Most people believe that corporate espionage does not happen in real life!
When we hear corporate or business espionage, we often think of foreign countries looking to steal our trade secrets. What we forget is that it can be happening at our own place of work, right here in America. Look at the Hewlett-Packard case where they spied on their own people. Desperate to figure out who was leaking corporate information to the press, the HP Chairwomen hired multiple PI agencies to target and spy on their own board members.
The PI agencies gathered the target’s phone calling records using pretexting. Pretexting is a form of social engineering in which an individual lies to obtain privileged data. A pretext is a false motive. It is a crime to obtain – or even attempt to obtain – an individual’s phone records without their knowledge or permission; however, this does not stop it from happening.
Many individuals have used pretexting by acting as an employee of a telecommunications company or phone carrier to obtain the person’s information that could be used to access the calling records. Others have also used pretexting to obtain this information via the Internet, thereby resulting in computer fraud.
Regular telephone service providers keep call records for its customers, which include all phone calls, both made and received. The call logs of a consumer may reveal personal information about the individual, including his or her daily schedule. It may also identify the individual’s business, personal association, and family. Private relationships may also be revealed through call records, such as an individual’s doctor or a private friend.
There are many reasons why people might want your calling records. These people might include:
Jealous spouses or stalkers.
People involved in messy divorces or lawsuits who are looking for dirt.
Corporate spies or political campaigns digging for scandals.
All types of characters looking to cause harm to their targets have used calling records because of their potentially damaging information. The personal data that can be obtained from call records can allow them to essentially destroy an individual.
Your calling records could also be valuable to people who want to steal from you. Identity thieves can use personal information to set up credit or phone services billed in your name. Con artists who want to steal your assets might be able to discover where you bank or which financial services companies you use. Information in your calling records might also allow someone to impersonate you in order to commit crimes.
The board members calling records were easy to obtain by the PI agencies that HP hired. The PI agencies obtained the board members' personal information such as home address, date of birth, and Social Security number. Then contacted the phone companies and bluffed them into believing that they were the owner of the phone account. Once the calling records were obtained, they allowed the PI agencies to outline and create a business and private life profile of each target board member.
This was a criminal act and ended the careers of several HP execs but only after the board members' privacy was violated and their family along with their personal life was exposed.
If the board members were using KryptAll, their privacy would have remained secure and safe because KryptAll does not produce any calling records for anyone to obtain!