Methods used in a Social Engineering Attack

The term ‘Social Engineering Attack’ is used to describe various crimes committed through the influencing of human behavior. These techniques use psychological manipulation so that they can trick victims into making security mistakes, thereby providing them with sensitive information.

Such methods are often used by hackers in order to get important information, as they understand that people are a network security system’s weakest link. Even a secure and well-guarded security system can be potentially compromised when operated by an incompetent user. If this is the case, the system will be left vulnerable to various social engineering attacks.

In carrying out these types of attacks, hackers have several methods that they can utilize. Here are some of the more common methods:

  1. Phishing Attack

Phishing is the most common form of malignant social engineering attack. In this case, hackers use emails containing fake messages and dangerous links in order to lure victims to provide sensitive information. To gain their victim’s trust, the hacker will often write a message that mimics the language and legitimacy of an official company. The message is also usually written with a sense of urgency, so as to provide a direct incentive for the unsuspecting user to then input data such as their user ID and password. If you happen to find a suspicious email, it is advisable to avoid opening any attachments or links within it, as hackers can easily send malware via such links.

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  1. Whaling Attack

A Whaling attack is another type of social engineering attack which targets victims operating in the upper ranks of a company. This technique adopts the same methods as a phishing email, the difference centering on the type of victim who is at risk. In this case, messages are made to resemble important business emails sent by official authorities. In order be successful at this, hackers need to do more research and planning than ordinary phishing methods. They have to gather a lot of information about the company’s profile and their targeted individual, so as to establish trust and legitimacy.

  1. Pretexting

Through this social engineering attack, hackers will seek to create fake scenarios in order to steal a victim’s personal data. This method of social engineering can be done via telephone or email. Hackers will often present themselves as bank officers, state agency officials, coworkers or even corporate IT staff who are urgently in need of information from their victims. The success of this method depends on the ability of hackers to build trust with their victims.

  1. Baiting

Through this method of social engineering attack, which entails using the victim’s own curiosity against them, hackers are able to persuade their victims to open dangerous links by luring them with offers of free music or movie downloads. They can also create free software advertisements that direct their victims towards other malicious content, and encourage them to download applications that have been infected with malware.

Logique Digital Indonesia

Logique Digital Indonesia offers penetration testing services or pentest services for companies seeking to improve their digital security system. We are able to conduct a number of tests in order to find out the existence of various security gaps. We aim to minimize the occurrence of data hacking, and help provide a greater awareness of potential security issues through education and training. Please contact us directly or click on Pentest Logique services for more information.

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