Bruce Schneier brings us the tale of a most excellent social engineering tactic that some students at Berkeley used to distract USC's Gabe Pruitt:

Victoria was a hoax UCLA co-ed, created by Cal's Rally Committee. For the previous week, "she" had been chatting with Gabe Pruitt, USC's starting guard, over AOL Instant Messenger. It got serious. Pruitt and several of his teammates made plans to go to Westwood after the game so that they could party with Victoria and her friends.

You can see where this is going, right? I couldn't...

On Saturday, at the game, when Pruitt was introduced in the starting lineup, the chants began: "Victoria, Victoria." One of the fans held up a sign with her phone number.

Oh, no! Now the sheer brilliance of the plan shines...

The look on Pruitt's face when he turned to the bench after the first Victoria chant was priceless. The expression was unlike anything ever seen in collegiate or pro sports. Never did a chant by the opposing crowd have such an impact on a visiting player. Pruitt was in total shock. (This is the only picture I could find.)
The chant "Victoria" lasted all night. To add to his embarrassment, transcripts of their IM conversations were handed out to the bench before the game: "You look like you have a very fit body." "Now I want to c u so bad."

Wow, that's one of the best social engineering stories I've read in quite a while.

Be careful who you chat with, boys and girls. It's a crazy world out there.

Congrats to the folks at Cal Berkeley for coming up with an innovative use for AIM. :-)

Posted by jzawodn at March 14, 2006 08:57 PM

Reader Comments
# Alex P said:

The student run blog Cal Stuff has the transcripts too:

Gotta love (or hate) these internets.

on March 14, 2006 09:33 PM
# kasia said:

It's about as clever as middle school pranks kids pull. And just as mean.

on March 15, 2006 05:25 AM
# Daniel said:

Go bears! I'm so proud of my alma mater.

on March 15, 2006 06:06 AM
# Dan Isaacs said:

Cal has some of the best pranks in the history of pranks. Usually Stanford is the victim. Nice to see they're branching out. :)

on March 15, 2006 08:36 AM
# John said:

This made my day. Never heard of anything this clever when I was at Duke! Go Blue Devils!

on March 15, 2006 09:52 AM
# Tommy said:

basketball is cool but I like CASINO.

on March 22, 2006 06:25 AM
# Tommy said:

basketball is cool.

on March 22, 2006 06:28 AM
# said:

Who won the game? Did the prank serve its true purpose? Or did Gabe Pruitt get fired up and drop 30 points, handing Cal its worst loss of the season?

on May 31, 2007 04:27 PM
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