Horrifying Vulnerabilities in the Death/Birth Certificate System
- Premise: Death and birth certificates can be filed online, with practically no oversight.
- DefCon Response: Let's show the world how easy it is to kill anyone, and/or profit from the birthing/killing of virtual…babies?
This is one of my DefCon 23 Debriefs, from the blog archives back in 2015! If you ever have the opportunity to get your work to ship you to Defcon, take it. If you ever get the opportunity to ship yourself, don't think: just go.
Another DefCon 23 debrief from 2015:
- Presentation Title: I Will Kill You
- The Presenter: Chris Rock
- Published Book: The Baby Harvest
Chris Rock gave a crazy presentation about how terrifyingly vulnerable the systems are surrounding death certificates and birth certificates. It's incredibly vulnerable due to how easy it is to register yourself in the online systems currently available, in order to cause mayhem. With all of the necessary information needed to falsify deaths and births being freely available online, anyone can do this.
In the presentation, he walks through how anyone can make someone legally dead — including themselves. Why would anyone want to do that?
- Collect on Life Insurance
- Falsely create wills for others, that are then collected on
- Make life incredibly difficult for absolutely anyone. (NOTE: See Bulk Upload mode in video below for how wild this can become!)
Chris even wrote a book on creating false birth certificates and identities, then profiting from the false deaths of the virtual babies.
His presentation was just recently uploaded to YouTube on the Official DefConConference YouTube Channel, so now the world knows. Will this bring any sort of change quickly? Or will we be seeing many people confusingly finding themselves "dead," and needing to re-register themselves as living human beings?
You can find his presentation below:
Want to see some more about how big of a problem this is? Check out the 60 Minutes video, from earlier this year, about the Death Master File and it's incredible flaws. People are interviewed who have been fighting to be recognized as alive in the system. You can also see an article written by Paul Ford, of the New Republic, who wrote about his exploration of the Death Master File. You should take a look. Oh yeah, and you should also check here to make sure you're not already dead.