In part 2 of this series (read part 1 here), I continue with three more scenes as to how this cult classic relates to Data Protection. We know Ferris was cunning and endearing, both of which are traits that can be used for persuasion and deception.

Social Proof and Scarcity

In order to complete the “attack” on the school and exfiltrate (extract) Sloane, they need to complete the deception by maintaining social proof that the image in Rooney’s mind matches what is presented in person. This is an example of social proof. Cameron’s father’s Ferrari is seen as a ticket to Rooney believing that a disguised Ferris is indeed Sloane’s father. A key line in the movie here is:

“We can’t pickup Sloane in your car, Mr Rooney would never believe Mr Peterson drives that piece of s*%&.”

This is also a deception on Cameron, relying on Scarcity. “There’s nothing else we can do” is what Ferris tells Cameron. In other words, it’s now or never. This is a sales technique often used at free conferences. “Act now or you’ll never receive this offer again”. When Cameron suggests a Cadillac, it’s totally ignored. This has to happen NOW, and Cameron falls into it.

Vishing and Social Engineering

In order to gain access to a reservation-only restaurant, Ferris takes a gamble on reading a reservation from the bookings and pretending to be “Abe Froman”. This gamble becomes a little more dicey when the host does not believe them. This is a great example of gathering information and using it as leverage to gain initial access.

After a slightly heated exchange, the host heads off to find another phone. What follows is a fantastic example of vishing – voice solicitation – whereby Cameron and Ferris pretend to be the chief of police and Abe Froman respectively over the phone. They anticipate that the host will listen in on their conversation, and when he does he believes that Ferris Abe is who he says he is. The embarrassed host then seats them and they gain access to “the system” (the restaurant).

Penetration Testing / Hacking

In order to try and prove that Ferris is up to something, Mr. Rooney goes to Ferris’ house and attempts to gain access. The subsequent checking around the house while trying to gain access via windows, doors, and balconies, can be seen as an example of penetration testing. Penetration testers try to gain access to a system by exploiting faults, configuration issues, or bugs in code. Rooney, in this case, was trying to gain access to the house.

A caveat here though, Penetration Testing is done with the permission of the system (house) owner – which was not granted. This actually makes this a hack as opposed to a penetration test.

To Be Continued…

Next week will be the last installment, relating another 3 scenes to data privacy and cyber security. Stay tuned!

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