9 Dirty Tricks: Social Engineers' Favourite Pick-Up Lines

Congrats on your inheritance! - Okay, you knew that one's the start of a scam. Here are other come-ons you'll encounter when criminals come knocking.

"Did you see this video of you? Check out this link!" Sophos is also seeing an increase in Spam on Twitter, the popular social network where users "Tweet" quick one line messages to others in their network.

A spam campaign on Twitter in recent weeks involved a Tweet that said "Did you see this video of you?"

"If you think the link is from a friend, you are much more likely to click on it," said Cluley.

Unfortunately, users who clicked on the link ended up at a bogus site that only looked like the Twitter web site. Once there, unsuspecting Twitterers entered passwords, which then ended up in the hands of hackers.

Office offenses

"This is Chris from tech services. I've been notified of an infection on your computer." Before there were computers, email, web browsers and social network sites for communication, there was the phone. And although it may seem archaic now, it is still a handy way to pull off a social engineering scam, according to Chris Nickerson, founder of Lares, a security consultancy.

Nickerson said scammers often take advantage of a timely event to strike. The Downaup worm that is currently infecting many PCs is a good example. Nickerson's firm conducts what he calls 'Red Team Testing' for clients using techniques that involve social engineering to see where a company is vulnerable.

"I will call someone and say "I've been informed that you've been infected with this worm.' And then I walk them through a bunch of screens. They will see things like registry lines and start to get nervous with the technicality of it. Eventually, I say 'Look, why don't I fix this for you? Give me your password and I will deal with it and call you back when I am done.'"

The strategy plays on a person's fear and lack of comfort with tech, said Nickerson.

"If you can put someone in a position where they think they are in trouble, and then be the one to fix it, you automatically gain their trust."

"Hi, I'm from the rep from Cisco and I'm here to see Nancy." Nickerson recently pulled off a successful social engineering exercise for a client by wearing a $4 Cisco shirt that he got at a thrift store.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags spamtwitterphishingFacebook

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Joan Goodchild

CSO Online
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?