Social Engineering

Social Engineering (SE) in the realm of Information Security is the art of psychologically manipulating people into performing actions or giving up confidential information that could lead to various security issues.

As the Great Chinese General, Sun Tzu himself said:

If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.

The idea behind social engineering is to take advantage of a potential victim’s natural tendencies and emotional reactions to one’s own gain. Sometimes, it is easier to exploit your natural inclination to trust than it is to discover ways to hack your software. For example, it is much easier to fool someone into giving access to their system rather trying to hack into it from the outside.

It doesn’t matter how many locks, or alarm systems and armed security personnel, you station at your data centers, homes or office premises, there is still the chances of being compromised by the means of Social Engineering.

What makes social engineering especially dangerous is that it relies on human error, rather than vulnerabilities in software and operating systems. Mistakes made by legitimate users are much less predictable, making them harder to identify and thwart than a malware-based intrusion.

We’ll dive into the different techniques the evil-doers incorporate when they breach your privacy & later on discuss how to prevent ourselves from being a victim:

 

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