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

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77
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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 ...
41
votes
10answers
8k 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 ...
29
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 ...
19
votes
3answers
3k 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
votes
2answers
564 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 ...
17
votes
11answers
840 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 ...
17
votes
5answers
806 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
812 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 ...
13
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7answers
963 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 ...
10
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3answers
1k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
8
votes
6answers
716 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 ...
8
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
227 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
4answers
5k 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
487 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
2answers
4k views

What is reverse social engineering?

What is reverse social engineering? Is it something different from normal social engineering?
7
votes
2answers
5k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
294 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
283 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
807 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
268 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
103 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
359 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 ...
4
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4answers
200 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
241 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
2answers
101 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
3answers
184 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
489 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
322 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
323 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
291 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
287 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
155 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
2answers
473 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
1answer
316 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
137 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
429 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
165 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
129 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
1answer
95 views

Possible to redact information in the clipboard, or to auto-redact when it hits a webpage?

Sometimes when I paste information to a website I realize after I post the information that I inadvertently included an IP address, username, email address, or other information I'd like to consider ...
2
votes
1answer
800 views

Social Engineer Toolkit (Cloning Sites)

Is it legal or illegal to use the cloning site option within the social engineer toolkit (SET) or any other tool that clones websites? I was under the impression that if performing a social engineer ...
2
votes
2answers
284 views

Ways to obfuscate web browsing habits [duplicate]

Web browsing metadata provides a lot of insight on person's habits. How can I reduce that insight? Is there something like "Detachment 2702" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryptonomicon) plugin for ...
2
votes
1answer
159 views

Exposure risk of knowing only social security number?

Up until recently I was under the impression that the social security number was insufficient information to perform identity theft, and that in practice you will at least need the victim's SSN and ...
2
votes
1answer
142 views

Industrial security — resources for ISO27k compliance, social-engineering trend reports

I'm attempting to compile resources on industrial IT security from a non-technical standpoint as it pertains to the U.S petrochemical industry. This is for my final research paper as an undergraduate ...
2
votes
1answer
125 views

Should police departments recommend the securit.leadsonline.com website as a secure place to store information about our valuables?

This is kind of a social engineering question -- my local law enforcement agency sent out this email today: Help us by keeping identifying information about your valuables safe and accessible – ...
1
vote
2answers
57 views

Detect blocked reverse shell

I am wondering if there is a way to detect if a reverse shell is blocked by egress filtering or an obligatory proxy, or the exploit just failed. I am asking this question in the context of a SE media ...
1
vote
2answers
271 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: ...
1
vote
2answers
777 views

How to react on a message about a pending account ban on Facebook? [closed]

Are you getting this message on chat? LAST WARNING : Your account is reported to have violated the policies that are considered annoying or insulting Facebook users. Until we system will disable ...
1
vote
5answers
109 views

How do big companies ensure that other people don't register a new top level domain with their name?

For example today there are ".codes", ".farm" and ".vaijes" newly available. How do big companies like google, facebook, twitter, .. keep sure that they are the first who register their name on the ...