Monday, December 01, 2008

Feeling secure yet...?

I am a bit late with this, but blogging time has been a bit restricted of late. But, anyway, as we all know, any computer system can be hacked but why bother when you can simply subvert the existing system, eh?
An investigation has been launched by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) after The Mail on Sunday revealed that motorists’ names and addresses were sold to a convicted fraudster and a wheel-clamper whose offices have been raided by police.

The move came after this newspaper highlighted a loophole that allows parking and clamping firms virtually unrestricted access to the DVLA database of Britain’s 38million motorists.

By applying for driver details by post - using a one-page form downloaded from the internet - private operators are able to bypass criminal record checks and other vetting procedures.

Obviously, I would draw some parallels with the ID Cards and database state in general, but I am absolutely confident that if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.

I know, because Jacqui told me so.

6 comments:

Gareth said...

Would it be any more scandalous if a vehicle owner's details were sold to an ordinary member of the public who had a fender bender with someone who drove off, and wanted to contact the other party in order to get them to pay for the damage?

That's what the majority of requests are likely to be. It's been this way for donkeys years. You'd think they would notice loads of requests from the same person.

It's not quite right but how else could it work without employing another army of civil servants to say, investigate each claim or act as an intermediary. Insurance companies would be well placed to do that I guess.

EG: I have minor prang with you. You bugger off without stopping but I note your number plate.
I contact DVLA or some national organisation set up by insurers with your number plate and details of location and damage. They contact you and see what you say. If you deny it then what? A visit to me perhaps, to see the damage. Something like that. I'd be in no better position than under the present system (in terms of proving you were responsible) but your privacy would have been maintained and it would just make car insurance a little more expensive for everyone.

As an aside, I'm not at all sure why the article says you download the form from 'the internet'. You download it from the DVLA website.

Anonymous said...

There are always ways to get at data. Like social engineering.

One method of illicitly obtaining registered keeper details which worked up until a few years ago only needed a public telephone and a radio scanner capable of receiving in the 150-160mhz range.

It went like this :-
Ensure you are within receiving range of your local police control room ( as much as 20, maybe even 30 miles depending on conditions )
Phone in a report of a car being driven erratically and say you believe the driver is drunk. Give the index number and model of vehicle you want the details for.
Then listen to the appropriate frequency and wait. A short while later the control room would issue an 'observations' report for the suspect vehicle, giving the registered keeper details ( the assumption being the driver was often on their way home )
Bingo.

Now police radio communications are encrypted it doesn't work any more so the truth can be told...

I never used the technique myself - interfering with the emergency services is morally wrong IMO and anyway I never had a reason to, not being a gangster or debt collector.

But the point I'm trying to make ( or rather reinforce ) is that there are a lot of ways to skin a cat, and they don't all involve geniuses hacking through firewalls, like on the TV and in Hollywood films.

guy said...

Gareth,

Failing to stop after an accident is an offence. If you have the other person's number then you give it to the police and they'll track him down.

Hes probably uninsured too.

Gareth said...

I hadn't thought of that.

Westerlyman said...

Yes. That works a treat. Last time I reported a drive-off fender bender to the police they contacted the registered keeper who told them he no longer had the car and did not have the details of the new owner. They knew he was lying but they were not going to spend any more time on a minor offence. I took the repair cost on the chin as my excess was almost as much as the repairs.

Anonymous said...

Have you ever wondered why in courts, the dock is called the dock or why we have birth (berth) ceritficates.
Or why you are known only as the Registered Keeper of a vehicle.


Did you know you abandoned your children shortly after they were 'Berthed' and when you 'registered them, this allowed Govt to salvage them as property.

It seems that we operate under Maritime Law, when we Register (another Nautical term) our Newborn as Berths, sorry Births, we are essentially abandoning our children, Registering your childrens birth is essentially giving Govt permission to Salvage your abandoned children for their future worth ( tax ) to the state.
http://www.tpuc.org