Top 10 Techniques used in Social Engineering
This year, cyber security is an important topic. Hackers are everywhere looking for new ways to get into your system. They use the newest technologies to find their way into company networks with phishing emails or malicious websites. But most of them use social engineering techniques - especially "old school" but very effective ones.
Social Engineering involves manipulating people so that they give up confidential information which is exactly what hackers are doing over and over again.
Social engineering can also happen in person at a business or even when you're just walking down the street. Think someone is trying to look like a vendor who wants to enter your office? They could be collecting information on your employees or looking for a way to access your server room. Maybe there's a person who looks like a delivery man coming to deliver a package - but he is really trying to steal information from the receptionist.
Here are some ways that a social engineer can get you to give away confidential information:
Number 1: Emails
Phishing emails are one of the most common ways to trick users into giving away private information like passwords or credit card numbers. You receive an email that looks like it comes from one of your business partners - maybe even your CEO! It includes a mail attachment that appears harmless but it is actually a virus. Now the hacker has access to your entire network!
Number 2: Visiting a website that looks legit
This technique consists of tricking users into visiting a website that looks legit but was actually created by hackers. One example are so-called "drive-by downloads" where if you visit an infected website, malware will be downloaded on your computer without your knowledge. Once this happens, the hacker can see everything on your screen and even control your webcam or microphone!
Number 3: Social networks
One more way to trick users into giving up their log-in information is phishing on social networks like Facebook or Twitter. Hackers set up fake accounts with similar names to popular businesses - maybe even yours! They post messages on these profiles asking for logins and passwords. As users are used to following these accounts, they will fall right into the trap!
Number 4: Phishing
This technique consists of tricking someone so that they go somewhere on the internet without knowing where they really are. A hacker may send you an email stating that there is a problem with your account or credit card and giving you a link to click on. When you do it, even though it looks like Google's homepage, you're actually visiting a website created by hackers! This is called phishing.
Number 5: Fake pop-ups
Using fake popups - or "pop-unders" as they are called - is another way of stealing log-in information. You think you've closed all windows but in fact, there is a small one in the bottom right corner. When you close your browser, this window stays active and logs all keystrokes - including passwords! And so the hacker gets your login credentials.
Number 6: BEC attack
In a typical BEC attack (Business Email Compromise), users receive an email from someone pretending to be a business partner or customer asking for urgent help with financial issues. For example, they ask for bank accounts to transfer money into them. Once the user sends the details over, hackers will access their bank account and sell off any assets that might be there! This is why it's so important to talk to your business partners on the phone before sending them sensitive information.
Number 7: Disguise
Disguising yourself as a courier or delivery man is another trick used by hackers. They try to get into the office by posing as a delivery person and ask staff to sign for a parcel - which is actually their laptop! With this technique, they can find out if nobody is watching before stealing data from computers or installing software that will give them access to your entire network.
Number 8: USB tricks
This sneaky trick involves using images on a USB memory stick with logos of a big company you trust like Microsoft or Apple. If an employee sticks it in their computer without realizing it, they put the whole company at risk! This is because hackers have set up hidden cameras nearby and automatically transfer all photos of monitors onto their memory stick! Now they know what's going on inside your office.
Number 9: Suspicious activity
Hackers can use a USB device filled with malware and infect computers. But they also like to create their own fake website that looks like your company's intranet. When someone within the company tries to access it, their computer will be infected and hackers will have access to everything on it - including files, passwords and other sensitive information! It is important to tell employees why not all websites should be trusted and always double-check if you see any suspicious activity.
Number 10: Hacking
This last trick is probably one of the most dangerous because it could affect so many users at once. Hackers hijack servers to send out massive amounts of spam emails at the same time making them look as though they actually come from a business. This is why it's vital to keep your systems protected and make sure you don't open any suspicious emails.
Extra Trick 11:
Hackers use text messages in social engineering campaigns that target specific contacts at once. Once you open a message from someone you trust (a business partner or customer), you will download a file that contains hidden malicious software. This software can connect your device to hackers' servers and allow them unlimited access - including any files and passwords! It's always important to think before you click.
With these pieces of advice, you should be able to protect yourself against social engineering attempts! But there are many other ways hackers can trick you - which is why we recommend having a cyber security solution in place. After all, prevention really is better than cure!
Social Engineering Full Guide Explained
How to protect from social engineering attacks
Deploying a data policy
It is recommended to implement a policy prohibiting giving out internal phone numbers, emails or other contact information of specific employees, contractors, consultants to any outsider.
Anti Social Engineering Measures