18 June 2021

Social Engineering in Penetration Testing

By DICC Institute

Many of us not aware of the term social engineering in penetration testing this is nothing but a technique that is used by most ethical hackers to test the social engineering tactics for any organization employees basically to understand all about the security posture and also where all the vulnerabilities lie. In this way, it would be able to explore the main objective of the hackers that too with a cyber intruder perspective. This technique is mainly engineered with the overall knowledge of the organization and that too as a skilled professional who studies the hacker’s medium to find the loopholes and then how then they assess the user’s awareness regarding all the malicious emails as well as links. Now the main question here is why there is a need for social engineering in penetration testing. Well, social engineering is a kind of security threat that businesses are prone to. Several methods are present belonging to social engineering that is becoming more and more popular or I can say successful in an attempt to accomplish the problem of data loss or in the generation of revenue mainly done by the cybercriminals. In here human error has also been proven to be the main reason for the very success of many possible cyber incidents that take place within an organization. Social engineering penetration testing mainly has two broad types.

Also Read: How to prevent Brute Force Attack and Tools for hacking IoT devices

Off-site social engineering attacks:

The first one is the off-site social engineering attack. This occurs mainly through the following methods.

#1. Voice phishing vishing:

This method of social engineering mainly takes place through phone calls. Here the caller attempts to obtain all kind of sensitive data such as the PIN details or the bank account credentials from the victims by providing them will false role play such as regarding their account closing, winning a lottery and so on.

#2. Email phishing:

In this very method, the hacker mainly sends an email related to various topics so that with the use of these mails they can lure people when they click on the malicious emails, links or even the download attachments that at last lead to data theft or online fraud.

#3. SMS phishing or smishing:

This scam mainly takes place with the help of an SMS more like a text message. As the hackers send out text messages that consist of payment links so if the victim tries to open it at once all his credentials saved in the device is been copied by the hacker and by the time you know all your money would have been taken out.

Also Read: Simulated phishing campaigns – goals, forms and their problems and Email Security Tips

On-site social engineering attacks:

This is the second type of social engineering attack that mainly takes places through the following methods. 

#1. Tailgating:

This very method is introduced to bypass all the security challenges physically. As at any of the office premises, their would-be standard security measures implied where the so-called passcode and unique ID of the employee must have been checked at a measure before they can enter the office. Tailgating is however a method in which an unauthorized person gets the entry inside the office premises by simply following a person who got the access and gaining entry.  

#2. Impersonation:

In this very method, the attacker claims to be an authenticated user just by wearing the person in disguise. This is one of the most used methods of social engineering penetration.

#3. Dumpster driving:

Here in this method the attacker mainly checks through the user personnel belonging to gain some sort of crucial information that can particularly about the person or any organization he or she belongs to.

#4. USB drops:

This is one of the popular methods known in social engineering penetration. In here a malicious pen drive and a USB stick are mainly left in the work environment more like bait. This USB may contain some malicious content which when plugged by any user then open a way through which cybercriminals can copy all the important information including the credentials.

Thus, if you want all the important information belonging to your organization to be safe as well as secure from all the above hacking hazards then you must consider social engineering penetration testing as a mandatory option. As if has so many advantages linked to it. Let’s see all those advantages one by one.  

  1. The first one is that it avoids all type of security breaches as it identifies the vulnerabilities belonging to an organization and then migrate them before the breach occurs.
  2. It even simulates the social engineering attack and even puts a whole new perspective on the organization security flaws
  3. There is even improved security just by bringing all kind of remedial measures. This is mainly done to tighten the organizational information security plan in use
  4. There is even education given about cybersecurity in a form of awareness to all the employees that will help them be familiar with the social engineering attacks 
  5. A detailed report on all the important vulnerabilities as well as security flaws is been provided after every check carried out
  6. There is even a real-time assertion provided on how much the employees adhere to the company followed security policies.

Also Read: How to Secure Smart Cities Future and Cloud Security Challenges


I hope the information provide above will be useful to all my readers.

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