Social Engineering(SE) is the oldest “tool” in the world for “cracking” (a.k.a. hacking) . It work really simple, you pretend to be someone else to get the information you need. I am gonna introduce a great example of how powerful is that tool in real life story.
The story is from one of the most wanted and famous hackers in the world Kevin Mitnick. After he have been catch in 1988 for hacking and put in to the jail for 12 months he get a probation as well, for 2 years to do not touch any communication technology devices, only a home phone was allowed. The FBI wanted to keep on touch with his actions and use undercover hacker to talk with him and get the needed information for FBI to busted Kevin again. After they got the date and meet, the undercover hacker start sharing information about TELCOM the telephone company and he seems to be very inform in that circle. He mentioned S.A.S. (Switched Access Service) and Kevin did not know about it and start asking questions about it but the guy did not share anymore,only the name S.A.S.. After that Kevin get really interested in to that system,he wanted to know more about it and then he start do researches. He called TELCOM and pretend to be a student that need some information about S.A.S., that way he get the company name that have made S.A.S. after a little research about the company he found out that the project have been called and company have bankrupt. He found the phone number of the creator and give him a call where he pretend to be from a new formed company that want to improve S.A.S. and he need more information about it,the guy have said “Since the company is over I can send you all the schemes of S.A.S. by fax,fedex,DHL ” and that way Kevin collect all the information about S.A.S. by simple using a Social Engineering skills for that purpose,and after that he were able and used S.A.S. for its own purpose. So the “hacking” of S.A.S. become 90% social engineering and 10% computer cracking. This is one of the best examples for me how powerful tool is Social Engineering, its using the oldest vulnarbility factor in the world , the human factor !
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