How do cybercriminals employ social engineering?

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When a cybercriminal is able to infiltrate the systems of a company, chances are they did not do so with brute force. Through various means, they can dupe people into giving out valuable information that grants them access. In order to do so, they gather as much information as they can in preparation for the attack. This is called social engineering.

Social engineering can be done in many ways, but the goal is the same — get information that can be used against individuals to fool them into giving them access information.

Phishing scams are the most common and widely used method of social engineering. Cybercriminals use this to get information such as names, addresses, phone numbers, and so on. They target people whom they see do not have much aptitude toward cybersecurity.

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For example, an HR personnel from a company would not have vast knowledge about cybercrime or cybersecurity. An attacker can call their local number pretending to be the company’s IT guy and act like they’re fixing their network access.

Phishing can also be done by sending these non-security savvy people fake emails that contain malicious contents such as a keylogger. A keylogger records keystrokes made by an individual computer. By studying the keystrokes, a cybercriminal could find useful information until they get enough to access the company’s systems.

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