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What is Social Engineering?


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How does social engineering work?

In a typical social engineering attack, a cybercriminal will communicate with the intended victim by saying they are from a trusted organization. In some cases, they will even impersonate a person the victim knows.

If the manipulation works (the victim believes the attacker is who they say they are), the attacker will encourage the victim to take further action. This could be giving away sensitive information such as passwords, date of birth, or bank account details. Or they might encourage the victim to visit a website where malware is installed that can cause disruptions to the victim's computer. In worse case scenarios, the malicious website strips sensitive information from the device or takes over the device entirely.

Why is social engineering so dangerous?

One of the greatest dangers of social engineering is that the attacks don't have to work against everyone: A single successfully fooled victim can provide enough information to trigger an attack that can affect an entire organization.

Over time, social engineering attacks have grown increasingly sophisticated. Not only do fake websites or emails look realistic enough to fool victims into revealing data that can be used for identity theft, social engineering has also become one of the most common ways for attackers to breach an organization's initial defenses in order to cause further disruption and harm.



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