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Social Engineering Attacks is the New Method of Penetration

  • By Abdullah Al Sabe
  • August 16, 2020

Over the past years, there has been a remarkable development in our lives, and we have become dependent on the latest technologies while dispensing with traditional means.

For example, the news is spreading and read through social media channels, while magazines, newspapers, and even televisions have been dispensed with. However, this evolution, accompanied by security issues due to lacking knowledge of the basics of information protection and security. In this article, we will outline the critical matters that the user must be familiar with to protect himself/herself and his/her devices from the technical risks that surround him/her.

One of the essential means of penetration that users encounter nowadays is through Social Engineering. This term has been a trend, but we are not aware of the issues surrounding us because of it. The reason behind this fact that social media platforms, as well as applications, have reached a high degree of protection and security, and most of the breaches that are currently occurring are mostly due to the user’s unawareness. Therefore, hackers exploit this fact and do tricks to penetrate users’ accounts to obtain their data and information.

 

Hacking WhatsApp Account

For example, hacking into the WhatsApp account is mainly done by defrauding users, and the most popular method is through a fake account on Twitter or Instagram or from any social media application in the name of a person you trust or follow. And then, you get a message via Private Messages from that individual asking for your contact number to add you to a social group. After sharing your number, he/she will ask again to share the temporary security number as the last step to add you to the group. However, this number is the basis for accessing your account on WhatsApp and using it. Still, he/she circumvents you that this number is only to add you to the group. Unfortunately, you take the initiative to share the temporary security number and fall victim to hacking your account in WhatsApp.

 

Hacking Snapchat Account

One of the most popular and widely used methods of hacking accounts on Snapchat relying on social engineering is by sending an untrustworthy link to users as a link to authenticate accounts on Snapchat or increase the security of the account. When these links are accessed, a page appears for the user asking to fill out the information about the account, including the username and password. As soon as they are entered, the credentials reach the hacker, and the account will be hacked immediately. The hacker continues his work by sending images from the hacked account to the friends and families of that user, inviting them to secure their accounts. Those who are unaware of such threats will enter the link and share their credentials with the hacker; therefore, their accounts will be hacked as well.

 

Hacking Twitter & Instagram Accounts

Instagram and Twitter accounts can be hacked using as well through social engineering attacks. For example, in Twitter, the hacker posts a link and claims that you can enjoy additional features such as seeing who visited your account without following you, or the ability to modify tweets, or any other services. Then, the user clicks on the link and submits his/her username and password, and the account will be hacked immediately by the hacker Furthermore, one of the most common services is the automatic tweeting services, in which your account is linked to it. You will initially find that the service publishes tweets regularly, but after a period of time, false information is published in your account or random tweets to steal users’ data.

 

Hacking Email Account

Email address are also vulnerable to being hacked by social engineering attacks in similar ways to those mentioned previously.

 

Protect Your Accounts

There are many ways to easily hack accounts, depending on lack knowledge of the basics of information protection and security, and there are victims of these attacks periodically. To protect your accounts, it is essential that you do not reply to unusual requests from anyone, and do not share your passwords or usernames on untrusted webpages. It is important to activate the two-step verification, in which your account is linked to your phone number in the event that anyone tries to access your account as you will receive a text message with a temporary password. Therefore, do not share this number to anyone.  Last but not least, you must not standardize your passwords, and there must be a unique one for each platform to minimize the chances of getting hacked. This step is crucial because if your password is leaked on any platform, the hacker will be able to penetrate all your accounts if your passwords are uniform.

Abdullah Al Sabe
Technical Editor in The Independent Arabia Newspaper

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