Who hasn't yet seen the "Girl quits her job on dry erase board, emails entire office" meme? It hit the Net like an hurricane, and I liked it immediately. In fact, fake or not -- I still do. What can we learn from it?
First, let me address the power of memes. We already know they are powerful and that their success is at least somewhat related to how we feel about them. To remind you all, these memes are a powerful and dangerous tool, just as they are funny and entertaining: In Estonia, it was a meme that started the online assault.
Second, if we are to believe the story (which we know is false), then it was the improper management of passwords among employees that allowed the fake girl access to the Web monitoring system. I am certain several security blogs rushed to write about it by now, but it is a very illustrative example.
Third, it shows us once again how easy it is to fake news, spread it, and change public opinion -- both online and offline. We need to be very careful with what we believe to avoid social engineering, scams, and even forming the wrong opinion about a subject (although that is not as relevant to security).
I treated this meme as entertainment and was so impressed with it I honestly did not care if it were fake; I shared it twice. But making the distinction between what's real and what's not is difficult, and I doubt it will get any easier over time.
Enjoy the Net, and safe surfing.
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Gadi Evron is an independent security strategist based in Israel. Special to Dark Reading. Gadi is CEO and founder of Cymmetria, a cyber deception startup and chairman of the Israeli CERT. Previously, he was vice president of cybersecurity strategy for Kaspersky Lab and led PwC's Cyber Security Center of Excellence, located in Israel. He is widely recognized for ... View Full Bio