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Crypto Terms:  Letter S
Jun 19, 2023 |
updated Apr 02, 2024

What is Social Engineering?

Social Engineering Meaning:
Social Engineering - is a malicious act that uses human behavioral psychology to mislead people into making bad decisions that jeopardize their personal data.
4 minutes

Let's find out Social Engineering meaning, definition in crypto, what is Social Engineering, and all other detailed facts.

Social engineering is a harmful act that manipulates people's behavior to cause them to make poor judgments that compromise their personal information. In a wider context, any type of manipulation is connected to interactions that happen between people. Nevertheless, it does not always lead to fraudulent or criminal activities.

Despite the fact that there are other different exploiting tactics, social engineering relies on human mistakes, which makes it difficult to detect. Errors committed by genuine users may be far more unexpected than malware-based invasions, which rely primarily on flaws in software and operating systems.

Since human mistakes are unavoidable, social engineering provides thieves a higher chance of evading security precautions.

Social engineers are frequently referred to as "cybercriminals" since they are employed to steal online identities. By engineering, cybercriminals manage to get personal data from users that aren’t aware of internet security aspects and are considered to be the easiest targets.

Besides, these malicious actors tend to psychologically influence their victims by portraying a company executive and gaining entrance to private information. The majority of internet users who do not use antivirus software and do not take extra efforts to protect themselves from hacking are frequently victims of such illegal actions.

Social Engineering Attacks in Crypto World

Cybercriminals in the crypto realm primarily attack social media accounts of significant figures in the crypto business. They acquire entrance and then utilize the pre-built confidence of these characters to abuse individuals in various methods. Furthermore, they attempt to gain access to users' private wallets.

Excessive ambitions might be risky in financial markets because traders and investors are more exposed to phishing attacks, Ponzi or pyramid schemes, and other sorts of frauds. Besides, within the blockchain sector, the enthusiasm generated by cryptocurrencies draws a large number of newbies in a very short amount of time (especially during bull markets).

Different Sorts of Social Engineering

The main tool of the malicious actors using social engineering is the emotions of individuals. There are several sorts of attacks:

  • Baitings - this is carried out by misleading people with something they desire and then taking it away from them once their guard is down.
  • Pretexting - this happens on the internet when someone impersonates another person.
  • Phishing and spear-phishing - emails that frequently seem like they came from a real company, such as a major bank chain, a renowned online retailer, or an email service provider.
  • Scareware - this typically happens when false alerts are generated in an attempt to fool users into installing counterfeit software that appears legitimate or entering a website that attacks their devices.

Every one of these assaults is based on establishing confidence and trust, creating a feeling of urgency, and then manipulating emotions to trick the user into making an error so that the cybercriminal spearheading the attack could steal the victim's identity.

The Strategy of Social Engineering

A social engineering attack cycle is a methodical approach to gaining access to confidential information from individuals by exploiting their susceptibility. In this case, thieves avoid using brute force tactics because it allows them to monitor what users are doing on their computers or phones without being caught by antivirus software.

For instance, the cycle entails obtaining background information about someone before creating trust using interactions launched either directly or by engagements seeded at different moments throughout online chats/conversations or via email attachments. After that, the attacker leverages the user's trust and manipulates them to do the requested action. Eventually, after everything is completed, the attacker disconnects from the user.

How to Protect Yourself From Social Engineering?

The first thing you can do is set spam filters on all email accounts so that, even if attackers get access to them, they can't easily send messages or obtain important information.

Also, keep in mind that numerous accounts in the cryptocurrency industry have been hacked as a result of using the same password throughout multiple accounts. Therefore, you should always pick different passwords that are hard to guess.

In addition, make sure to set up a two-factor authentication (2FA) system and multi-factor authentication if it is available. And finally, make security training a part of the syllabus to teach everyone about these concerns.