep”. The smart card is becoming more and more sophisticated. Many nations are moving towards adopting the use of the smart card as an identifier.
Robert raises a great question addressing personal ownership of our digital security. We make it very, very easy for somebody to get credit over the phone, online, through the mail, or remotely. According to Robert, it is much easier to obtain credit living in the United States than the many nations Robert mentions in our interview.
Everyone once in awhile imagine ownership of the Internet, and every bit of data. You are the “Oz” with total anonymity behind the cyber curtain. Which leads me to a question I have asked previous guests on CHWradio, “Whose Internet is it anyway”? Click, and navigate over to the CyberHood Watch Community where we listen. In the CHW Community, we provide communication, awareness, and solutions for living in a digital world…Enjoy the Internet safely.
The United States offers the least path of resistance for criminals whose motives are to arrive in the States, and apply for credit or with the intent to compromise the databases.
We posed a question to Robert how would he address someone’s concern feeling enough is enough, and not wanting to give up any more personal information to be stored in the smart card.
“We have privacy issues revolving around identifying who’s who”, said Robert. It seems with the speculation of the evolution of technology, and a digital society there will be opposing sentiments from different schools of thought. Unfortunately, the issue is becoming more about security than individual privacy. Until we understand the insecurity of the existing systems, will you begin to recognize the scope of losses we are occurring?
“I have been doing my best to get the public to make a shift in their understanding of the issues so that they will ultimately, you know, protect their identity… and ultimately succumb to being effectively identified in a way that, you know, the bad guy just can’t pose as you ” said Robert Siciliano.
Robert Siciliano, shared a quote from Michael Chertoff, former Secretary of Homeland Security, which reads, “I am going to submit to you, that in the 21st Century, the most important asset that we have to protect as individuals and as part of our nation is the control of our identity. Who we are, how we identify ourselves, whether other people are permitted to masquerade and pretend to be us, and thereby damage our livelihood, damage our assets, damage our reputation, and damage the standing in our community.”
If you have had a chance to listen to Robert, you know he is a pipeline of information. You are welcome to stop by and download a personal copy of the show for future listening or any other of our guests.
david c ballard (CIISA)
Radio Security Journalist