“It Takes a Thief To Catch A Thief”


Somehow I got on a mailing list for announcements about (how to stop people from) defrauding retail payments systems for fun and profit.

This session from The Retail Business Show 2008 sounds like it might be kind of fun.

Convicted ex fraudster Elliot Castros [sic] tells his unique story as the only British individual who has stolen hundreds of thousands of pounds from the credit card system. Led in the interview by Keith Marsden, MD of 192.com, Elliot will be divulging the weaknesses he identified in numerous banks security systems, how he committed online fraud and how he managed to evade capture for so long. This unique presentation helps the audience to better understand the metholodgy of a fraudster and how retailers can defend their businesses against fraudulent attacks.

Author, with Neil Forsyth, of Other People’s Money,

“An exhilarating Brit variation on Catch Me If You Can” – Arena Magazine

Not to be mistaken for other books with the same (not terribly original) title:


It reminds me of an evening I once spent with Kevin Mitnick, an autographed copy of whose The Art of Deception: Controlling the Human Element of Security I happen to have right here.

Shelved next to Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds and, of all things, Le Roman de la Rose (Félix Lecoy, ed.; Librarie Honore Champion, 1973) and Lambton’s Persian Grammar.

The FBI agent turned bank security consultant who took part in the take-down also referred to the mod-stylish 2002 Spielberg flick at every available opportunity.

If I may so, however, Kevin did not seem quite as fond of his opposite number as Di Caprio was of Tom Hanks in the movie. And I am not at all certain that the industry takes his (very sensible) advice to heart the way the Tom Hanks character did.

Life imitates art imitating life.


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