6 Types of Social Engineering Attacks

6 Types of Social Engineering Attacks


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Social engineering attacks have evolved to become increasingly deceptive because of information that is readily available online. These attacks prey on peoples natural instinct to trust, aiming to persuade them to willingly share sensitive information. Here are 6 types of social engineering attacks to look out for.

Types of Social Engineering Attacks:

  • Baiting:
    • Attackers use bait to lure victims into a trap. They infect hardware with malware and strategically place it in the workplace. An employee discovers it, and connects it to their computer, and exposes their device to the malware.
  • Phishing:
    • This is the most prevalent form of social engineering attacks where the attacker pretends to be as a well-known organization. They craft convincing job posts that directs victims to seemingly legitimate websites. The victim, who is unaware, usually reveals sensitive information or clicks on links that are contaminated with malware.
  • Pretexting:
    • Attackers create fabricated scenarios or pretexts to extract personal details. To achieve this they usually impersonate authoritative figures, creating a fictitious scenario to trick you into disclosing personal information.
  • Quid Pro Quo:
    • Attackers impersonate service providers, repeatedly contacting companies to establish trust. They promise something valuable in return for the target’s cooperation. This can include offering technical support, assistance, or even gifts to gain access to sensitive information or systems.
  • Vishing (Voice Phishing):
    • The attacker pretends to be a bank representative, government official, or technical support agent. They manipulate victims into revealing sensitive information like personal identification numbers (PINs), passwords, credit card numbers, or other confidential data.
  • Tailgating or Piggybacking:
    • Tailgating attacks involve unauthorized individuals with malicious intent gaining access to secure locations to install malware or perform data theft. This form of attack combines tailgating with social engineering, as the attacker skillfully manipulates the target’s perception and trust.

Understanding these types of social engineering attacks is crucial in safeguarding sensitive information and protecting against cyber threats. By staying vigilant and recognizing these manipulative tactics, individuals and organizations can better defend themselves against potential breaches of trust and security.