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What is Social Engineering on Social Media?

What Is Social Engineering On Social Media?

Social engineering is manipulating people to provide their confidential information. There are different types of social engineering, and the data these hackers or criminals seek can vary.

These may trick their targets into providing information such as passwords, bank information, or can use some malicious software to be installed on the computer and steal this information.

Criminals are using social engineering on social media because a human is exploiting so that they can easily fool them to give confidential information. This is easier than to hack the password.

Types of Social Engineering Attacks

Social engineering strategies exploit human nature. The elements of human nature that are used are the nature of humans to help others, fear of making errors, desire to avoid struggles, etc. To understand social engineering or to prevent it, one must understand the activities of the hackers. Here are the types of social engineering attacks.

Electronic Approach

This is the most common approach hackers use to gain confidential information access. Attackers gather the information of targets via search engines. Phishing or baiting is some attacks that come under this attack.

Phishing:

This is the most common social engineering techniques. Email, social media, and messaging are used to trick victims into providing sensitive information. The common characteristics of phishing are messages to attract the attention of the users.

  • They send messages to stimulate the curiosity of the victims and make them visit a specific website; they might use messages with a sense of urgency and make them disclose sensitive data to resolve the situation, use a shortened URL or link to redirect the victims to malicious domains, etc.
  • They may even use email messages and use forged sender addresses to believe that the email is from a trusted source.
  • Phishing social engineering attacks can be avoided by deploying SPAM filters, installing updated anti-virus, or create security policies.
  • Encrypting all the sensitive details of the organization is necessary. Employees must be trained with mock phishing attacks.

Baiting:

This is another type of phishing attack. In this method, attackers promise to give promising items or services to trick victims. To avoid this, one must never open attachments or emails that are received from unknown sources.

Do not get tempted by free offers. The antivirus or anti-malware software of the computers must always be kept updated.

Physical Access Approach

Some physical activity is used by the attackers to collect the information of victims. The report can be personal details such as birth, social security number, mobile numbers, or passwords. Types of attacks that come under this approach are the pretexting, tailgating, and quid pro quo.

Pretexting

The attackers try to gain the trust of the victims with a new identity. After gaining trust, they access the departments, information systems of the targets. To avoid this, organizations must train their employees regarding threats. Safe-harbor must be offered to the subordinates; it is also important to rely on trusted sources only.

Tailgating

This is another social engineering attack that falls under the natural approach. The employee who has authorized access to the controlled area is followed by the attackers to control it.

To avoid tailgating, electronic turnstiles, man traps, photo beam detection, intelligent video, electrified hardware card reader, and other hardware solutions must be implemented.

Quid Pro Quo

In this type of attack, attackers promise to provide benefits to the victims in return for vital information such as access details they provide. To avoid quid pro quo, sensitive data must be safeguarded with security measures.

Care must be taken never to reveal sensitive details, use only the official phone number of the companies, and not converse with any employee of the organization.

Social Approach

This is another type of social engineering attack in which the hackers rely on social-psychological strategies to fool the target. This is a combination of a natural approach and the electronic approach.

In this, the attackers might create fake accounts from the details gathered from social media sites. Social approach attacks can be prevented by avoiding sharing personal information with anyone unknown online. This information includes the name, date of birth, hometown, dates of graduation, school location, etc.

Reverse Social Engineering

In this method of social engineering attacks, the curiosity of the victim is enhanced and is made to initiate the contact. To avoid this type of attack, employees’ awareness of social engineering attacks must be improved. Do not allow employees to install any external social media programs.

How to Avoid Becoming Victim of Social Engineering Attacks on Social Media

Social engineering attacks can destroy the reputation and data of individuals or organizations. These attacks are used by the attackers to gain the details of the company quickly.

  • Spammers want the victims to act first and think later. Do not let the urgency influence you.
  • Be suspicious of unsolicited messaged.
  • Research the facts before acting.
  • Do not respond to requests for financial information or passwords. It could be a scam.
  • Do not respond to requests for help from organizations.
  • Legitimate companies do not contact anyone for help. Ignore all the requests from charity organizations, delete their applications.
  • Do not click on the links that come in suspicious emails. If you want to visit a website, use search engines to do so.
  • Do not click on the download option until you know the sender personally. Set the spam filters high.

Social Engineering tools

KaliLinux:

This is one of the best social engineering tools which can be used to find the social engineering attack and website attack.

TrustedSec:

The open-source tools offered by it helps to concentrate on safeguarding company security.

Maltego:

This tool is one of the top social engineering tools that can be used to reduce cyber risks.

Armitage:

It is merely the graphical cyber attack management tool that helps to visualize the targets and to expose the framework with advanced capabilities.

Katana v2:

It is a versatile boot portable security suite that finds the top security distributions and applications to execute the single flash drive.

Unicorn:

It is the only tool to use the PowerShell downgrade attack that injects the shellcode into the memory directly.

EvilAbigail:

It is the Python-based tool that enables you to execute the automated Evil Maid attacks, especially on Linux systems.

BeEf:

It is one of the best social engineering tool kits for pen testers that provides the best practical click-side cyber attack vectors.

Honeyd:

It is the most engaging social engineering tool that stimulates the virtual network, especially in monitoring the attacker.

Ninja Phishing Framework:

This is the tool only meant for phishing, and social engineers can use this tool, especially in phishing attacks.

Conclusion

Beware to social media hackers while accessing all social media platforms with your data. Nowadays, it’s the most common issue that is occurring mainly on trending or not trending social media sites. It may not happen with trending social media platforms, but the third party hackers might grab your data.

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