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The Internet Security

Hacker Shows How To Fabricate Death Records 46

wiredmikey writes: Hackers the Def Con gathering in Las Vegas on Friday got schooled in how to be online "killers." A rush to go digital with the process of registering deaths has made it simple for maliciously minded folks to have someone who is alive declared dead by the authorities. The process of having someone officially stamped dead by getting a death certificate issued typically involves a doctor filling out one form and a funeral home filling out another, according to Rock's research. Once forms are submitted online, certificates declaring the listed person legally dead are generated. A fatal flaw in the system is that people can easily pose as real doctors and funeral directors.
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Hacker Shows How To Fabricate Death Records

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    First thing that comes to mind is indebted college kids using this.
    Of course there's no point if you actually graduate since, well, you're dead, so you can't use your degree.
    Better for dropouts to get a second chance.

  • Easy exploit here (Score:5, Interesting)

    by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Saturday August 08, 2015 @01:51PM (#50275927) Journal
    He also showed how to create birth certificates.

    There are a number of potential exploits here. One would be to create birth certificates for two fake children, get some credit cards, max them out buying the same stock (one shorting the stock, one long). Whichever makes money, you keep. The other one, you get a fake death certificate, then you don't have to pay.

    Of course, all this is fraud, and you can be arrested for it if you get caught.
    • Getting caught (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Okian Warrior ( 537106 ) on Saturday August 08, 2015 @02:49PM (#50276123) Homepage Journal

      Of course, all this is fraud, and you can be arrested for it if you get caught.

      You can get arrested for retweeting someone else's comment.

      If you do something they don't like (such as mounting a pistol to a drone, or putting coins in someone else's parking meter), they will find a law that can be extended to cover it.

      They can use illegal means to get evidence, then use parallel construction to build a legal case. You can get arrested for anything nowadays.

      I wouldn't worry about actions - law in this country has become discretionary, frivolous, and inconsistent. It's not based on harm any more.

      Worry instead about getting noticed - that seems to start the process.

      • I wouldn't worry about actions - law in this country has become discretionary, frivolous, and inconsistent. It's not based on harm any more.

        Worry instead about getting noticed - that seems to start the process.

        As it turns out, most human beings *drastically underestimate* the likelihood that they will get caught. It's why people commit crime.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Do they underestimate it? I don't know, but in order to find out, you'd need to know how many people are getting away with crimes in order to calculate the stats.

          If the financial industry is any measure for this, then your chances look good.

      • by DarkOx ( 621550 )

        Which is why when people like "No controlling legal authority" Clinton make statements about the rule of law its hard not to burst out laughing. Ditto for pretty much everyone else in office.

        I was super disappointed in the Rand Paul Chris Christie exchange the other day too. Rand let Christie goad him on "nation security" and made a weak argument that these programs were not needed. What he should have said is these programs are not legal (he kinda did), but more than that they are anti freedom, and at

    • I know I saw that as some minor plot device somewhere, tv show or movie but I forget. Someone 'raised' virtual kids so selling a new identity would have a real trackable past history.
    • It would never work.

      The problem is that your scheme attempts to steal money from the wealthy and powerful. You'll be hunted to the ends of the earth for that.

      Figure out how to steal money from the poor, on the other hand, and nobody in power will give a shit.

  • I dare someone to get all of the presidential candidates declared dead. I mean their souls are dead already so it'd only be fitting.
  • Alternatively (Score:4, Informative)

    by ihtoit ( 3393327 ) on Saturday August 08, 2015 @01:59PM (#50275959)

    Find a cooperative public servant and have them declare someone dead.

    It's a lot easier than you think it is.

    Particularly if you find someone in the police or otherwise having access to police records, all you have to do is fabricate a missing persons report older than 2556 days (7 years), leave it open, and the High Court will issue a presumption of death hence authorising the issuance of a death certificate with no proof of death (ie a body) required.

    (EW 2013 C. 13 Section 2 [data.gov.uk])

    Then you don't just fuck up their credit score, you wipe their entire digital fingerprint.

  • Two docs by two different people to be dead. Seems simple enough by someone in the know. In terms of life, all I can think of is the scenes from The Shawshank Redemption. Randall Stevens was created through the mail, but one needs a birth cert, a social security number, a bank account, a driver's license. As far as I can tell, that's the minimum to live a real life here in the US. How can one hack all of the above today? A DL in NJ required "six points of ID" presented in person. So... How can one hack a n
    • by Anonymous Coward

      ... A DL in NJ required "six points of ID" presented in person.

      This is the problem facing people wanting to change their identity. It is why identity theft is the preferred answer. It's easier if the victim doesn't have a driver's license or password. It's all the easier in some countries where public information is used to secure online records. As a bonus, when the police come looking, their own records will lead them astray.

      For a brief time some online criminals were selling high-quality fake driver's licenses. If one looks long enough, one can find online crim

      • by KGIII ( 973947 )

        The old rule used to be that there are so many people that die as children that you just go get a certificate of live birth for someone near your name. From there you get a SSN (one may have been issued, just get the card). Then you can get a photo ID or a license in most states. Then a passport...

        I have not spent must time with that sort of person in a while so I do not know if they are still doing it. I may have had a license and been old enough to drink long before I was of legal age but that would have

    • Two docs by two different people to be dead. Seems simple enough by someone in the know. In terms of life, all I can think of is the scenes from The Shawshank Redemption. Randall Stevens was created through the mail, but one needs a birth cert, a social security number, a bank account, a driver's license. As far as I can tell, that's the minimum to live a real life here in the US. How can one hack all of the above today? A DL in NJ required "six points of ID" presented in person. So... How can one hack a new life after hacking the death of an old one?

      A driver's license functions as legal photo ID in the US--the DMV will issue for people who can't drive for various reasons what's basically a non-driver's license, sometimes listed on the signs as such. It takes the same pieces of ID to obtain (the first) one, however, and the birth certificate and social security number in my experience are required (first time only)...and the Feds won't issue you a social security card without a valid photo ID. If you can get an official copy of your birth certificate w

      • by KGIII ( 973947 )

        You only need a birth certificate and some other form of ID to get a social security card and you can mail to get your birth certificate anywhere that I know of - contact the Office of Records (or some other ominous named office).

        Requirements:
        https://www.socialsecurity.gov... [socialsecurity.gov]

        My daughter's apartment was broken into and her ID was all stolen along with her birth certificate - the true copy and the only copy. It took a bit but we were able to replace it all. I seem to recall a path for those who do not have a

  • Making fake identities for long enough would be a way to hack an election
  • Security ALWAYS takes a backseat to immediate gratification. And there are few consequences for failure or incompetence. 60 minutes did an episode about living people declared dead and how it devastates them financially. You are deemed an identity thief. Your bank accounts are closed and new ones can't be opened. Good luck retaining employment.

As of next Tuesday, C will be flushed in favor of COBOL. Please update your programs.

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