Finding The Hidden InfoSec Story

Digital Vampires

Photo Credit: Nicholas Lucien Flickr via Compfight cc

I doubt that I could be much further removed from the computer security industry. I’m a student in my final year at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London, where I am studying for a degree in Acting, Musical Theatre. That’s the “triple threat” of acting, singing and dancing. Not much cryptography there.

But talking of crypts, for our first final-year production at Central, we are staging a version of Dracula, recast in the world of technology, social media and hacking. In doing research around my character, Van Helsing (who has been in prison for hacking), I listed the various characteristics of “vampirism” in the analogue (folklore) world, and looked for equivalents in the digital (modern) world.

I found they mapped these across pretty well. When searching online for terms, I came across The Analogies Project, and wondered whether this comparison would fit in with its theme. See what you think:


  Analogue Vampires Digital Vampires
What they want Blood Data
How they get it Fangs Password cracking, phishing, social engineering, bin-raiding, keystroke loggers, Trojan horses
What they do with it Sustain life after death Obtain money through crime: identity fraud, card fraud, account takeover, blackmail, sale of data
Where they may be found In a coffin, in a tomb;

In darkness; active at night

On the “dark web”: anonymous, untraceable, conspiratorial
Their victims Anyone with a pulse Anyone with a social media profile, bank account, credit card, loan facility, healthcare record, life insurance policy…
How they may be  deterred Garlic, crucifix, holy water, sunlight Blocking, reporting, privacy controls, complex passwords, white hat hackers
How they may be eliminated Wooden stake through the heart, decapitation No known (legal) means of destruction. Yikes Scoob!

Is “digital vampirism” really something we just have to live with – for eternity? It looks for all the world as if a new digital folklore is coming into being. As I’m sure the security advice would have it: Be afraid, be very afraid…

Happy Halloween!


Dixie Newman stars in a production of Dracula which begins on the 15th November 2017 –


Author: Dixie Newman

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