Commentary and information about public safety and security, intelligence and counterintelligence, open government and secrecy, and other issues in northern Idaho and eastern Washington.

Location: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, United States

Raised in Palouse, WA. Graduated from Washington State University. US Army (Counterintelligence). US Secret Service (Technical Security Division) in Fantasyland-on-the-Potomac and Los Angeles. Now living in north Idaho.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


The national business news has been breathlessly reporting on the departure of Hewlett-Packard board chairwoman Patricia Dunn. Her offense? She admitted authorizing the hiring of private investigators to obtain private telephone records of H-P directors and journalists.

The technique apparently used by the investigators was pretexting. Pretexting is essentially misrepresenting one's identity to gain access to information otherwise not lawfully or ethically obtainable.

What's amusing is that the national press acts as if they've discovered some new tool in the criminal's toolbox.

Pretexting is not new. It is probably a subset of a larger group of deceptions known as social engineering.

By whatever name it's called, pretexting or social engineering amounts to obtaining personal information by deception.


Anonymous Christie Wood said...

Hi Bill,
I have been meaning to contact you reference your article about law enforcement agencies- Septic Tanks or Urban Wastewater systems, but I have been pretty busy lately with law enforcement issues. I have read several of your articles and find them to be very useful. I appreciate the time you take to research your topics. Naturally I am very curious to know your specific thoughts about Coeur d'Alene Police. You did not name us with a specific issue in your article.But if you have input, I am happy to recieve it. We are not above criticism, in fact we can only learn from community input and get better at what we do. I only ask that input be constructive which I am sure it will be from you. As someone who works in the Department, I am very proud of our command staff we currently have in place. That probably does not surprise you, but I am very sincere in my statements. Our leaders are fairly young compared to other departments. There currently is not an "old regime". Everyone retired after Chief Cronin promoted several people before he left, and he tended to fill key positions with progressive thinkers rather than old school. Unfortunately Chief Carpenter is retiring next year and we will be faced with another search for a Chief of Police. Anyway...
I just wanted to touch base with you and get your thoughts. I find your postings useful and I appreciate the time and effort you put forth.

5:47 PM, September 14, 2006  
Blogger Bill McCrory said...


Thanks for reading and commenting.

7:06 AM, September 15, 2006  

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