Why Social Engineering Is the Master of All Attacks?

In this digital world, people spend their maximum time on social media. Most businesses now rely wholly on computers and mobile devices, making social engineering a highly successful way to access data and circumvent defences. This type of criminal activity is particularly effective as current software security measures are able to protect against external attackers, but humans remain the weakest link in terms of security; their behaviour is what allows such tactics to be so successful.

social engineering techniques

Types of Social Engineering Attack

Since years, social engineering attacks have taken place in the digital world, but we have failed to protect human interest. There are two types of social engineering attacks: computer-based and human-based. For this reason, we have listed some common social engineering scams based on computer and human hacking in order to raise awareness of this long-running tactic.

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 –An attacker poses as a member of a trusted authority or company and asks for passwords, OTPs, and bank information.
  • Phishing –An attacker poses as a member of a trusted authority or company and asks for passwords, OTPs, and bank information.
  • 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 –Using this type of social engineering, the attacker follows authorized users in a secured area, such as swiping an identification card.
  • 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

In social engineering, identity theft occurs when the attacker tricks the user into providing personal information about themselves. They pose as your credit card provider, doctor, or another such entity and obtain personal information about you. They send messages from your friend's account and redirect you to a phishing site, for instance.

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. This technique is used by hackers to increase their success rates. They make their message look like the original one by using logos, phrasing, typefaces, and signatures.

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. A hacker sends attacks under the company's head's name.

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

It protects sensitive information, person verification, safe physical access systems, and sophisticated entry cards from getting worse.

Human Hacking is the concept of brain hacking with social engineering.