What is the canary trap? The method Musk used to catch who leaked information

Leaks of private information from companies can have a lot of juice, and if it’s one of Elon Musk’s companies, even more so. That’s why when the tycoon found out that someone was selling confidential data, he decided to carry out the canary’s trap to catch him; today, we will tell you what it consists of.

The interest in knowing what happens inside the largest companies in the world has always existed, and filtration techniques have evolved over the years. However, this is not the only thing that has advanced since the Techniques to catch the insiders have also done so.

Today we explain what the canary trap consists of, a technique that Elon Musk used to catch a Tesla employee in 2008 who leaked private company information to the press.

the canary trap

The first time this term was coined was in the Tom Clancy novel Game of Patriots, where the protagonist uses it to find out the origin of the leak of stolen documents, but what is this technique?

This method is quite simple, and although you need some technical knowledge, it is not a complicated trick. It consists of sending an email to all your employees, with the singularity that each copy of the document has a slight change that is almost undetectable to the human eye.

This may be a digital watermark; for example, in Musk’s case, each email was encoded with spaces for every sentence or two sentences. In this way, a unique binary signature was created for each email.

This way, when the mail that had been sent was leaked, Musk only had to look at the correspondence to know who the leaker was. This technique, although ingenious, is not infallible, and as we have said before, it is not very complicated, so if the person who is selling the confidential information is careful and only sends the content and not a capture of the email, it would be impossible to catch

Many years have passed since Musk used this technique, but who knows if today he is still trying the canary trap or if he has found a new and more reliable method to combat the internal information leakers of his companies.

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