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Annals Of Social Engineering: A Simple Masquerade

Matt Richtel and Miguel Helft of the New York Times report on the "pretexting" indusry - made sudden much more famous as a result of the recent Hewlett-Packard board investigation. They say that "retexters often use techniques similar to those employed by identity thieves to obtain not only telephone records but also other private data." They cite industry experts who say all you need to get access to a wireless subscribers bill is the last four digits of a person's Social Security number and their zip code. While using pretexting to gain access to financial records was made illegal at the federal level in 1999, using it to access telephone records isn't clearly illegal.

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