boy impersonates a cop, fools other cops

And this story of a 14-year-old boy impersonating a police officer for 5+ hours falls into the category of, “…and this is why we try to take human judgement* out of security controls.”

One source said he was told the teenager “coded a couple of assignments” — meaning he used police codes to let a dispatcher know how he and his “partner” were handling particular calls. The source said he also was told the teen was allowed to drive the squad car.

He was allowed to do this because he was familiar with the protocols (how familiar does that sound to anyone knowledgeable about social engineering?) and because controls were skipped (roll call, etc). D’oh! Maybe this was a Superbad moment?

Side note: Why don’t more people do things like this? Like so many crimes, they are not terribly hard to commit. The hardest part is crossing that very distinct moral line we have between what is right and wrong. Peer pressure influences this line, as does mental stability or digital anonymity (or distance maybe). And once you cross that line once, crossing it again becomes easier (downware spiral of repeat offenders). We rely heavily on this line.

* Note that we try to do this, but obviously this cannot always be done and there will always be a need for human decision-making or agility. But we try to, because we know which one we can trust, when created and maintained properly.