Social engineering attacks use the art of manipulating people so they give up confidential information. It is usually the second portion of a spear phishing attack, and often times a success for the attacker. It can also be a direct attack by someone who has figured out the best path into tricking a victim into trusting them, The types of information these criminals are seeking can vary, but they are ultimately searching for a way to access your personal information, like log in’s and passwords, so they can then gain access to things like your bank account or credit cards, and take them over.
Criminals use social engineering tactics because it is usually easier to exploit your natural inclination to trust than it is to discover ways to hack your software. For example, it is much easier to fool someone into giving you their password than it is for you to try hacking their password. This happens all the time.
If you find yourself in a situation where a Facebook friend’s old account is suddenly active again, this could be an instance of a Social Engineering attack. Emails are commonly used as well. Stay wary of anything that seems out of the blue, and never give out your passwords.
Security is all about knowing who and what to trust. Knowing when, and when not to, to take a person at their word; when to trust that the person you are communicating with is indeed the person you think you are communicating with; when to trust that a website is or isn’t legitimate; when to trust that the person on the phone is or isn’t legitimate; when providing your information is or isn’t a good idea.
If you think you’ve been a victim of a Social Engineered attack, you have multiple places that you can go for help. Banks are often able to recover stolen accounts, and there are professional security companies, Like Businets, that can help you as well.