Social Engineering is the art of Hacking In Real Life. Social engineering is the art of getting people to tell you stuff that they usually wouldn’t disclose, through the use of words and your appearance.
A good Social engineerer (or as I love to call these types of people, “Bullshit artists”), can make people believe nearly anything.
I will use the example of someone trying to get someone’s password:
Now the most important thing is having a believable story. If you go to someone and say “hotmail have requested i get your password for account checking”, then they will most likely tell you to piss off.
One of the most common ways that i use, is “I’m doing a survey”. Make a fake survey, attach it to a clip board, and just walk up to the person and start asking him questions.
Hi, my name is Alexander, and I am doing a survey on how strong peoples passwords are. You will be surprised at how insecure most people’s passwords are, and you may find it extremely worrying about how insecure your password may be. If you don’t mind, would you allow me to ask you a few questions?
The person will think “insecure personal information” and 9 times out of 10 will agree to talk to you.
Ask them questions like “does your password contain letters numbers and symbols”, “how long is your password” (when they are counting, watch their lips to see if they spell the words/numbers out), etc.
You may also be able to give them the “i also have a good way of calculating how strong your password is. This isn’t necessary but you can give me a password you use most frequently and i can calculate how strong it is”, but that sometimes pushes the bar a little too much.
Prevention of Social Engineering
As you can probably see above, the power of SE can EASILY be used against people. It is always a good idea to be aware of people who you don’t know, but it is also good practice to watch people you DO know. Don’t be getting paranoid about things, because that isn’t what i mean, but SE is the EASIEST way to hack anything.
Here are some tips of keeping safe:
I cant have a complete list, because Social Engineers are constantly changing the ways in which they gain trust.
A few things to look out for:
Something that is too good to be true
If its too good to be true, then it probably is. Always make sure that the person is trusted, or is well known. Hey, don’t just go on that, the person may have fooled everyone, but it is always good to ask yourself “If this is such a good offer, how can he/she be offering it.”
Someone who you never usually talk to has started being really interested in you
They might just have become really interested in you, but what for? If they start asking really strange/personal questions, I would recommend you play the “Playing it hard” game. Ask them the same question as your answer, and refuse to tell them until they tell you. Then just be like “I don’t believe you”. Doesn’t matter if its true or not, but what you have just done is proven to them they aren’t as trusted as they believed they were, even if its only psychological. Then just make up an excuse so you need to go. There are plenty of ways to just get out of something, but i prefer the method where you beat them at their own game. Make it SO much more entertaining =)
Someone you don’t know asks you for your details
Obviously you don’t give them out, you would have to be stupid to do that.
As a rule of thumb, just make sure that the person isn’t trying anything. You will find it hard to pick a real good Social engineerer, but just remember that there are always people out there who aren’t that good, trying it.
Remember: Never give out details, or secure information such as your passwords. Use passwords that aren’t anything to do with your age/DOB/FirstName/Surname etc. All of that can be found too easily.
This Post was written with the beginner in mind, and just defines the basics of the Social Engineering techniques.
Source : Hack PC Online