Tag - Social Engineering

Hacking humans is easier than hacking machines

By Francesco Ficarola, Università La Sapienza, Rome Warning: picture ahead showing animal in distress  If you are reading this, then chances are that you have heard of Social Engineering (SE) at least once in your life. Perhaps, right now, you are thinking “how do I influence my boss to get a raise?”. Yes, don’t worry, I won’t tell him about your plans. Many of us are not satisfied with our salaries. So, that could be a good reason to “hack” a person, right? Seriously, you shouldn’t, just ask...

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Usurp, Manipulate, Exploit

By Christine Glaser, Communications and Marketing Manager, Restena Foundation, with the contribution of Jean-Paul Weber, Security Engineer, Restena Foundation  Any company or institution may one day be faced with social engineering attacks. For example, searching for waste or for poorly protected access to a building, or – above all – manipulating people are just a few of the techniques that illustrate social engineering’s complexity and diversity. Social engineering is an art in...

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It’s now or never! – and it never is as expected

By Simona Venuti, security manager at the GARR-CERT ‘When it’s time to talk about social engineering it’s difficult for me to decide from where to start, because it is everywhere around us. The definition of social engineering is “the psychological manipulation of people into performing actions that they wouldn’t normally do”. And this happens over and over again, every day.’ Every mum tries to convince her children that broccoli is much tastier than...

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The many ambiguous faces of social engineering

By Silvia Arezzini, systems engineer and project manager at INFN (Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics) “The problem of social engineering has always interested me because it shows the intertwining of technical and human aspects. Social engineering brings together a number of techniques aimed at inducing people to provide personal information, such as passwords or banking details, or to allow access to a computer to secretly install malicious software.” One of the best...

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When the sender is not who we think they are

By Bruno Vuillemin, Security Officer of the University of Fribourg Sometimes a very simple fraud can cause a great deal of trouble. Whenever you receive and read an email, the sender might not necessarily be the person sending the message! In fact, most smartphones do not display the sender’s “real email address”, but rather what is called the “person’s name” field. Depending on the software used, this field can be filled in by the users themselves, with no...

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Social Engineering – Don’t let hackers manipulate you!

Social engineering is the act of manipulating or tricking people into certain actions, such as giving out personal or financial information that can be used to commit fraud. It’s an act, but also an art; social engineers are very good at influencing victims through their emotions, for example by pretending to be someone in need of help. They may also pretend to be an authority figure. Or evoke curiosity through news on current events. Or offer a discount with limited availability. Their tricks...

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