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social engineering attack meaning, The lines between social engineering and phishing are blurred because they usually go hand in hand in a sophisticated attack, social engineering usually involves masquerading as a legitimate employee, for example, the CFO or CEO, or deceiving the employee into believing that the attacker is a legitimate customer in an attempt to get the employee to provide The attacker may provide sensitive information or change account features, for example, swapping a SIM card.

social engineering attack meaning

Some features common to all social engineering attacks

Rising sentiment

The attacker threatens to lose an account to trick users into providing their credentials, or the attacker may pretend to be an executive demanding money from a targeted user to instill a sense of urgency in the employee who fears losing their job.

Phishing sender address

Most users don't realize that the sender's email address can be spoofed, but proper email security will stop phishing senders from accessing the target user's inbox, instead, the attacker will register a domain similar to the official one and hope the target user won't notice the spelling error.

Weird Friend Requests

It is not uncommon for an attacker to hack an email account and send unwanted malicious messages to the victim's contact list. The messages are usually short and do not contain custom items from friends, so feel free to click on links from friends. If the message does not look like a personal communication.

Unprofessional website links

Phishing links are sometimes used with social engineering to trick users into divulging sensitive information, as you should not enter credentials on any website directly from an email link, even if it looks like an official website (eg PayPal).

Unreal offers

Scammers often promise money in exchange for monetary compensation, for example, a target user can get a free (iPhone) in exchange for shipping payments, if the offer is too good to be true, it is probably a scam.

Malicious Attachments

Instead of tricking targeted users into divulging private information, a sophisticated attack might install malware on a corporate machine using email attachments, and no macros or executables should run on a machine from a seemingly harmless email.

Refuse to answer questions

If a message appears suspicious, you must reply to the message and ask the sender to identify himself, the attacker will avoid being identified and may just ignore the request.