12 Types of Social Engineering Attacks
Sep 27, 2022
Social engineering attacks are happening every day all around the world. Hacker use these attacks to lock important data of individuals and companies. After that they ask for ransom to unlock the data. Learn more details and how to avoid these attack.
12 Types of Social Engineering Attacks - 7 Tips to Avoid - FastVPN
Social engineering attacks can be challenging to detect, as hackers are often very convincing. It’s essential to be aware of these tactics and never give out personal information unless you are sure that you are dealing with a legitimate source. If you receive an email that looks suspicious, do not click on any links or open attachments. Instead, contact the company directly to verify the authenticity of the message. And always remember: if something seems too good to be true, it probably is!
What is Social Engineering?Examples of Social Engineering Attacks1. Phishing AttacksPhishing Methods:2. Angler Phishing3. Spear Phishing4. VishingVishing methods:5. SmishingSmishing methods:6. Pretexting7. Catfishing8. ImpersonationImpersonation methods:9. Dumpster DivingDumpster diving methods:10. Quid pro quoQuid pro quo methods:11. Watering Hole12. Piggybacking7 Ways to Protect from Social Engineering Attacks by Yourself
What is Social Engineering?
Social engineering is a technique in that hackers exploit human trust and emotions to gain access to confidential information or systems. It is one of the most common methods of cybercriminals. It is often easier to trick someone into giving away sensitive information than to hack into a system. Fortunately, there are ways to protect yourself from social engineering attacks. It can be to obtain passwords, email addresses, credit card numbers, or any other type of confidential information. Stay informed about the latest scams and be aware of what kinds of information you should never share with strangers. You can also install anti-virus software and other security tools.
Nowadays, social engineering has become more sophisticated where hackers do their homework by researching their targets before starting an attack. They may look through social media profiles and public records to find information that information. Like if they know that the target is interested in travel, they may pretend to be from a travel agency and offer a “free” vacation. Or, if they know that their target is experiencing financial difficulties, they may offer a “guaranteed” loan with low-interest rates.
Examples of Social Engineering Attacks
1. Phishing Attacks
Is the type of social engineering attacks where attackers send emails that appear to come from a legitimate source to trick the recipient into clicking on a malicious link or attachment.
- Clone phishing: This involves creating a clone of a legitimate website and sending emails that direct victims to the fake site.
- Spear phishing is a targeted form of stealing data where attackers research their victims and craft tailored messages to appear more legitimate.
- Whaling: This type of spear-phishing targets high-level executives or other individuals with access to sensitive information.
2. Angler Phishing
Angler phishing attacks are phishing scams that use malicious email attachments to infect a computer with malware. The email may appear to come from a legitimate source, such as a financial institution or online retailer, and contain a link or attachment that seems to be fair. However, clicking on the link or opening the attachment will install malware on the victim’s computer, which that file can use to steal personal information or commit fraud.
Angler phishing attacks are becoming increasingly common, as scammers take advantage of the fact that many people are still unfamiliar with this type of scam. If you receive an email that looks suspicious, do not click on any links or open attachments. Instead, contact the company or organization that supposedly sent the email to verify that it is legitimate. And remember, never give out personal information, such as your Social Security number or bank account information, in response to an email or other online request.
If you believe you may have been a victim of an Angler phishing attack, report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and file a complaint. You can also visit the FTC’s IdentityTheft.gov website for more information on what to do if your data has been compromised.
3. Spear Phishing
Spear phishing is a type of “email fraud” that seeks to obtain sensitive information such as login credentials or financial information. The attacker will often target a specific individual or organization and craft an email that appears to come from a legitimate source, such as a company representative or a well-known website. The email will usually contain a link to a spoofed website that looks identical to the legitimate site, tricked into clicking it.
If the victim enters their login credentials on the fake website, the attacker now has access to the account. Spear phishing attacks are often difficult to detect, as they use personal information about the victim that makes the email appear more legitimate.
Organizations can protect themselves from spear-phishing attacks by educating employees. About the threat and implementing security measures such as two-factor authentication.
Another type of social engineering is where attackers use phone calls or VoIP messages to trick the recipient into revealing information.
- Pretexting: This involves creating a false story or scenario to obtain information from the victim.
- Baiting: In this attackers leave a USB drive or other storage device in a public place, hoping that someone will find it and plug it into their computer. Allowing the attacker to access the machine remotely.
- Quid pro quo: In this attackers offer something to the victim in exchange for information or access to a system.
This is a type of social engineering where attackers send text messages (SMS) that appear to come from a legitimate source to trick victims into clicking on a malicious link or attachment.
- Shortcode phishing: This is where attackers use a short code (a 5 or 6 digit number) to send text messages that appear to come from a legitimate source to trick victims into clicking on a malicious link or attachment.
- Premium SMS phishing: This is where attackers send text messages that prompt victims to reply with personal information or subscribe to a premium service to rack up charges on their phone bills.
