Saturday, May 11, 2013

San Diego Genealogical Society's May Speaker--Daniel Libby

I attended this morning's SDGS meeting and the presentation by Daniel Libby.  Daniel is a 24 year Navy veteran, having served in the Navy Security Group and with the National Security Agency.  Upon retiring from the Navy he attended the Information System Forensic program at UCSD and in 2001 formed Digital Forensics, Inc.  In addition to performing information security services for business clients, Daniel also serves as an expert witness for government, corporate and legal clients.  The title of the presentation was "Trans-National Organized Crime Human Exploitation Through Information Systems"; which in short, addresses the increasing role of organized crime in cyber crime and cyber warfare. 

The major point of his very entertaining presentation was that most cyber criminals exploit the human element in the digital world, not necessarily the electronic security barriers.  They prey on eight weaknesses of their human targets: sex, greed, vanity, trust, compassion, sloth, urgency and convenience.  His anecdotal experiences provided good  examples of how this is accomplished by the "bad guys."  He then explained how they use Phishing (broad audience), Spear Phishing (specific targets) , Whaling (phishing for senior officials in the target organization), Pharming (an attack aiming to redirect a website's traffic to a bogus site) and Credit/Debit card skimming to gain access to digital information.    He wasn't shy about pointing fingers at the Russians and Chinese for much of this cybercrime. 

Daniel answered a lot of questions from the audience throughout his presentation, most dealing with ways to avoid being a victim of these crimes or instances attendees had experienced Phishing or other techniques.  Although his talk did not deal directly with genealogy, most of the attendee evaluations thanked us for having him speak because the information was so valuable and relevant to everyday life in today's electronic world.