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…
Dixie Newman stars in a production of Dracula which begins on the 15th November 2017 – https://www.cssd.ac.uk/event/dracula