The art of human hacking, more subtly known as social engineering attacks, has been on a massive rise. 98% of attacks rely on social engineering. Since these attacks manipulate the human mind behind the technology rather than the technology itself, these attacks are highly successful. They are, therefore, often an attack vector for other attacks such as malware campaigns.
The recent years have seen a rise in social engineering attacks, in the face of several of its types, from phishing to whaling. The probable cause is the large-scale virtualization due to the covid-19 pandemic. With 2022 tagging along with a virtual world or the metaverse, social engineering attacks are likely to increase further, as evident through rising NFT scams.
According to statistics, social engineering causes a $12 billion loss every year. It is about time to take the matter seriously and learn how to mitigate or spot a social engineering or phishing attack.
Difference Between Phishing and Social Engineering
There is no difference between social engineering and phishing in all its essence. In fact, social engineering is a general term used to describe various methods attackers use to gain access to your computer or personal information. There are several types of social engineering attacks and phishing, such as whaling, baiting, pretexting, scareware, etc.
Since phishing is a social engineering attack, its core purpose revolves around manipulating the human mind. However, the attack tactic of a phishing attack involves sending fraudulent emails to unsuspecting victims to steal their personal information. These emails often look very convincing and can be difficult to distinguish from legitimate messages. They may contain links or attachments that, when clicked on, will install malware on your
How Can You Spot A Social Engineering Attack?
There are several ways to spot a social engineering attack. One of the most common methods is by looking out for suspicious or unexpected behavior from people you know and trust. For example, if someone you know suddenly starts asking for personal information that they wouldn’t usually ask for, this could be a sign of an attack. These emails would be like,
- Asking For help or Please reply to this email as soon as possible.
- Attackers often use spoofed email addresses that look very similar to the addresses of legitimate businesses or organizations. Be suspicious of any emails that request personal information or ask you to click on a link or open an attachment.
- Be especially careful if the email asks you to provide login credentials or financial information. Legitimate businesses will never ask for this type of information in an email.
- Another way to spot a social engineering attack is by checking the website address. Many fake websites will use addresses that are very similar to the addresses of legitimate websites, but with a small change. For example, the website address might end in .com instead of .net, or the letters may be transposed.
Always be sure to hover over links before clicking on them to see where they actually lead. If the link appears to be going to a different site than what is shown in the email, it is likely a phishing attack.
How Can You Prevent Social Engineering Attacks?
There are several things you can do to help protect yourself from social engineering and phishing attacks. One of the most important is to be aware of what these attacks are and how they work. You should also be skeptical of any emails or messages that seem suspicious and never click on links or attachments that you don’t trust.
- Spot suspicious behavior and emails
- Update your computer’s software
- Use antivirus software
- Create strong passwords.
- Never share your passwords with anyone.
- Be careful what you post on social media.
- Install a firewall.
- Use two-factor authentication.
by using these tips, you can help to keep yourself safe from social engineering and phishing attacks. So it is best that you stay vigilant!
Social engineering and phishing attacks are on the rise, so it is important to be aware of what they are and how to protect yourself from them. By being alert and using the tips provided, you can help to keep yourself safe from these attacks.