social engineering


Also found in: Dictionary, Acronyms, Wikipedia.

social engineering

(jargon, security)
A term used among crackers and samurai for cracking techniques that rely on weaknesses in wetware rather than software; the aim is to trick people into revealing passwords or other information that compromises a target system's security. Classic scams include phoning up a mark who has the required information and posing as a field service tech or a fellow employee with an urgent access problem. See also the tiger team story in the patch entry.

social engineering

Using deception to obtain confidential information from someone by phone or in person. For example, "social engineers" may persuade someone to reveal an ID or password for a supposed benign purpose ("my computer is down, can I use yours in the meantime"). They can even walk in off the street and pretend to be from IT doing a routine inspection.

Sometimes, a combination of social engineering and hacker skills are used to steal information. However, no matter how secure a network may be, the "con" played by the social engineer is often the most effective way to break in.

The Generic Meaning
Outside the computer world, social engineering means to influence attitudes and behaviors. See phishing, pretexting and shoulder surfing.
References in periodicals archive ?
Practical Implications: The paper concludes by advocating assiduous training and cyber security awareness programmes for workforces and the implementations and maintenance of basic security culture and policies as a panacea for social engineering cyber attacks against individuals and organizations.
The study "Using Social Engineering in Revealing Risky Electronic Accounts" was conducted by Hassan.
In November, Google tweaked its Safe Browsing feature to better help users stay protected from potential social engineering attacks on websites-like, for example, when a website insists that you should call some kind of number because it has detected that you have all sorts of viruses on your computer.
Collectivization and Social Engineering presents the process of the institutional level treatment of the Jewish population of Uzbekistan, focusing on the Hungry Steppe during the early 1900s.
John Morrissey, senior vice president of the financial services group and legal and claims practice group for Aon Risk Services, says social engineering fraud occurs in a number of ways.
The importance of social engineering to black hat hackers and their ethical counterparts cannot be overemphasized.
Businesses have often had little recourse for losses resulting from social engineering fraud.
Setting up awareness training can be as simple as creating a presentation on social engineering, or ways viruses and Trojans can get on the computer.
“Businesses, government agencies, non-profits - any organization that is using social media to grow their influence and communicate with their stakeholders - are open to major risks if they aren't monitoring their social networks for suspicious and malicious activities like social engineering that can open the door to their security perimeter and enable a potentially devastating attack.”
It may be added here that a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between PEF and Social Engineering Consultants (SEC) this year for the launch of this pilot project in three districts.
27 ( ANI ): The unusual single-letter Twitter handle `@N` has been reportedly given back to the original user after it was hijacked as part of an eye-opening social engineering scheme last month.

Full browser ?