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Social Engineering | Types, Techniques, PreventionJuly 17, 2022 - BY SIFS India

Social Engineering | Types, Techniques, Prevention

Social engineering is the art of human hacking. It is a type of attack in which hackers exploit human weaknesses to gain access to systems or data.

Social engineering is a type of psychological manipulation that is used to trick people into giving up confidential information or performing certain actions. This tactic is often used by hackers in order to gain access to systems or data, and it can be very difficult to defend against.

Attackers use various methods to trick victims into divulging sensitive information or performing actions that will give the attacker access to the target system.

These attacks are often successful because they exploit natural human tendencies, such as trusting others, wanting to help, and being curious.

Here we will focus on social engineering types, techniques, and preventive measures that can be taken.

 Techniques Employed by a Social Engineer

"Social engineering" is the art of manipulating people into performing actions or divulging confidential information. A social engineer can use a variety of techniques to achieve his or her goals, including but not limited to:

1. Posing as a Legitimate Authority Figure: A social engineer may pose as a government official, a customer service representative, or even a member of the victim's own organization in order to gain trust and access to sensitive information.

2. Creating a Sense of Urgency: By creating a false sense of urgency, the social engineer can pressurize victims into making hasty decisions without thinking properly. This is often done by calling with time-sensitive offers or threatening legal action if the victim does not comply.

3. Playing on Emotions: Social engineers know how to exploit human emotions like fear, guilt, and kindness in order to get what they want. For example, they may play on your fears by claiming that your personal information has been compromised and that you need to take immediate action to protect yourself.

4. Offering Something for Free: Who doesn't love free stuff? By offering victims free products or services, social engineers can entice them into giving up sensitive information or agreeing to do something.

Different Types of Social Engineering

There are many different types of social engineering, but they all share one common goal: to trick people into giving up sensitive information or performing an action that they wouldn’t normally do. Here are some of the most common types of social engineering attacks:

Phishing: It uses email or text messages to trick people into clicking on a malicious link or opening an attachment that installs malware on their device.

Baiting: Here attackers leave infected USB sticks or other storage devices in public places in the hope that someone will find and use them.

Pretexting: It is a type of attack where attackers create a false story or scenario in order to convince their target to give them sensitive information.

Quid pro quo: It is a type of attack where attackers offer something to their target in exchange for access to sensitive information or systems.

These are just a few of the many different types of social engineering attacks that exist. As you can see, they all involve tricking people into doing something that they wouldn’t normally do, such as clicking on a link, opening an attachment, or giving up sensitive information.

How Social Engineering Works?

Social engineering is the art of manipulating people into giving up confidential information. It is a type of confidence trick for the purpose of information gathering, fraud, or system access.

The attacker uses human interaction to obtain or compromise information about an organization or its computer systems. It can be used to gain access to physical locations, such as a building or office, or to logical locations, such as computer systems or networks.

Once the attacker has gained access, they can then use other techniques to exploit the system or gather sensitive information.

There are many different ways that social engineering can be carried out, but some of the most common include phishing, pretexting, and tailgating.

Phishing is a type of social engineering attack that involves sending fraudulent emails or messages in an attempt to trick the recipient into giving up confidential information, such as passwords or credit card numbers.

Pretexting is another type of social engineering attack where the attacker creates a false story or scenario in order to obtain personal information from the victim. For example, an attacker may pretend to be from a legitimate company and call a victim asking for their password or credit card number in order to verify their account.

How do Social Engineers Hack into Your Personal Data?

Most people are aware of the term “hacking” in relation to computers, but few know about social engineering – the art of human hacking.

Social engineers use psychological manipulation to trick people into giving them sensitive information or access to protected systems. In many ways, social engineering is a more dangerous threat than traditional computer hacking, because it exploits the weakest link in any security system: people.

Social engineers are often very skilled at reading people and understanding what motivates them.

They use this knowledge to exploit their victims’ trust, coerce them into giving up information, or convince them to perform actions that they would not normally do.

Once a social engineer has gained access to an individual’s personal data, they can use it to commit identity theft, financial fraud, or other crimes.

Social Engineering Prevention Tips

There are several steps that you can take to protect yourself from social engineering attacks.

  • Be aware of the techniques that social engineers use, such as building rapport or creating a sense of urgency.
  • Never give out personal information or login credentials to anyone online or over the phone.
  • Be suspicious of unsolicited emails or requests for assistance from unknown individuals.


As we've seen, social engineering is a serious threat that can have devastating consequences. But there are things you can do to protect yourself and your organization against these attacks.

By being aware of the dangers of social engineering and taking steps to counter it, you can stay safe online and keep your data out of the wrong hands.

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