Crime Branch Advisory
The Nigerian Scam
Computers, despite being such high
technology devices, are extremely vulnerable. In fact it may be
easier to steal national secrets from military computers than to
steal "laddoos" from a "mithai" shop. Let us
examine the reasons for the vulnerability of computers.
Computers store huge amounts
of data in small spaces
Lakhs of pages of written matter
can be stored in a CD ROM. Walking out of a godown with one lakh
pages would be exceedingly difficult, but walking out of a secure
location with a CD ROM containing a lakh of pages would be much
A bank's vault, which usually contains
a few lakh rupees is well guarded from unauthorized persons. The
vault itself is made of very strong materials, located in a reinforced
room, guarded by gun toting security personnel. Trusted employees
jealously guard the keys and / or access codes. The bank's servers,
on the other hand, which 'virtually' control hundreds of crores
of rupees, are far easier to break into. The strongest of firewalls
and biometric authentication systems have been cracked in the past
and will probably continue to be cracked in the future. A secretly
implanted logic bomb, key loggers that can steal access codes, advanced
voice recorders, retina imagers etc. that can fool biometric systems
can be utilized to get past many a security system.
systems are composed of millions of lines of code and no single
individual can claim to understand the security implications of
every bit of these computer instructions. Hackers easily exploit
the numerous weaknesses in operating systems and security products.
When one weakness is exposed and exploited openly by the 'black
hat' community, the operating system (OS) manufacturer patches it
up. The hackers then find another weakness to exploit and the cycle
goes on and on. It is far easier to find weaknesses in existing
operating systems rather than designing and developing a secure
People who guard confidential papers
with their lives would not think twice about using simple passwords.
Most people don't realize the security implications and ramifications
of a simple 'guessable' password.