Understanding Social Engineering in Computer Security

Understanding Social Engineering in Computer Security



Social Engineering in Computer Security is the art of convincing people to reveal confidential information.

It is the trick used to gain sensitive information by exploiting basic human nature.

Social Engineering attempts to gather sensitive information such as credit card details, social security number, passwords,  other password information among others.

Social Engineering in computer security

There are two types of Social  Engineering


#1 Human-based social Engineering

This does not involve the use of computer technology or device. It has to do with tricking the individual to reveal personal information.



#2 Computer-Based Social Engineering

This has to do with the use of computer devices or social media to trick an individual to reveal information that they should have kept secret. That is why one has to be careful about the amount of information that you reveal to a stranger on social media.


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Some examples…


“Hi, we are from Oracle Software. we are hiring new people for our software development team. We got your contact number from a popular job portal. Please provide details of your job profile, current project information, social security number and your residential address”


” Hi,I am Mike calling from Citi Bank. Due to the increasing threat perception, we are updating our systems with new security features. Can you provide me with your personal details to verify that you are the real Stella”?


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“Thanks, Mike. Here are my details . do you need anything else?”


“Hi, I am John Brown. I’m with the external auditors Arthur Sanderson. We have been told by corporate to do a surprise inspection of your disaster recovery procedures.


You have 10 minutes to show me how you would recover from a website crash.”


” A man calls a company’s help desk and says he has forgotten his password. He adds that if he misses the deadline on a big advertising project, his boss might fire him. 


The help desk worker feels sorry for him and quickly resets the password, unwittingly giving the attacker clear entrance into the corporate network“.


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Updated: July 18, 2020 — 11:29 am
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