September 10, 2010

Stealing Secrets: Social Engineering on the Phone

Contributed By:Robert Siciliano

Thursday, September 09, 2010

In a recent post (Hackers Play “Social Engineering Capture The Flag” At Defcon) I pointed to a game in which contestants used the telephone to convince company employees to voluntarily cough up information they probably shouldn’t have.

At the recent Defcon event, social engineers proved that it doesn’t take much more than asking to get the necessary information that may lead to penetrating a person’s computer.

Social engineering is a fancier, more technical form of lying.

An alternative to traditional hacking, it is the act of manipulating others into performing certain actions or divulging confidential information. Social engineering or “social penetration” techniques are used to bypass sophisticated and expensive hardware and software in a corporate network.

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