I am looking for war stories! Working with a client to develop a Awareness and Training Strategy and one of my tasks is to sell the need. If anyone has any war stories that can talk to how the lack of awareness and training caused problems from a security I would appreciate these stories. Also, if you have any stories that shows having a awareness and traininig program prevented incidents would be great as well. I would prefer stories that are sanitized, no business names or indivdual names. However, cost of the incident would be good, that always drives home the information. Thank you in advance to any information received. Respectfully, Don Wray, CISSP

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I have plenty to be sure. Do you have any deadline in mind? rather than rambling here, I should do the editing offline and paste in (save you the editing work). Here’s a short one, but fairly descriptive.

An employee of the largest USG contractor noticed peculiar activities being performed by her browser. It was redirected to unintended websites, and possibly downloading files. She immediately shut down the browser and PC. This was reported to the Help Desk. Support responded, installed a “spyware” protection software, and detected spyware infection, which was removed. The employee cited company general awareness promotions (and possibly specific warnings related to spyware). The company policy is to regularly disseminate general information, as well as to issue specific warnings of critical events (such as viral/spy outbreaks occuring in the Internet, and extraordinary system patching activities). These are regularly conveyed by normal corporate channels as well as specifically targeted communications as necesary.

Hope that’s a start. Appologize for any typos in advance.


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  • Whitecap
    This is some years old due as valid today as it was then: This is set in a military organisation. Unauthorised software was introduced to a computer system used for controlling fast jet engine tests. There was a Virus in the media which crashed the system and the engine tests could not take place. It was the only installation of its type in the country and the unit was actually on combat operations (Nato intervention into Bosnia). The infection resulted in a shortage of replacement engines for the jets that, potentially, could have hindered combat operations. Luckily replacement engines could be supplied from stock but the test facility took 3 weeks to get back operational. The incident resulted in disciplinary action being taken against the culprit for disobedience of policy.
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  • WhiteHat
    i run a fairly large IT security user group in south africa - see once you are ready i can submit some cases to you craig
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  • TomLiotta
    Today, this story might be considered apocryphal; but I read it years ago in a rag like Datamation or InfoWorld. Not what many would think as being a 'security' story; however, it's the kind of lesson that _should_ be taught more often. Very simple in concept, yet frightening to those directly affected. A datacenter manager arrived at work one morning to find the datacenter locked up and the CEO standing outside the door with the keys. The message from the CEO was "Today, the datacenter is off limits to you and your staff. Your job for the day is to assume a disaster and to get our backup site running." Wow. What a way to start your day. Wish I had real details even though the scenario is plausible. Tom
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