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The aim of this assignment is to deliver an idea on social engineering, how it works and is helpful. Different examples and history of social engineering will be evaluated in the next part of this assignment. After that, it has demonstrated the way of protecting social engineering.
Social Engineering is known as the exploitation of human personal information and data to misuse it and fraud. Social Engineering does not access the computer system to exploit but to the humans with their personal information. The term (Hatfield, 2018) "social engineering" refers to the target of sensitive human information. Social engineering can be used for getting the data of any organisation, or else someone accounts information. Social engineering attacks are made of various types. The attackers do a brief study on their targets before exploiting them. The attacker always tries to gain the trust of the target so they can give their personal information to them. Social Engineering always tries to attack the weakness of its target. This is also known as person hacking. Social engineers only have two motives: to attack their target and cause chaos, and the other one is to loot money or valuable things.
Social engineering follows six types of principles which are reciprocity, scarcity, authority, consistency, liking and consensus. It follows the principle of providing responses after getting one response from the other side. The scams of social engineering can be seen in different ways. Here are some examples of online scams which will come from the concept of social engineering. Fishing through email is one of the most common types of attack engineering, and it aims to visibly spam messages from the company (Salahdine and Kaabouch, 2019). Therefore in simple words, that can be said that cybercriminals take the assistance of different malware and viruses to hack the devices, and social engineering is all about hacking the minds of the people.
By sending vulnerable messages to the customers, it tries to break the trust of the company. Such kinds of emails or messages can be created by using a pre-designed email template. Generally, these emails are sent from big organisations, and this email consists of a link for fishing beside and collecting the usernames and passwords of the people. In the case of having the mismatched email address of the customers with the company, it is recorded to claim. At the same time, it is recorded to address different types of legitimate emails coming from people or organisations (Fathollahi-Fard et al., 2018). In the case the email consists of grammatical error or unusual syntax, it is required to look over it, and people can also translate this syntax by using Google translator.
Social engineering works like the attackers target the normal people who do not understand much about banking and credentials, or else the weaker sections who have less information try to attack them as they are the easy targets (Abass, 2018).
This normally works in two ways that are-
Those that utilise social engineering have a range of strategies, much as those who use other types of cyber-attacks. The most prevalent social engineering attacks are listed here, with significant overlap amongst them.
Baiting- Hackers attract individuals with promises of profit, but they end up being deceived and losing money. Baiting scams prey on people's curiosity or avarice. Someone once got an email telling him that he could acquire a free download of a first-run movie before it becomes available on a pay-per-view service. That's a bait-and-switch scheme.
Pretexting- To deceive them into providing them with personal information like social security numbers, passwords or account numbers, the attacker appears as an agent of a trusted source. Pretexting can also be used to collect information that isn't as dangerous but nonetheless annoying, such as a phone number or mailing address (Fathollahi-Fard et al., 2018).
Fraud ware - This one is, undoubtedly, extremely powerful and, to be honest, somewhat disturbing. Scareware social engineering tactics, as the name implies, are aimed to scare someone into compliance by bombarding them with false alarms, made-up threats, and "urgent" cautions. Typically, these bogus threats instruct the victim to download and install special software to remove the threat (Wang et al., 2020). "The system may be attacked with hazardous spyware programs," for example, is a common scareware threat.
Spear Phishing- This is more targeted phishing, similar to how hitting a fish with a spear is more direct than dragging a net across the sea. When it comes to spear-phishing, the hacker already knows something about them and uses it to make their fraud seem more compelling (Prieto et al., 2020).
Social engineering is a time-honoured method of manipulating others. People have sought to exploit prized information as long as there has been desired information. J.C. Van Marken, a Dutch manufacturer, coined the term "social engineering" in 1894. In today's world, social engineering refers to the act of fooling others in order to gather important information, which is frequently followed by a cyberattack (Ek et al., 2020). Computer technology has advanced sufficiently to boost the idea of security as social engineering for the past few years (Abass, 2018). Some people have still been using this technique to fool others for many years.
An example of Social Engineering is attackers trying to contact the victim for winning some amount from a game show and ask them to share their account credentials, and then they share some link and ask them to give them code and hack their whole account details.
People must never share their contact details or else any kind of credentials with an unknown person. It is required to remember to accept any request from anyone online. Also, never accept requests from anyone online for any kind of help. Always secure the devices and keep on updating them from fraud (Campbell, 2018). People must keep their emails free of spam. Must check the spam every day and delete the fraud or spam mails.Double-check for any information given online or if someone asks. In order to take protection from the scam of social engineering, people can turn off macros because it prevents malware-laden email attachments from vulnerable people.
The above discussion has delivered an idea about social engineering and the way of getting attacks from social engineering. From the history of social engineering, it can be concluded that different types of scams can happen anytime or on different types of online platforms. The third part of this assignment has mentioned different solutions for protecting themselves from social engineering.
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