Social Engineering Attacks Conducted Over the Internet … Did You Know?

The internet has changed the way social engineering attacks are conducted. Social engineering refers to the techniques an attacker use to influence people into sharing sensitive information, or taking an action, such as downloading a file. Sometimes this information can be found posted online or the hacker will sometimes interact with the victim to persuade the potential victim to share details or perform an action. This is why it is imperative for people to be very careful about posting personal information on social networks. Social engineering attacks today are no longer conducted by looking over some shoulder.

Conceptual Internet Art

Social Engineering on the internet works at its best when individuals overshare online or a hacker uses persuasion to get what they want. There are three common types of persuasion scams:
• Tech Support Call Scams
• Romance Scams
• Traveler Scams

Tech support call scams are when the scammer claiming to work for a well-known software or technology company cold calls victims in an attempt to convince the victim that their computer is at risk of attack, attacking another computer, or is infected with malware, and that only the caller can remediate the problem. In convincing the victim, the scammer often persuades the victim to provide remote access to the victim’s computer. In some instances the scammer convinces the victim to pay for unnecessary or antivirus software or software updates.

Romance Scam are initiated by an malicious actors who will create fake profiles on dating websites and establish relationships with other site members. Once a sense of trust is established, the scammer fabricates an emergency and asks the victim for financial assistance. The scammer generally claims they will repay the victim as soon as the crisis is over, however, if the victim sends money, the scammer will continue the scam.

Traveler Scam; are known as the “Grandparent Scam,” malicious actors use information posted on social media websites by a family member to trick other family members into sending money overseas. Often the scammer targets the elderly, who are less likely to realize the information was originally posted online. The scammer will monitor social media websites for people traveling overseas, and then contact the family members, through the Internet or via phone, with a crisis and requesting money. Scammers rely on all the information users post online about themselves and their trips. Be mindful of these social engineering attempts on the internet.

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