What Is Phishing? Tips To Avoid Social Engineering
Phishing and other social engineering assaults trick individuals into divulging critical information, relinquishing finances, or granting access to networks and machines.
Social engineering is a wide phrase for approaches that compromise sensitive user information online by exploiting psychological elements such as fear, trust, panic, a lack of information, and uncertainty rather than exploiting flaws in computer code or systems.
Phishing and other social engineering attacks influence people into giving up personal information, relinquishing finances, or gaining access to networks and systems, all with the objective of installing malware.
- Is Phishing Social Engineering?
- What Does a Social Engineering Scam Look Like?
- Why Is a Social Engineering Attack “Social?”
- SIM Swap Attacks and Cryptocurrency Users
Is Phishing Social Engineering?
Phishing and other social engineering tactics that breach crypto wallets to steal funds, as well as ransomware attacks that demand payment in cryptocurrency, should all be avoided by cryptocurrency users.
Phishing is a frequent computer-based attack method for obtaining sensitive information from an unwitting victim, such as email addresses, private key addresses, mobile phone numbers, and credit card numbers.
Phishing attacks typically take the shape of deceptive emails, text messages, or social media postings that deceive users into providing personal information, moving payments to an attacker’s cryptocurrency wallet, or clicking a malicious link that compromises passwords.
Phishing attacks can also be used to obtain access to computers so that malware can be installed.
Even if malicious actors do not use flaws in computer code or network failures to gain access to a system, they can still exploit human vulnerabilities through social engineering attacks, even if security software and protocols are in place. In reality, social engineering is used in almost all cybersecurity assaults.
Successful crypto attacks can pay off handsomely for malicious actors, and they are irreversible.
What Does a Social Engineering Scam Look Like?
Social engineering attacks, in general, entail direct human conversation or interaction with a potential victim. An attacker might gather information about a company before focusing on a specific individual with access to critical information and passwords.
For example, a rogue actor could obtain numerous employees’ itineraries and then pretend as a traveling manager emailing critical material to a subordinate. They could potentially target people by mining their social media data or acting as a coworker and asking for critical information.
Psychological methods are used in social engineering attacks.
The COVID-19 epidemic in 2020 benefited attackers who preyed on those who had let their guard down due to panic, increased mental stress, and urgent need for accurate information.
The attackers sent emails containing information about government programs, vaccine trials, and other topics, and the recipients’ PCs were infected with malware as soon as they opened the emails.
Another typical social engineering method is to send an email urgently seeking action and threatening terrible repercussions if the action is not performed – another example of abusing a human inclination to take impulsive, and ultimately compromising, acts while under duress.
Why Is a Social Engineering Attack “Social?”
The majority of commonly used social engineering techniques rely on human flaws such as gullibility, naivete, and insecurity.
Criminals, for example, frequently impersonate authority figures such as employers or IT specialists, taking advantage of people’s natural need to follow directions. Scammers can also take advantage of human kindness by impersonating a person or charity in need. Basic greed might also play a significant influence.
Attackers have simply lured employees with money or rewards to give critical information in some significant social engineering frauds.
SIM Swap Attacks and Cryptocurrency Users
A SIM Swap attack is one type of threat that employs social engineering techniques, and one that poses particular dangers to bitcoin users. To gain access to a mobile network, a SIM Swap attack includes acquiring possession of a victim’s SIM card, which saves user data.
Attackers will call a cell phone provider pretending to be the victim in order to earn the trust of a representative.
They do so by supplying information about a victim gleaned from web research, such as social media accounts, or facts revealed by the victim in phishing emails, which can help them avoid security questions such as a current address or mother’s maiden name.
After that, the attacker will request a new SIM card, allowing them to take over the victim’s phone number. The attacker would then have access to any sensitive data associated with that cell phone, including password reset codes and bank account information.
Wireless provider retail staff have been duped and bribed by SIM Swap hackers into installing malware on their PCs.
These types of frauds frequently take advantage of flaws in two-factor authentication (2FA) systems that rely on verification via text message or phone call.
Because a fraudulent bitcoin transfer is irreversible and impossible for law enforcement agencies to detect and seize, cryptocurrency wallets linked to cell phones are increasingly being targeted.
Despite the fact that SIM card assaults are on the rise, politicians are pushing cellphone providers in the United States to take more measures to protect their customers. Several high-profile SIM Swap hacks impacting cryptocurrency users have resulted in lawsuits against major cell carriers.
As a result, personal security solutions such as hardware wallet private key backups can help bitcoin users avoid the threats posed by SIM Swap attacks.