What is Social Engineering?
Who hasn’t experienced scams in one way or another? We’ve all had our days encountering various con-artists luring us into giving vital personal information to them. Many of us have even been victim to such attacks. Therefore, it’s important to be aware about such swindling mechanisms. Here’s more on what is social engineering and how it happens in the cryptocurrency world.
Social engineering is quite simply a means of manipulating someone according to their behavioral psychology. In the world of information technology and security, it refers to the ulterior motives of miscreants who influence people into making bad moves that often results in them compromising their important information. The miscreants then use these fraudulent activities to extract further personal information, obtain confidential information and then either threat them for ransoms or inflict heavy financial losses on them.
The term social engineering also refers to the fraudulent activities happening to people in context of cryptocurrencies too. This is a relatively easy field for miscreants to operate from because it’s still relatively new and people don’t have much knowledge about them on a wide scale. Every month, hundreds fall victim to socially engineered, manipulative attacks.
What is social engineering in cryptocurrency going to look like, depends on the type of cryptocurrency-holder miscreants target. Therefore, a greedy personality can easily become pray to a Ponzi scheme or some pyramid attack, especially when they’re new to the crypto markets. There are more chances for newcomers to get attacked because blockchain technology is still booming and attract hundreds of interested individuals every day for investments even though they don’t understand cryptocurrencies completely.
Social engineering scams like airdrops, free giveaways, quick money making schemes, mining frauds are all quite common for rookies to get attacked with.
Now that you know what is social engineering, let’s shift the focus on how it works. Social engineering, by definition, relies on the human psyche, their emotions, curiosity, fear, greed and even kindness or compassion. Here are a few malicious social engineering techniques that scammers in the cryptocurrency world can use to manipulate you.
Phishing is most probably the oldest social engineering and hacking methods known in internet history. Phishing emails will often act as an email provider, a reputable store, bank chain or any other legitimate company. They can ask the user to provide their personal information in reply to their email and the user can give up their details out of sudden fear to confirm their identity.
Scareware involves false alarms like sudden virus or malware detection that triggers a response of fear. This prompts the user to install a malicious software in their computer or click a certain banner that looks like a cleanup prompt from anti-virus software.
Baiting means luring users into winning “free” digital items like music files, videos, books, games etc. or even electronic devices like laptops, phones, gadgets etc. In this social engineering scheme, victims can visit a click-bait advertisement offering them free stuff while the malware sets itself into their system, extracting important financial data like cryptocurrency information.