Does Father Christmas know just how exposed his operation is? With one of the largest address books ever conceived (names, addresses, gift preferences of billions of people) and a seasonal workforce of elves that may or may not have been vetted before hiring, Santa’s gift selection, preparation and delivery system may be hugely at risk.
Given the common depiction of Santa as a jovial (bearded) human being, it seems inconceivable that he could keep all the delivery data in his head. So, the data must be in a system somewhere. Forget elves and paper-based storage. With a database this size, we’re talking serious SQL servers.
Why SQL? Because Santa needs the ACID properties of an SQL database to make sure that each kid (includes adult kids) gets exactly one present, no more, no less. Right away, we’re talking SQL injection attacks and social engineering to get admin account credentials.
Once inside the system, criminals can steal all the personal data, reroute present delivery or whack up their own quota to receive double rations of the most expensive toys, like those Lamborghinis currently sitting in Santa’s warehouse.
And about those elves – even if they have been vetted, the insider elf remains a considerable threat, siphoning off data, sabotaging systems, or hacking to take control of Santa’s new self-driving eSleigh (hey, Santa moves with the times, you know!). From an app on a smartphone, a bad actor elf can steer the sleigh to the wrong chimney, steal the goods, or wreck Santa’s brand image by delivering Auntie Mabel the aftershave that was meant for Uncle Fred.
So, if you didn’t get the kind of present you wanted this Christmas, don’t automatically blame your family, friends, colleagues or employer. You may be on the tail end of one of the biggest data breaches ever perpetrated. How’s that for something to tell your children, when they ask you if Father Christmas really exists?