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Big Name Companies Fall Victim to 'Social Engineering' Contest; Consumer Info Compromised

During a recent "social engineering" contest, companies like IBM, Apple and AT&T, fell victim by giving away information that could be sensitive to their customers.

The contest, named the "Social Engineering Capture the Flag," featured 14 companies in five different categories including Airlines, Technology, Retail, Food service and Mobile services. This contest was held during the DefCon conference this past August in Las Vegas.

According to eWeek, by using social engineering techniques, contestants tried to get information from employees of Conagra Foods, Symantec, Dell, United Airlines, Apple, McDonald's, Target, AT&T, IBM, Walmart, Delta Airlines, Sysco Foods, Verizon, and Oracle.

"Many companies have the mentality of, 'It won't happen to us,' or 'Our people won't fall for that.' The sad truth is, those are the very people that will and do fall victim to these attacks, as demonstrated by the contest," said Chris Hadnagy of the website, which organised the contest

AT&T had the highest overall scorer while Oracle scored the lowest.