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What is Social engineering and the seven Weaknesses?

According to the research report "Cisco 2010 Annual Security Report"(page 19) internet attacks occur not only by flawed technology, but mostly because of naive users. The report presents a list of seven fatal weaknesses that cybercriminals use for social engineering, whether in the form of e-mails, social networks, chat or phone. These seven weaknesses are:
[*] Sex Appeal
Tempting users by pretending to be an attractive man or woman. People need to take caution when suddenly an unknown flirter pops up. The attacker might have less romantic intentions.
[*] Greed
When something is too good to be true, it probably is. People considering getting an iPod for free, or expect a percentage of a Nigerian money transfer should better restrain themselves.
[*] Vanity
Scammers try to convince victims that they are chosen, winners or belong to a very select group of people to receive this special offer. Unfortunately we have to conclude that we all are not so unique.
[*] Trust
Internet criminals pretending to be employees of a well-known and reliable brand derive their trust from this brand. On the other hand, scammers try to impersonate a well-known person who can be trusted. Users of ICT systems must ask themselves whether this unexpected e-mail or phone call is really originating from the sender or caller.
[*] Sloth
By using shortened URLs in mails that appear to originate from banks etc., lazy people are lured to a website under the pretext to validate data or to verify that the e-mail is legitimate. Instead of asking themselves why that e-mail with the reference (link) to that funny movie on YouTube is sent to them, they just click on the links.
[*] Compassion
With heartbreaking personal stories or exploiting known major natural disasters scammers induce pity to receive donations. Recipients of these messages must be very skeptical.
[*] Urgency
People are tempted to react immediately because an offer expires, or because colleagues need some information quickly. When mails or phone calls use an urgency construction, users should not respond immediately but take their time to assess the source of the message.
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Topic created  :  01-05-2017
Topic last edited  :  01-05-2017

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