What is a common method used in social engineering? (Podcast)
As we all have become technically savvy nowadays, we as the people using the tech have become increasingly lacking in maintaining safety and security. No wonder the cybercriminal saw us, people, as the weakest link in providing an income for them. The term social engineering meant that the cybercriminal can predict and within his predictions saw how he can control our behavior. They have a lot of auspicious ways in their arsenal to overpower an unsuspecting user to divulge sensitive information to benefit them. Full details about What is a common method used in social engineering.
A 2019 report done by the company Proofpoint says that 90% of virus attacks were and are still done through social engineering tactics aiming to urge users to install malicious programs (malware) on their devices without knowing it. Here we will describe to you the different threats social engineers employ and we will also guide you towards defending yourself against those threats. Here are the common methods used in social engineering.
Phishing is the most common method used in Social Engineering Attacks. Experts named it the most used method of a social engineering attack. These attacks utilize people’s credibility against them to distract their sensitive information from them. Or to trick them into following directions that will maliciously infect their devices with viruses.
Read Related: What is a Common Indicator of a Phishing Attempt?
There are also some other different methods used by these scammers. They are:
- Angler phishing: It`s an attack done on you by using a stolen identity account on your social media.
- Pharming: It`s the steering of online traffic from a viable site to a fake clone site.
- Tab nabbing/reverse tab nabbing: To rescribe search engine tabs with malware.
- BEC (business email compromise): Emails are written that seem it comes from the top management.
- Spear phishing: Attacks that are aimed at specific institutions or persons.
- Whaling /CEO fraud: Attacks targeting the high profilers in the office. (CEO, Managing Directors, or board members)
More methods used in social engineering:
- Baiting: It lures users to reveal sensitive information by offering freebies and to claim the winning of devices that are infected with malware.
- Honey trap: They try to let you divulge your information or money by acting as if they are romantically or sexually attracted to you.
- Pretexting: They send a message with a trustworthy story to gain your trust so that you can divulge your information to them.
- Scareware: It is a type of scaremongering in the form of a pop-up that warns you about a virus attacking your device and that you should quickly react to redeem it.
- Vishing / Voice phishing: It`s a social engineering tactic involving the use of your phone. It can be a message that warns you about the danger your bank account is in. Then they lure you into typing in your bank account details thus giving them access.
- 419/ Nigerian prince/ advance fee scam: These messages always talk about help they need from you. It is for them to transfer large amounts of money from their country or any other to the other. It involves you giving your bank account number whereby they could pay in the money. These scams start in Nigeria, so the 419 number refers to some of Nigeria`s criminal codes, banning this.
- Diversion theft: If you are busy online they trick you into sending your confidential information to a false address. They can also divert your parcels and anything you purchased online that needs to be delivered by courier to the wrong address.
- Smishing/Sms phishing: They send you messages sounding it comes from a legit place or person. They can also lure you to enter your details on a spamming website.
- Quid pro quo: It plays heavily on your mutual senses, as they offer a kind of numeration for information.
- Tailgating: Tailgating is a physical attack on someone by another who follows the victim.
- Water-holing/watering hole: This works by contaminating websites with viruses. It is usually those sites that a certain group they target loves to visit.
Best ways to defend yourself against social engineering attacks
Appeasing the intimidation of social engineering is a critical ingredient of cybersecurity programming. You as a company head should have a versatile approximate to train your staff about social engineering attacks, and how to see it for what it is, and to defend against it.
Here are 2 methods to help appease social engineering attacks.
- Always have positive security alertness: Whenever you or your workers become targets of a social engineering attack the security guys will have to jump to quickly suppress it. Your motto at work therefore should always be to encourage all to be vigilant and to report any undesired activities they might encounter directly. It would be a real nuisance for a contamination to spread all over because someone was too afraid to report it fearing he/she would get a scolding.
- Give the workers training on cybersecurity matters, psychological triggers, and so forth: These attacks are always obscured and difficult to notice. That`s why it is so important for your workers to understand the methods these social engineers used.
Read more : 16 Best Ways to Protect Yourself from Social Engineering 
Here are some of the methods to watch out for:
What is a common method used in social engineering read Below steps:
- Pretending to be known businesses using known brands or people.
- Fear-mongering: Messages concentrating on prompt action otherwise something might happen or you may lose out on something.
- Playing on your sense of obedience to authority or your natural meddlesomeness.
Ways to train your workers:
- They should always be on the alert for unwanted communications and persons.
- Ensure always that emails come from a genuine source and that it`s who it says it is. (Make sure about the sender’s name and watch for grammar and spelling errors.)
- Let them steer clear from opening suspicious-looking email attachments.
- Take your time to think about the message or the prompt wanting your sensitive information. (First, check out the sender’s website)
- Make always sure you work with a legitimate website.
- Some sites look genuine at first view, that`s why it’s important to be sure of their URL and how it`s typed.
Test to see if the training has helped:
Look regularly to see if your workers have grabbed the essentials of your training. Do unsuspected simulated phishing attacks on them. It will show you how alert they are and the level of understanding you require from them.
Update and put in practice other technical security measures.
Although you`ve trained and tested your workers it will be wise of you to also put other security means like – Firewalls, Antivirus, patch management, penetration testing, and entry management policies into place. These will ensure that attacks are limited to reach your workers and your damage will be less. Know more about What is a common method used in social engineering. Share this post with your friends and do comment if it is useful for you.
Read Also: How To Identify a Vishing Attack & Safeguard Against it? (2023)