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social engineering
Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2004 

(sō ´sh&l; en´´j&-nēr´ing) (n.) In the realm of computers, the act of obtaining or attempting to obtain otherwise secure data by conning an individual into revealing secure information. Social engineering is successful because its victims innately want to trust other people and are naturally helpful. The victims of social engineering are tricked into releasing information that they do not realize will be used to attack a computer network. For example, an employee in an enterprise may be tricked into revealing an employee identification number to someone who is pretending to be someone he trusts or representing someone he trusts. While that employee number may not seem valuable to the employee, which makes it easier for him to reveal the information in the first place, the social engineer can use that employee number in conjunction with other information that has been gathered to get closer to finding a way into the enterprise’s network.

Phishing is a type of security attack that relies on social engineering in that it lures the victim into revealing information based on the human tendency to believe in the security of a brand name because they associate the brand name with trustworthiness.

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For pages about social engineering . Also check out the following links!

Related Links

People Hacking: The Psychology of Social Engineering
Social engineering can involve a lot of 'groundwork', information gathering and idle chit chat before an attempt at gaining information is ever made. Like hacking, most of the work is in the preparation, rather than the attempt itself.

Social Engineering Fundamentals, Part I: Hacker Tactics
The basic goals of social engineering are the same as hacking in general: to gain unauthorized access to systems or information in order to commit fraud, network intrusion, industrial espionage, identity theft, or simply to disrupt the system or network.

Social Engineering: The Human Side Of Hacking
Hackers, and possibly even corporate competitors, are breeching companies' network security every day. Sometimes all they have to do is call up and ask.

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