Russian spies are just like your average end user?

Funny as this may sound, it’s seems to be the case with the recently arrested Russian spies.

This article from Network World points out some of the issues the users had and how those issues helped get them caught.

As an IT or Security Professional, how likely are these scenarios in your workplace:

  • A 27 character password was enforced.  So the password ended up written down on a post-it.
  • Frustrated with trying to get a program to work, you turn to a complete stranger for help.  If that stranger happens to be an undercover FBI agent, handing him your laptop just made his day.
  • Waiting 2 months to get a new laptop and have it configured then being told you can get it fixed in 6 months if it doesn’t work.  Then telling your co-worker (or co-spy) “they don’t understand what we go through over here”.  Sound familiar?
  • Users/spies turn to off the shelf programs so they don’t have to wait for their IT department to install.
  • Having all new systems but not be able to run the programs necessary as it crashed or timed out before the application could finish.
  • Users/spies set up peer-to-peer wireless networks (without encryption) so they could transfer files easier.  Made it a lot easier to intercept those files during transfer too.

They seem so comical that it’s almost hard to believe they aren’t movie plot lines for Steve Carrell’s next Get Smart episode.


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