Universally Social Engineering is classified as the most deceitful and manipulative type of hacking and scamming. Social engineering techniques are usually used to deliver malicious software, but in some cases only form part of an attack, as an enabler to gain additional information, commit fraud or obtain access to secure systems. Social engineers are creative, and their tactics can be expected to evolve to take advantage of new technologies and situations. They work by manipulating normal human behavioral traits and exploiting the one weakness found in each and every organization. Social engineering involves email or other communication that invokes urgency, fear, or similar emotions in the victims, leading the victim promptly to reveal sensitive information by clicking on a malicious link, or opening a malicious file. Because social engineering involves a human element, preventing these attacks can be tricky for enterprises. SE is a term that encompasses a different range of malicious activities.
Here are the six most common attack types that social engineers use to target their victims:
The most common social engineering attack, it has become a big player in malware attacks and has proven hard to overcome. Attackers send well-crafted emails with seemingly legitimate attachments that carry a malicious payload. The message is meant to trick the recipient into sharing personal or financial information by clicking on the infected link that installs malware.
Here the attackers focus on creating a good pretext, a fabricated scenario, or a credible story that they can use to deceive and steal their victims’ personal information and credentials. These types of scams rely on building a false sense of trust with the victims. The attackers pretend that they need certain personal information or financial data from their targets to confirm their identity.
More advanced attacks will also try to manipulate their targets into performing an action that enables them to exploit the structural weaknesses of an organization or company.
It is similar to the phishing attack where the attackers entice their victims through a promise of an item or good. Baiters may offer users free music or movie downloads if they submit their login credentials to a certain account. These attacks are not restricted to online schemes, either. Baiters can also focus on exploiting human curiosity via the use of physical media.
The attackers trick their victim into thinking his computer is infected with malware or has inadvertently downloaded illegal content. The attackers then offer the victim a solution that will fix the bogus problem; in reality, the victim is simply tricked into downloading and installing the attackers’ malware.
- Quid Pro Quo:
The quid pro quo attack is similar to the previous attacks; the attackers promise a benefit in exchange for information. This benefit usually assumes the form of a service, whereas baiting frequently takes the form of goods. It is important to note, that attackers can use less sophisticated quid pro quo offers than IT fixes. As real-world examples have shown, office workers are more than willing to give away their credentials for a cheap gadget or even a chocolate bar.
Ransomware represents a growing threat to the enterprise, as 40% of businesses worldwide were attacked by blackhat hackers with their data held to ransom in the past year. It is a type of malware that prevents or limits users from accessing their system by locking the system’s screen or by locking the users’ files unless the users pay a certain ransom.
It can be downloaded onto systems when unwitting users visit malicious or compromised websites. It can also arrive as a payload either dropped or downloaded by other malware. Some ransomware is delivered as attachments by spammed email downloaded from malicious pages through advertisements or dropped by exploit kits onto vulnerable systems.
What can your company do to prevent being victimized by these types of attacks?
The answer is simply the following:
—RAISING USERS’ AWARENESS – THEY ARE THE WEAKEST LINK – THEY NEED TO BE TRAINED.
The best defense is to educate users on the techniques used by social engineers and raising awareness as to how both humans and computer systems can be manipulated to create a false level of trust. With hackers regularly creating smarter and more deceitful methods for tricking employees and individuals into handing over sensitive company data, companies must take a comprehensive solution to stay a few steps ahead of attackers. For this reason, organizations and individuals should also have measures in place to respond to, and recover from, a successful attack.
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Original source: Teknologiia team