What is Social Engineering?
As there are so many different uses for SE, it is widely misunderstood. SE is a tool, and it’s neither good or evil, it just depends on how people use it. Most of the times we hear about SE or read an article about it, it’s almost always about how someone’s used Social Engineering to engage in criminal activity, like to gain access to an email account or to someones’ personal data, thus making the public believe in a big misconception that SE is an evil thing. Well, the public couldn’t be more wrong.
Wether we use it to avoid paying for something, convice your parents to let you go out at night with some friends or even for personal gains, like asking for a promotion or a raise, we are using Social Engineering.
So, to answer the question, Social Engineering is the psychological manipulation of the human mind in order to achieve our interests, “The Art of Human Hacking” if you will.
In the Cyber and Info Sec context:
In the security context, SE is mainly used to manipulate people into revealing personal and confidential information, so it can be used to simply access an email account or, in more “complicated” cases, to access a company system or even to commit identity theft.
The most dangerous thing about SE attacks is that most victims don’t even know they are being attacked, mainly due to lack of awareness. Most companies don’t even worry about these type of attacks nor do they have any type of training/guideline to their employees, making them easily exploitable.
The purpose of this post is just to make a little introduction to the Social Engineering world and to make people more aware of this kind of threat. Thankfully, this subject is being more and more talked about, thus creating a much needed social awareness.
In Popular Culture:
In the videogame Watch_Dogs, the protagonist,Aiden Pearce, is adept in SE
In the TV Show Mr. Robot, Social Engineering is mentioned various times as being a crucial part in a successful hack.
As this is my first post EVER, please feel free to provide any feedback and ideas, plus, if people find this topic interesting, I will try to go deeper into the SE World and talked about its steps and techiques.