Social engineering is the act of manipulating people into performing actions or divulging confidential information.

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85
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7answers
4k views

Is social-engineering an actual threat

I've recently finished book The Art of Deception: Controlling the Human Element of Security by Kevin Mitnick The book was released on 4th December 2002. Not talking only about techniques described ...
71
votes
8answers
9k views

How to distinguish between a scam and a genuine call?

My bank called me the other day and the person who spoke to me failed to give me a single evidence that he is calling from my bank. The bank number is hidden just like many other companies maybe ...
50
votes
11answers
18k views

If someone asks to borrow your phone to make a call, what could they do?

A stranger walks up to you on the street. They say they lost their phone and need to make a phone call (has happened to me twice, and maybe to you). What's the worst a phone call could do? Let's ...
32
votes
7answers
2k views

How do I educate others about social engineering?

One of my friends used to boast about how long his passwords are. One day, I decided to play a prank and social-engineered it out of him. I was pretty surprised as to how effortless the entire ...
24
votes
10answers
5k views

Can an HTTPS site be malicious or unsafe?

I know it's possible for a computer to be infected just by visiting a website. I also know that HTTPS websites are secure. To my understanding, "secure" here refers to "immune to MITM attacks", but ...
20
votes
7answers
2k views

When do honest people need privacy or anonymity? (e.g. they have nothing to hide) [closed]

I'm having a discussion with someone who thinks they don't need technical measures of privacy or anonymity. Common arguments against needing to care about privacy or anonymity include: Everything ...
19
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11answers
1k views

How to persuade average people that security matters?

If people could be fooled in life so easily ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/realhustle/ ) then in computing.... So what are the best tips, to persuade a regular user to pay a little more attention to ...
19
votes
2answers
604 views

How secure is Stack Exchange's reputation?

I recently read an article about researchers being able to penetrate the Facebook network and making lots of friends with about 100 "Social" bots. What would prevent somebody to do the same on Stack ...
19
votes
3answers
4k views

Google hacking - why “numrange” is so dangerous?

I'm reading Google Hacking for Penetration Testers and in book it's said several times operator "numrange" is especially powerful and dangerous. However, they don't give example of using this ...
18
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5answers
961 views

Is there any legal reason to save a cleartext password?

I called customer service of a well known company and discovered that the operator had the ability to view my website password in clear text on her screen. I asked her about this and she defended the ...
15
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5answers
1k views

Does two factor authentication prevent social engineering attacks

After reading this article from symantec I got to think how much all these social engineering techniques rely on the authentication system of users, a password. Considering three different additional ...
14
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7answers
1k views

Has cryptography reached the development level where social engineering is the only reliable method of attack?

Note that for the purpose of this question, "social engineering" means extracting information from humans, be your methods compliant with Geneva Conventions or not. Simply put: Do cryptographic ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Are in-store computers a security risk?

In many "big box" stores like Walmart, Home Depot, etc. I see many store computers just sitting empty. A black hat could install a payload on one of these computers, and potentially wreak havoc on the ...
12
votes
3answers
7k views

Why would someone register a Facebook account with a stolen email address?

I witnessed an interesting attack today. Someone was able to register a new Facebook account with the email address of a friend of mine. We don't know how it happened, because Facebook requires you to ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Possible to prevent Juice Jacking by only connecting USB pins 1 & 4?

According to this accepted answer, there is no phone on the market today that is immune from "Juice Jacking"*. I think an easy way to mitigate this threat is to have a filter that blocks USB pins 2 ...
11
votes
3answers
6k views

What is reverse social engineering?

What is reverse social engineering? Is it something different from normal social engineering?
11
votes
2answers
452 views

Custom Metasploit payload with UAC bypass

The machine I am attacking has anti-virus installed. I have managed to use Veil Framework in order to create an initial reverse shell payload that is undetected by the AV. However, UAC is enabled on ...
10
votes
6answers
797 views

Does not having https moot this entire site?

On a bank website the other day, I noticed that they were giving out a phone number on a page that wasn't over https. This seemed really wrong to me, since it would allow somebody to change the phone ...
10
votes
1answer
477 views

Social Engineering and Police Officers

The Story: Yesterday at 12pm a neighbor of mine was pulling into his driveway, and saw that his van's back-window was shattered. Well, this neighbor and I have had some trouble with each other in the ...
9
votes
5answers
3k views

How to catch a gmail hacker/money-scammer? (in conversation with one right now!)

My friend's GMail account was recently hacked and the perpetrator sent out one of those classic "help I was mugged, I need money" style e-mails. (Edit: I know it's legit; my friend called me to tell ...
9
votes
4answers
7k views

How do online accounts get hacked?

How does your typical users run-of-the-mill Facebook/twitter/gmail/AIM/etc account get hacked? Is it simply a matter of a weak password? Are they typically the victim of phishing or other social ...
9
votes
1answer
158 views

New social engineering tactic that uses printer serial numbers?

We have been getting a new kind of scammer-esque call every couple weeks here at the office (I work at an enterprise web application development company). Basically, the flow of events is this: ...
9
votes
2answers
9k views

Reversing an entry card - How to find out what type of RFID hardware I need to read the chip?

I have an acccess/entry card chip I want to copy for demonstrational purposes. However I am not sure how I can find out what type of RFID reader I need to get a hold of. Does anyone have a ...
8
votes
2answers
290 views

How do you address a social engineering and or software weakness/concern in a company or organisation?

Say that you call your bank and are able to start talking about your personal finances, without having given them any real proof of your identity. Well the first thing I'd think would be to change ...
7
votes
5answers
528 views

How can we get into the user's mindset?

