The expert, named Chris Rock (unrelated to the American actor), offered a presentation titled “I Will Kill You” in which he thoroughly explained the steps on how a hacker could “kill” someone by exploiting flaws in the process of registering death certificates online. This could be done with the purpose of cashing in someone’s life insurance or just with the intention of causing problems.
Giving the Australian system as an example, Mr. Rock pointed out the fact that states which have introduced an informational system of gathering forms related to deceased persons, such as South Australia, Queensland or Victoria, do not actually require log-ins, and could be accessed solely with doctor info such as name, registration number and practicing address. All of these are actually available online on a health regulator’s site, so patients could verify the veracity of their doctors. So hackers can gain instant access to these only by a Google search.
Legally “killing” a person requires both a doctor form and a funeral director’s sign-off. The forms should be completed with as much academic language as possible so as to not raise suspicion. The funeral director’s sign-off isn’t as easy, but is still mind-numbingly accessible – becoming a virtual funeral director is, according to Mr. Rock, as easy as creating a fake funeral home website and then sending it to the health regulator and requesting a funeral director account on the national database.
The information is quite appalling – not only does this not require any complicated tech knowledge as well, but is virtually accessible to anyone who knows how to use a computer to surf the internet. While Mr. Rock thinks that this lack of security stems from the desire of having centralized, accurate data which could otherwise be misspelled with handwriting, he also says that it doesn’t stop here.
Flaws in the system could be also exploited to create fake birth certificates; and going even further, to raise fake identities. This would require waiting 18 years until being able to actually do something with your virtual “child”, but after that possibilities are endless: make him a director of a fake company and commit online scams, use that identity to cover your own crimes, or even get him life insurance and killing him off for easy free money.
Image Source: phys.org/a>