Social engineering – A hacker’s psychological attack

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According to cybersecurity experts at the SANS Institute, your best defense against social engineering is common sense.

Believe it or not, hackers have learned that the easiest way to hack into a person’s computer or account is by tricking them into making a mistake. The cybersecurity world is using the term social engineering to describe this type of attack, and it occurs when an attacker convinces you to grant them access to your devise or personal information. The latest newsletter from SANS offers a few examples: https://securingthehuman.sans.org/newsletters/ouch/issues/OUCH-201701_en.pdf.

Here are the most common clues that a social engineering attack is underway:

  • A great sense of urgency is created to fool you into making a mistake
  • Information is requested that the organization or person should already have access to
  • Your password is requested
  • There’s pressure to bypass or ignore security procedures
  • The scenario is too good to be true
  • An email is received from a colleague or friend that doesn’t sound like them

As always, abort and report any suspicious activity immediately and check back next month for more cybersecurity tips!

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