As security folk, we tend to over- or under-estimate the capabilities and educatedness of our users, especially in terms of resistance to social engineering attacks. Stereotypically, this is due to ...
7
votes
1answer
109 views

Mitigating risk from electronic payments

When attempting to sell a product online (for instance, on craigslist) there is a very good chance you will be the target of a social engineer; this is especially true when you are selling high-value ...
7
votes
1answer
75 views

Incident Response - Which logs are of most interest following a social engineered remote desktop attack

Unfortunately, someone in my family fell for a phone scam after data was leaked from TalkTalk. As a result, they allowed remote access to two computers and transferred money from their bank account to ...
6
votes
3answers
365 views

Are there password/passphrase guessers/crackers which can utilize facts supplied about the target?

I was just reading a discussion about cracking passwords that said the person running the tool might know things about the target like the birthday of his first girlfriend's dog but the tool won't. ...
6
votes
3answers
994 views

Theory X vs Theory Y in social engineering

Theory X and Theory Y are two models of human motivation, often used when discussing people-management in business. In short, Theory X postulates people are lazy, will avoid work, and require ...
6
votes
2answers
309 views

What is the Ethics and Legality of Grabbing Data from Social Networks to aid a Pentest?

What is the ethics and legality of developing and using a tool to grab data on employees in the client's company in social networks such as facebook, twitter and linkedin. The data should then be used ...
6
votes
1answer
78 views

Do large online software companies limit employee access to company information?

I've been wondering about how large online software companies, specifically those based around a single massive product, like Google, Facebook, Yahoo, etc. handle the risk of terminated employees. Any ...
5
votes
4answers
401 views

Automating Social Engineering Prevention

Being an advocate for DIO (defensive information operations), I have always been concerned about social engineering and its relation to server security. Giving administrative access to staff members ...
5
votes
4answers
313 views

Contact person by phone, when their phone might have malware

I have a problem setting where I want to contact a user by phone, and where I need to protect the integrity of the phone call as much as possible. I'm wondering about how to design the interaction in ...
5
votes
2answers
144 views

Could a fake tip that my server is compromised be a social engineering attack?

A little while ago I got the following email from an unknown party (using an @alum.cs.[redacted].edu email address): I'm seeing attack traffic from your Linode. Just a friendly heads up that its ...
5
votes
2answers
597 views

Has there been any documented cases where hackers have hijacked the phone number to a business?

Has there been any cases where hackers have taken over the phone number to a business, by creating a phone number in the same area code, setting up a virtual PBX / Asterisk system, routing all calls ...
4
votes
5answers
261 views

Using unique email address for online signups?

After reading the recent social engineering of a user's twitter handle, I started thinking about ways to improve my own online security. We can only do so much too protect ourselves because at the ...
4
votes
1answer
279 views

They think I am their IT Dept…What to do about it?

I have been asked to test out any security holes for a company. I created an email account that looks similar to their IT department's address and everybody is complying :) I have only asked them to ...
4
votes
3answers
214 views

Best way to handle identity theft incident?

A user's email is hacked, contacts copied, and similar emails (look alike emails with minor spelling differences) are created by the attacker with the same name and avatar, sending relatively well ...
4
votes
2answers
714 views

When is an intermediate page needed before directing a user off my primary website? What is the best implementation?

The NSA has a page that intercepts redirections off the primary site. (click "TLS: "Suite B Cipher Suites for TLS," RFC 5430" for an example). I've seen this used in Exchange Outlook Web Access ...
3
votes
3answers
358 views

I found a malicious website embedded in Malware spam. What should I do?

An email is using social engineering to get users to click on a malicious URL that downloads javascript and then runs malicious code. Who should I report these malicious URLs to? (Microsoft ...
3
votes
1answer
631 views

When a company asks to test physical security, what are some techniques one could use to gain entry?

When a company asks to test physical/infrastructure security, what are some techniques one could use to test employees? This could include good excuses to gain access to some hardware/software.
3
votes
2answers
436 views

How to mimic an emotion?

Microexpression is a brief facial expression according to emotions experienced. It is also one of the most powerful SE (social engineering) weapons. However, they are very hard to master. Are they ...
3
votes
3answers
340 views

“Doxing” users on Social Media

I hope this question falls within the scope of the faq...I'm curious to see what kind of answers I get. Suppose the following A user is posting libel and slander on social media (lets say Twitter ...
3
votes
2answers
173 views

Security Training for corporate Facebook users

One of my clients is looking at allowing their employees to access Twitter and Facebook from work. I have highlighted the need for training, and I have material to present, but what do you think ...
3
votes
1answer
680 views

How to detect social engineering attack?

How can I understand if I am being targeted by a grey hat social engineer? And if I fail, what approaches exist to detect social engineering attacks being in progress within an organisation?
2
votes
3answers
495 views

EICAR alternative for IDS/IPS

Is there a way to trigger alarms in an Intrusion Detection System with something similar to the EICAR test virus? Maybe some special packet that is harmless to the environement, but will trigger IDS? ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Will this work? Revealing identity (facebook) of person who clicks specially crafted link

There is a special Facebook link that will redirect anyone who clicks it to their own Facebook profile they are currently logged in on on their browser. The link goes like this: ...
2
votes
2answers
327 views

I need explanation on how serious these vulnerabilities are?

I have found two vulnerabilities on my college site and I want to report them but don't know if these are "really" vulnerabilities : RFI inside SWF file. Example: ...
2
votes
3answers
170 views

How can I help an online identity theft potential victim?

I just learned that my dad fell for a online green card lottery scam. It happened over 3 years ago, the attacker took 60$ and disappeared. I am not even considering getting this money back. On the ...
2
votes
2answers
185 views

E-mail Server Security

In recent news, Bitcoinica was compromised by an e-mail server infiltration. The hacker then applied social engineering, using one of the administrative e-mail accounts to reset the root credentials ...