Pretexting attacks are social engineering attacks in which an attacker attempts to gather information by deception. The attacker will pose as someone else to obtain sensitive information from the victim. In some cases, the attacker may even pose as a law enforcement officer or government official to gain the victim’s trust. Pretexting can be used to gain access to physical locations, financial accounts, or confidential records.
Pretexting attacks are an easy way for attackers to obtain sensitive information without resorting to more sophisticated methods. In many cases, the attacker will already have basic information about the victim before launching the pretexting attack. This may include the victim’s name, address, and date of birth. The attacker can use this information to create a believable pretext or cover story that will trick the victim into more sensitive information.
Catfishing attacks are online scams where someone creates a false identity to trick people into giving them personal information or money. These attacks can be difficult to spot, as the perpetrators often go to great lengths to make their fake profiles seem real. If you think you may be the victim of a catfishing attack, you can do a few things to protect yourself.
The first step is to be aware of the signs that someone may not be who they say they are. Be suspicious if someone:
- Asks for personal information before you have even met them.
- He refuses to meet in person or talk on the phone.
- Has a profile that is sparse in details.
- Creates a story about their life that seems too good to be true.
- Asks for money or financial assistance.
If you suspect you are being catfished, you can take a few steps to confirm your suspicions. Try reverse image searching their profile picture to see if it appears elsewhere on the internet. You can also do a web search of their name and see if anything suspicious. You can try asking the person questions that would be difficult for someone who is not who they say they are to answer.
This is a type of social engineering where attackers pose as legitimate users or companies to access sensitive information or systems.
- This is where attackers send emails that appear to come from a legitimate source to trick victims into revealing sensitive information or clicking on a malicious link.
- Or attackers call victims posing as legitimate users or companies in an attempt to obtain sensitive information or access to systems.
- This is where attackers physically dress up as legitimate users or company representatives to gain access to sensitive information or systems.
9. Dumpster Diving
This is a type of social engineering where attackers rummage through trash, looking for sensitive information that can be used to gain access to systems or commit identity theft.
Dumpster diving methods:
- Searching through physical trash: This is where attackers physically rummage through trash, looking for sensitive information.
- This is where attackers search through digital files that have been deleted but not erased adequately from a system.
- Social media dumpster diving: This is where attackers search through social media posts and comments looking for sensitive information.
10. Quid pro quo
This is where an attacker offers something to the victim in exchange for access to their system or sensitive information.
Quid pro quo methods:
- This is where attackers provide a free service. Such as a website or app, in exchange for information or access to a system.
- Attackers provide a discount on a product or service in exchange for information or access to a system.
- This is where attackers provide a prize. Such as a contest or sweepstakes, in exchange for information or access to a system.
11. Watering Hole
This is a cyberattack in which an attacker compromises a website or other online resource frequented by the target victims. By planting malicious code on the site, the attacker can infect the victims’ computers and gain access to sensitive information.
Watering hole attacks are challenging to detect. Because they often blend in with the regular traffic on the compromised site. You may see sure signs that indicate an attack like unusual activity on the website. Or a sudden rise in traffic from one particular region.
They can be devastating to organizations, as they allow attackers to gain access to sensitive information on victim computers. To protect against these attacks, organizations should consider implementing security measures such as website filtering and intrusion detection systems.
Piggybacking attacks are a type of network security attack that allows an attacker to gain access by piggybacking. This attack is sometimes also called “session hijacking.”
Piggyback attacks can take place in many different ways. Most commonly, an attacker intercepts the communication between an authorized person and a system. Once the attacker has intercepted, they can try to access the system by using the authorized user’s session information. Piggybacking attacks can be challenging to detect, as they often leave no trace on the system.
However, there are a few things that you can do to help protect yourself from these types of attacks.
- First, make sure that all communications between you and the system are encrypted. This will help to prevent an attacker from being able to intercept your contact in the first place.
- Second, be sure to log out of any system you are using when you are finished using it.
- This will help to prevent an attacker from being able to access the system using your session information.
- Finally, be sure to keep all of your software up to date.
Software updates often include security patches. That can help protect against piggybacking attacks and other security threats also.
By following these simple steps, you can help to protect yourself from piggybacking attacks and other types of security threats.
7 Ways to Protect from Social Engineering Attacks by Yourself
Social engineering attacks are becoming more and more common as hackers target people rather than systems. By following the tips above, you can help protect yourself from becoming victims of these devious schemes.
- Be vigilant about who you share information with online.
- Think before you click on links or attachments in emails and instant messages.
- Don’t assume that someone is who they say they are, even if they seem familiar.
- Be cautious about what information you post online, and ensure your privacy settings are tight.
- Be suspicious of offers that seem too good to be true.
- Don’t let anyone pressure you into sharing sensitive information. Or doing something you’re not comfortable with.
- As a victim of social engineering, change your passwords. As well as take other steps to protect your accounts.