Social engineering and hacking; the most powerful weapon hackers have.

When we mention the word “hacking” we always think about computers, computer systems and the people who commit illegal activities using them. But hacking is a wide topic that reaches beyond that. Did you know that even humans could be hacking using several methods?

Most of the times it’s a system that gets hacked. If you can think of a human as a system, it won’t be too difficult to find weaknesses and bugs in that. These techniques are called “social engineering” This is some sort of a hacking category. Most hackers use these techniques to do varies hackings.

WHAT IS SOCIAL ENGINEERING?

Simply said when a person or a group of people are manipulated mentally to get some things done or to extract information, it is social engineering. There is more depth to this than this simple description. Let’s look at an example.

There are two people A and B, while A is the hacker and B is the victim. Now A need to get access to B’s  Facebook account by getting to know his email and password. So what A does is A tricks B and gains his trust first. Then he extracts the information he wants by using the trust he built. How successful can A become depends on his ability to deceive B and how vulnerable B is.

If the security of the target is high, the hacker spends days or maybe even months observing his target closely. He gets to know everything about the target, maybe even so many personal things such as the favorite perfume which is used by the target. He also keeps track of the people who are associated with the target and gives priority to women, if the target is a male. This social engineering is done in two ways which are called person-based and computer-system based. In-Person based techniques hacker follows the person in real life and observes him closely. In computer system based techniques hacker keeps track of the digital footprint made by the target which is his social media accounts and other stuff which he does online. However, in the end, the hacker targets the most vulnerable weaknesses the target has.  Here is a list of things that could be vulnerabilities of a person

  1. Recklessness
  2. Fear
  3. Greed
  4. Curiosity
  5. Sympathy
  6. Trust

These are a few vulnerabilities that people have. Hackers observe these in people as they observe bugs in a computer system. By observing the target closely, the hacker identifies the vulnerability and based on that he plans an attack. Each attack is unique to each person depends on his lifestyle.

So always beware about your weaknesses and vulnerabilities, don’t let anyone hack you!