Tales from a Social Engineer – Intro

Article by • February 9, 2021

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Tales from a Social Engineer – Intro

Social Engineering and the techniques behind it are found everywhere, and you might encounter them and not even realise.

The aim of this blog series is to discuss social engineering, the way it is used, and cover some case studies of various uses of this “Jedi mind trick” in action.

But Why Me?

I am a consultant at Pentest People, but before that my main area of work was social engineering and the art of human hacking. I spent my days getting people to do what I wanted them to do, often outside of their best judgement.

What is Social Engineering?

Wikipedia lists the definition as:

Social Engineering is a discipline in social science that refers to efforts to influence particular attitudes and social behaviours on a large scale, whether by governments, media or private groups in order to produce desired characteristics in a target population.

The cybersecurity industry has shot social engineering into infamy and has made it synonymous with hacking, phishing and other black hack activities. However, its roots are so much deeper than sales methods, marketing, entertainment and espionage, and predate the cybersecurity industry as a whole.

So, in short, it is not just about hacking! It is the art of social and personal manipulation. Follow this series of blogs to really understand social engineering as we dissect the fundamentals behind it and why as people are susceptible to this human attack method.

Over the course of the “episodes” planned, I will write about various social engineering attacks, methods and even some history. The aim is to help build awareness bust some misconceptions and overall help you the reader better protect yourselves and spot a social engineering attack. I will use case studies and stories from my own misadventures, so join me on this journey into tales from a social engineer.

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Gyles is a consultant at Pentest People who is passionate about Social Engineering, the methods used and how they work by manipulating the human mind.