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Why do Cyber Attackers Commonly Use Social Engineering Attacks?

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September 21, 2022

Cybercrime is not new; everyone is well aware of such an offense. There are several ways through which the attack could be made. The most common among them is social engineering. Do you know that 98% of cyberattacks involve social engineering? Wooh! It’s a huge rate, but Why do cyber attackers commonly use social engineering attacks? 

The answer to this question will help you in many ways, and you will learn more about cyber security. Continue reading to know the details.

Also Read: How to Start Learning Cyber Security from Scratch in 2022?

What is Social Engineering Attack?

It is a “non-technical approach of tricking peoples into violating basic security standards and mainly focuses on social interaction. The success of this strategy depends upon the attacker’s skills to persuade their targets to carry out a particular action, for example, giving sensitive data like a social security number or password, etc.  

Social engineering is one of the most efficient techniques to gather information and get beyond a defense’s barriers in the digital world. It works so well because technical protections (such as firewalls and general software protection) have significantly improved in defending against external threats. Humans, on the other hand, who are known as the “weak point in your system security,” cannot say the same.

Why do Cyber Attackers Commonly Use Social Engineering Attacks?

Now that you know about social engineering, move to our question, why is it the most effective and commonly used by attackers?

Because people are the weak link, social engineering is the hacker’s primary strategy.

The truth is that breaking into computers is typically time-consuming and complicated, becoming more complicated nowadays with advanced encryption and security.

Believe it or not, humans love socializing, and most people easily trust friendly behavior and sharing their personal information. Curiosity, urgency (don’t read the entire form and just proceeds to download), to try something new are all human nature, and they enjoy exploring new things on the internet regardless of the risks they get themselves trapped into.  

People still blindly start downloading from suspicious websites, reuse credentials, and use login details that are very simple to decrypt. Regardless of how far security has come, humans tend to follow the old ways and repeat the same errors.

The simplest answer to this query is: Humans have flaws. Machines are constructed with a focus on security. They are revised often to ensure that the defensive system is up to date and the bugs or errors are taken care of.  

But the same thing doesn’t imply to humans, as most people are far away from this technical coding and the hacking world and are busy in their own life, their minds full of many things and problems that have nothing to do with security. 

With social engineering, hackers will contact you, try to make friends through their sweet talk, build trust and get what they want. This is much easier than breaking the complex technical code of the mechanical defensive system. So that’s the main reason “why do cyber attackers commonly use social engineering attacks.”

What Method Would a Cyber Attacker Use to Infect a System With Malware?

Ok, you get it now that the social engineering attack relies on human interaction. The attacker interacts with you, makes friends, builds trust, and asks for personal information, but how did they attack your system? 

Social engineering involves different techniques to attack your system, such as:

  • Phishing Attack (Attacker shows fake identity as a trusted company or a person to get personal information. It could be through SMS, emails, phone calls, etc.) It is one of the most common methods used by attackers. Spear Phishing Attacks Linked to the Coronavirus Rise by 667% in March 2020
  • Baiting Attack (Attacker misuses human’s nature of curiosity to get the information they want by making them greedy for some free prize, etc.)
  • Scareware Attack (false alarms and fake threats are constantly being thrown at the victims)
  • Pretexting (An attacker gathers information by telling a series of carefully constructed lies)

What is the most effective way to detect and stop social engineering attacks?

So, what should you do if you suspect you are experiencing a social engineering attack? After getting enough details about social engineering, you may think about a way to protect yourself from such an attack. Here are some suggestions.

  • Never open emails or attachments from unknown senders.
  • Use multifactor verification
  • Watch out for tempting offers.
  • Update your antivirus and antimalware software.
  • Make online friendships with caution.
  • Don’t mention personal information.
  • Use Password manager
  • Create secure passwords

Conclusion:

All the above information gives you a better idea about social engineering attacks, their tricks, and their effectiveness. You also have some tips to remain secure from such an attack. Now you can prepare yourself more to protect your privacy. 

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