PGH Networks

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4 Ways Cybercriminals Use Social Engineering to Steal Your Data

Social engineering is yet another tactic cybercriminals could use to steal data from an unsuspecting company. However, this tactic is slightly different than typical methods, mainly because it preys on the human element. Here are a few of the most common ways social engineering could play out in your business.

Sending an Email

The majority of people are most accustomed to this form of social engineering, commonly known as Phishing. They receive an email with a message asking them to send over private information, download an attachment, or click on a link. Another strategy used is called Pretexting, in which the criminal uses personal information they already have (such as your birthday, address, or social security number) in order to get more information from the victim.

Offering you Something

These criminals could offer you something in return for specific information. Some of the information they could request are login credentials, credit card numbers, or client records. The hacker will typically offer a large sum of money in exchange for the info, but don’t expect a dime from them. If it’s too good to be true, then it probably isn’t.

Posing as Someone you know

In most cases, a person using social engineering tactics will pretend to be someone they aren’t. The criminal could pose as your boss or a friend, and send you an email asking for a favor or to wire money to a bank account number they provide. They are also infamous for creating fake social media profiles and reeling in their victims that way. These types of attacks have increased over the years thanks to sites like Google and LinkedIn, which hackers use to find out just about anything they want about a company and its executives.

Putting up a Relevant Ad

You see an online advertisement everywhere these days, and cybercriminals have caught on to the trend. They are becoming notorious for running extensive online advertising campaigns, in which they will offer a product or service, and then trick the victim into downloading ransomware onto their computer. Commonly referred to as the Rogue technique, you will

most commonly see this as an advertisement for anti-virus software, or as an alert from your computer stating your system has been infected.

Social engineering won’t be going away anytime soon, which is why it’s crucial to regularly train your staff on email and internet best practices. If you need any assistance protecting your business from these types of attacks, then give us a call today!