A study by Infosecurity Europe has revealed that women are far more liable to give way passwords than men, as long as they are lured into doing so by free chocolate.
45 per cent of the women and ten per cent of men happily gave away their personal passwords to total strangers who pretended to be market researchers, using the promise of chocolate as an incentive for them to fill out the probing survey.
While this figure seems to highlight the worryingly high level of women who are willing to give up valuable data to anyone who presents them with confectionary, it should be noted that when a free holiday is thrown into the mix large amounts of both men and women jump at the chance to divulge sensitive information.
“Our researchers also asked for workers names and telephone numbers so that they could be entered into a draw to go to Paris, with this incentive 60% of men and 62% of women gave us their contact information”, said Claire Sellick, event director at Infosecurity Europe.
“That promise of a trip could cost you dear, as once a criminal has your date of birth, name and phone number they are well on the way to carrying out more sophisticated social engineering attacks on you, such as pretending to be from your bank or phone company and extracting more valuable information that can be used in ID theft or fraud.”
“This research shows that it’s pretty simple for a perpetrator to gain access to information that is restricted by having a chat around the coffee machine, getting a temporary job as a PA or pretending to be from the IT department,” continued Sellick. “This type of social engineering technique is often used by hackers targeting a specific organisation with valuable data or assets such as a government department or a bank.”