Technology is progressing quickly and even those who work in the field might have a hard time keeping up. While there is plenty of new, innovative technology being released on a regular basis, cybercriminals are also working hard to stay ahead of the general public and the security patches that are being developed. These attacks are coming in from all angles and sometimes they involve something known as social engineering. There is nothing that grinds someone’s gears quite like being fooled by someone else. Being taken advantage of when it comes to curiosity or kindness can drive someone down an angry rabbit hole that could cause them to rethink their approach to people. This an even force someone to invest in new credit card numbers. All of these attacks are driven through something known as social engineering. Therefore, it is critical for everyone to know exactly what this means.
What Is a Social Engineering Attack?
In social engineering, someone has basically fallen prey to a con man in the virtual world. The goal of a social engineering attack is to trick someone into surrendering crucial data. In a social engineering attack, the goal is to overcome someone’s security measures. Similar to getting someone to open a locked door, a social engineering attack will convince someone to surrender online passwords, credit card numbers, or even a social security number. The victim is tricked into revealing private information.
Then, this allows the criminal to either steal their identity or install malicious software on a network. If the social engineering attack has been executed well, then the victim won’t even know that the attack took place. Therefore, it is critical for everyone to know about the most common social engineering attacks. Then, they can be avoided.
A Phishing Scam
Without a doubt, this is the most common type of social engineering attack. This attack uses a fraudulent email or website to get someone to share their data. The email address will look like it came from a reputable company and the website might look exactly like the actual thing. This website tricks someone into downloading malicious software or surrendering their username, password, or credit card numbers.
Usually, these attacks are going to rely on a sense of urgency. They are going to push someone to not pass up on an opportunity or convince them that their security has already been compromised. They might even prey on someone’s duty to their employer and impersonate a boss. There are millions of pushing scams created every month. Do not fall for them.
A Spear Phishing Scam
This is a social engineering attack that is more specific than the one described above. In this type of phishing attack, it is aimed at a single person. The goal is to get that specific person’s credentials or that business’s private information. This is a heavily researched attack that is designed to impersonate one, specific person. The goal is to con another specific person. This might include someone posing as a CEO and emailing someone in the company’s finance department to convince them to transfer funds.
This type of specific attack will even use an email address that is similar to that specific person’s email address, such as using a “dot” instead of an “underscore,” or something similar. This is why it is important for companies to educate their employees on phishing attacks.
Voice Phishing (Vishing)
A Vishing attack is also similar to the ones discussed above. In this attack, a telephone is used to try to fool someone. For example, the person might use a vishing attack that impersonates the revenue agency in an effort to get someone to surrender their identity and transfer funds immediately. They might even scare someone by saying that if they do not pay immediately that could be fined. They will try to steal someone’s social insurance number of request money by saying they owe back taxes. These types of attacks are common.
A Baiting Attack
One of the most common types of social engineering attacks, a baiting technique is used to get someone to download malicious software that will steal their information or lock up their device. They will be promised some sort of free item. When they go to download it, their device ends up getting infected with malware instead. For example, an infected USB device might be left in a public place. Then, someone plugs the device into their computer and the entire network is affected. Often, there is a phishing email that entices someone to plug the device into the computer ahead of time.
Avoid Social Engineering Attacks
It is important for everyone to remember to steer clear of these types of social engineering attacks. There are a few tips that people should keep in mind to avoid falling prey to these common attacks. First, check the URL of every website and email address. Make sure the addresses seem legitimate before visiting.
Next, remember that if the deal sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. In addition, do not bow to messages that appear threatening or demanding in nature. Finally, encourage everyone to speak up. Tell employees and leadership staff that they should ask for help if they hear something that seems strange. Rely on IT professionals for help discerning what is real and what isn’t. That is where we can help.
Count on the Services of Secur01
At Secur01, we are an IT and cybersecurity firm that provides services to businesses in the local area. We help our clients migrate to the cloud, providing them with numerous benefits such as Office365. We also provide cybersecurity services that will help our clients avoid many of the attacks discussed above. If you are looking for reliable and friendly IT professionals who can help you with maintenance, migration, and protection services, then give us a call today! We would be happy to help you with all of your IT needs.