Saturday, 11 October 2008


The following comes from http://toukanalia/

These definitions of 'social engineering' and 'pretexting' appear at

Social engineering is a collection of techniques used to manipulate people into performing actions or divulging confidential information. While similar to a confidence trick or simple fraud, the term typically applies to trickery for information gathering or computer system access and in most cases the attacker never comes face-to-face with the victim.

Social engineering techniques and terms
All social engineering techniques are based on specific attributes of human decision-making known as cognitive biases. These biases, sometimes called "bugs in the human hardware," are exploited in various combinations to create attack techniques.

Pretexting is the act of creating and using an invented scenario (the pretext) to persuade a target to release information or perform an action and is typically done over the telephone. It's more than a simple lie as it most often involves some prior research or set up and the use of pieces of known information (e.g. for impersonation: date of birth, Social Security Number, last bill amount) to establish legitimacy in the mind of the target.

Search 'social engineering' etc. at Google or on Wikipedia
Basically this is any form of impression management or 'information' which is designed with the aim of creating a desired behaviour or outcome from a 'mark' or 'patsy' - which could be you!

Confidence Tricks & Scams
Some other relevant concepts are Con tricks or scams

Social engineering etc. can be as simple as driving an expensive car, portraying an image, acting a role, or it can be elaborate with several co-conspirators setting up a convincing scene or skit. Social Psychology demonstrates how we tend to behave according to how we view or experience a particular setting, almost like acting out a part. It's easy to believe what is presented - how someone looks possibly using disguise, what they say which probably contains elements of truth, something to convince people known as a 'convincer', and they may also have found things out about you to make it easier.

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