• By
  • May 2, 2022
  • Cyber Security


Social engineering is a term used for a broad range of malicious actions carried out through human interaction. It uses psychic deception to trick users into making mistakes to protect or provide sensitive information.

A Social engineering attack occurs in one or more steps. The perpetrator first investigates the target victim in order to gather the necessary basic information, such as a possible entry point and weak security systems, which are needed to continue the attack. Then, the attacker moves in to gain the victim’s trust and inspires subsequent actions that violate security procedures, such as disclosing sensitive information or providing access to essential services.

What makes social engineering so dangerous is that it relies on human error, rather than on software and operating systems. Errors made by legitimate users are less predictable, making them more difficult to identify and prevent than intervention based on malware.

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Strategies To Attack Social Engineering:

Social engineering attacks come in many different forms and can be carried out wherever human communication is involved. The following are the five most common forms of digital social engineer attacks.


As its name implies, seductive attacks use false promises to arouse the victim’s greed or curiosity. They lure users into a trap that steals their personal information or infects their systems with malicious software.

The most deceptive method of deception is using visual media to destroy a malicious program. For example, attackers leave bait — usually flash drives infected with malware — in open areas where potential victims will certainly see them (e.g., bathrooms, elevators, company-owned parking). Bait has its own authentic look, like a label that introduces itself as a corporate payroll.

Victims pick up trash out of curiosity and put it in a work or home computer, leading to the automatic installation of a malware program on the system.

Baiting fraud does not have to be done in the physical world. Types of online seduction include attractive ads that lead to malicious sites or encourage users to download malware.


Scareware includes victims who are attacked by false alarms and false threats. Users are tricked into thinking that their system is infected with malicious software, which leads them to install malicious software (without malware) or malware itself. Scareware is also called fraudulent software, corrupt scanner software and fraudware.

A common example of scareware popup ads that appear to be valid from your browser while you are using the web, displaying text such as, “Your computer may be infected with malicious spyware programs.” It offers to install a tool (usually infected with malware), or will direct you to a malicious site where your computer is infected.

Scareware is also distributed through spam email that removes fake warnings, or makes offers to users to buy useless / harmful apps.


Here the attacker finds information on a series of cleverly designed lies. Fraud is often initiated by the perpetrator as if he or she needs sensitive information from the victim in order to perform a sensitive function.

An attacker often starts by establishing trust with his or her victim by pretending to be colleagues, police officers, banking and tax authorities, or other people who have the authority to know. The pretexter asks questions that are clearly needed to verify the identity of the victim, in which they collect important personal data.

All kinds of important information and records are collected using this scam, such as social security numbers, personal addresses and phone numbers, telephone records, staff holidays, bank records and even plant-related security information.


As one of the most popular forms of social engineer attacks, phishing scams email campaigns and text messages are intended to create a sense of urgency, curiosity or fear in the victims. Then it prompts them to reveal sensitive information, by clicking on links to malicious websites, or by opening up attachments containing malware.

For example an email sent to users of an online service informing them of a policy violation that requires immediate action on their part, such as a necessary password change. Includes a link to an illegal website — almost identical to its official version — which encourages the unsuspecting user to enter his or her current information and password. When you submit the form the information is sent to the attacker.

Considering that the same messages, or almost the same ones, are sent to all users in criminal networks to steal sensitive information, find it and block it is much easier for email servers that have access to threat sharing forums.

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5. The Crime Of Stealing Sensitive Information –

This is a highly targeted version of the crime of identity theft when the attacker selects certain people or businesses. They then tailor their messages based on traits, positions, and contact with their victims to make their attacks invisible. The crime of stealing sensitive information The theft of personal information requires extra effort on the part of the perpetrator and may take weeks and months to begin. It is very difficult to see them and they have better success rates when done skillfully.

The criminal situation of stealing sensitive information with a spear may involve an attacker, who pretends to be an organizational IT consultant, to send an email to one or more employees. It is written and signed just as the counselor usually does, thus deceiving the recipients into thinking that the message is true. The message notifies recipients to change their password and provide them with a redirect link to a malicious page where the attacker is now capturing their credentials.


Social engineers control people’s emotions, such as curiosity or fear, in order to devise plans and lure victims into their trap. Therefore, beware whenever you feel intimidated by an email, are attracted to an offer that is being displayed on a website, or are exposed to misleading digital media. Being vigilant can help you to protect yourself from the many attacks of social engineers that occur in the digital environment.

In addition, the following tips can help improve your vigilance in relation to social engineering hacks.

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  • Do not open emails and attachments from suspicious sources – If you do not know the sender in question, you do not need to reply to email. Even if you know them and are suspicious of their message, check and confirm the news from other sources, such as the phone or directly from the service provider’s site. Remember that email addresses are not always corrupt; even an email that is said to be from a trusted source may actually have been started by an attacker.
  • Use multi-factor authentication – One of the most important pieces of information that attackers want is user credentials. Using multifactor authentication helps ensure the security of your account in the event of a system crash. Imperva Login Protect is an easy-to-use 2FA solution that can increase the account security of your apps.
  • Beware of tempting offers – If the offer sounds too good to be true, think twice before accepting it. Examining the topic can help you quickly determine if you are facing a legal deal or a trap.
  • Keep your antivirus / anti-malware software updated – Make sure you update automatically, or make it a habit to download the latest signatures first each day. Check periodically to make sure updates are applied, and scan your system for possible infections.



Rajat Sharma

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