Why Social Engineering Is the Master of All Attacks?

In this digital world, people spend their maximum time on social media. In fact, most businesses are now completely operated through computers or mobile phones. In such situations, social engineering has become the most effective way to obtain data and breakthrough a defence’s walls. This criminal activity has become the master of all attacks because technical defences and overall software security have now developed a tough security system that can’t be broken by outside entities, but the same can’t be said for humans. Humans are the weakest link in the security posture that makes social engineering so effective.

Types of Social Engineering Attack

Social engineering attacks have been happening in the digital world for years and still, we fail in safeguarding human interest. Social engineering attacks are generally of two types: Computer-based and human-based. So, to spread awareness of this long-running tactic, here we have mentioned some common social engineering scams based on computer and human hacking.

Computer-Based Hacking

Computer-based hacking is done through fraudulent emails and text messages. Mentioned below are some types of computer-based hacking:

Human-Based Hacking

The scammer acts like a legitimate user and requests information to get access to users’ data. You will understand this hacking better with the types is given below:

  • Baiting – In this technique hackers tempt people with false promises to gain their interest. It works on human greed or curiosity.  
  • Pretexting – Here hackers trick the user by representing themselves as a member of a trusted authority or company and asking for your passwords, OTP, and bank details.
  • Phishing – Similar to baiting, scammers attack you through email or text messages that generate a sense of urgency in victims. Attackers send email or text messages in mass, in the hope of getting few returns.
  • Scareware – This is one of the effective methods of social engineering. It is designed specially to frighten the user with false alerts and urgent warnings and the user thinks that their system is infected and ends up installing the attacker’s software.
  • Spear Phishing – It is a more focused version of phishing. The attacker uses your details like the names of your known to gain your confidence and scam you with a more convincing message.
  • Tailgating – This form is more of a physical action, where the attacker follows authorized users in a secured area, like swiping an identification card. This practice of social engineering is common in businesses that require keycard authorization.
  • Piggybacking – The hacker here poses as an employee and requests the authorized employee to enter the secured area along with him by giving excuses like forgetting his smart badge etc.
  • Eavesdropping – here the attacker listens to the conversation of users without authorization to collect important data.
  • Dumpster Diving – It happens when the user disposes of a confidential or sensitive document into the dustbin without properly shredding it.

Identity Theft Social Engineering Using Android Lost

Identity theft in social engineering is something where the attacker tries to trick the user to give information about themselves. They act as your credit card provider, doctor, or other such entity and get information about you. For instance, they send you a message from your friend’s account and send you to a phishing website.

Email Spoofing Hiding Malicious Links in Email

Everyone becomes a target of email spoofing at least once in their life, whether it’s an individual or a multi-dollar company. It is the act of sending emails with a forged sender address. The attacker tricks the recipient by sending an email under the name of their relative or friend whom they trust and then taking over their online accounts. These emails have malicious links which send malware into users’ computer systems and steal their sensitive data.

Introduction To Phishing

Phishing attack is a type of social engineering in which a hacker steals a user’s data like login credentials and credit card numbers. The attacker acts as a trusted entity and cleverly fools the victim into opening an email, or text message and tricking them to click a malicious link, which leads the user to install malware. Phishing attacks have devastating results which can lead to unauthorized purchases, stealing of funds, or identity theft.

Phishing Techniques

Email Phishing

This is a numbers game, in which attackers send thousands of fake messages hoping few recipients will fall for the same. The hacker uses this technique generally to increase their success rates. They use all types of tools like logos, phrasing, typefaces, and signatures to make their message look like the original message.

Spear phishing

In spear phishing, the attacker targets a specific person or enterprise. It is a more targeted version of phishing where the attacker requires special knowledge about the organization to scam the employee of the organization. The hacker sends emails under the name of the head of the company and attacks them.

Phishing campaign with Lucy’s security

Lucy runs a comprehensive e-learning program that enables organizations to take on the role of phishing attackers and identify and fill the gaps between technical infrastructure and security awareness. It provides a safe learning environment where employees are taught what real hacking feels like. They teach various forms of phishing such as portable media attacks, data entry attacks, hyperlink attacks, file-based attacks, and many more.

Social Engineering Countermeasures

Social engineering is a major cyber threat to humankind and businesses, but one minimizes this threat with a small effort, awareness, and technical measures.


The user needs to be aware of such attacks. Businesses must educate their employees about social engineering, how to recognize it, and what to do and what not to do at that time. Provide general security awareness training and conduct phishing tests.

Technical Measures

This is a specially designed measure that prevents the situation from getting more serious. It safely discards any sensitive information, person verification, safe physical access systems, sophisticated entry cards, etc. The foremost goal is to stop the threat before it takes advantage of human behavior.