When we think of cybersecurity, we tend to consider defending ourselves against hackers who exploit technical weaknesses to attack data networks. However, there’s another method of getting into networks and organizations by taking advantage of human weaknesses.
This is called social engineering. It’s the process or the trick of luring someone to divulge details or permitting access to networks of data. For example, an intruder may appear as an IT helpdesk employee. And request users to provide details such as logins as well as passwords.
It’s incredible how many people don’t hesitate to share the information, mainly when a legitimate official appears to get a request. Social engineering is the practice of using deceit to trick people into allowing access to information.
Types of Social Engineering Attacks?
There are a variety of social engineering-related attacks. Therefore, it is essential to comprehend the concept of social engineering and, more importantly, the way it operates. Once the fundamental premise can understand, it’s easier to recognize social engineering-related attacks.
The attack uses an excuse to draw attention and lure the victim into providing details. For example, an internet survey could appear innocent but later demand bank account information. A person using a clipboard could show you and claim to conduct an internal system audit. But they aren’t who they claim they are. In addition, they are trying to steal your valuable information.
Baiting involves setting up an opportunity to lure people, for example, the USB stick containing malware. Anyone who wants to know what’s in the stick places it into its USB drive, which results in that system becoming compromised.
The USB stick can damage computers through charging energy generated by the USB drive. Then releasing it with a massive power surge that damaged the device to which it was connected.
Phishing attacks are characterized by sending a text or email that appears to come from reliable sources soliciting details. The most well-known is the fake bank email demanding its customers to verify their security credentials and then sending users to a fake website where they store login credentials. Spear phishing targets one person within the organization, who sends an email purporting from a senior manager in the company, seeking sensitive information.
Contact and Email Spamming:
This kind is of hacking attack involves hacking the email accounts of an individual and social media profiles to gain access to their contacts. Contacts get information that the victim has been robbed and has lost all their credit cards. They then request that they wire funds to the money transfer account. The ‘friend’ could send a “must-see video,’ which contains a link to malware.
Quid Pro Quo:
They claim that it’s no robbery, but in this instance, a fair exchange. Several social engineering scams cause victims to believe that they receive something in exchange for the information or access they provide. “Scareware” works by promising users of computers an update to recover a security issue. But in reality, it’s the scareware itself that’s the malicious security threat.
How to Protect Kids from These Attacks?
Social engineering attacks are complicated to defeat since they are specifically designed to take advantage of the inherent human traits, such as interest and respect for authority and the need to aid those around you. There are many methods to help identify cyber-attacks involving social engineering.
Consider a second to think about where the information originates from. Don’t believe it blindly. A USB drive appears on your desk, but you’re not sure what it’s about? A call from an unknown source that says you’ve been given $5 million? These all sound suspicious.
It’s not difficult to determine the source. For example, when you receive an email, take a look at the header of the email and then compare it against legitimate emails by the sender.
Examine where the hyperlinks travel – fake links are easily identified simply by hovering your cursor across their contents (do not click on the hyperlink, though!) Verify the spelling as banks have entire teams of experts committed to creating customer-facing communications. So an email that has apparent errors sounds fake.
Social engineering usually relies on the feeling of urgency. The attackers hope that their targets aren’t overthinking about what’s happening. Therefore, taking a few minutes to think about it can stop the attacks or reveal them for fakes.
Call the official number or browse the official website address instead of divulging information over the phone or clicking on an email. Choose a different method of communication to determine the credibility of the source.
Always Check ID:
The details of the person making calls or asking questions “Who do you report to?” is a brilliant way to react to questions for details. Ensure to have a check on the organization’s chart or telephone directory before providing sensitive information.
If you aren’t familiar with who the person is but you’re not at ease sharing the data tell them you’re going to verify the information with someone else, and then you’ll return to them later.
Use Spam Filter:
If your email application doesn’t have enough filters to strain spam or flag email messages as a suspect, then you may need to change the settings. The best spam filters use different kinds of information to identify the type of emails likely spam. They may locate suspicious files or links and have a blocklist of suspect addresses or IDs of senders.
Use Parental Monitoring Software:
If you’re parents of young kids who can’t handle all this on their own, then you must consider installing the authentic parental control software. It allows you to remotely monitor all the incoming messages, calls, and emails through the SMS tracker app. The GPS location tracker help to get kids’ real-time locations. It allows you to protect kids from social engineering attacks.
Don’t Give Information Quickly:
Be cautious when you sense urgency when you enter an exchange. This is a typical tactic for criminals to prevent their victims from thinking things through. If you’re feeling stressed to take your time, you should slow it down.
If you’re in a hurry to gather the details, you have to speak to your manager about it, and you don’t have all the relevant information at the moment. Most of the time, social engineers will not push their luck when they realize that they’ve been deprived of the thrill of surprise.
Secure Your Phone:
It’s also essential to protect devices to ensure that a social engineering attack is restricted even when successful. The fundamental principles apply whether it’s a phone or a primary home network, or an enterprise system.
- Keep Anti-Virus Updated
- Change Passwords Frequently
- Use Two-factor Authorization
- Keep Updated on the Latest Cybersecurity Threats
You should think more about your online footprint. The sharing of personal information online, for example, via social media, could aid hackers. For example, some banks ask for the name of the first dog you owned and record the information as a possible security issue.
Have you posted that information on Facebook? If yes, you are at risk! Additionally, specific cyber-attacks using social engineering will build credibility by referring to recent events you might have posted on social media.
Social engineering is hazardous because it takes normal circumstances and alters them to profit. If you know how it operates and takes simple security measures, you are less likely to be subject to social engineering.