In this lesson, Subject Matter Expert Dean Pompilio presents an introduction to Social Engineering (SE). He begins by defining SE as the art – and science -- of getting information from people, having them carry out activities, and getting them to disclose sensitive information through manipulation. Although penetration testing is a prime use of SE, there are other uses for it such as hacking and market research. SE is performed over a longer time scale than traditional penetration testing – generally, over weeks or months because of the research and preparation that is involved. One of the fundamental problems in successful SE is the human problem – because humans are always the weakest links in any security program. In this course you will learn:
  • How to use various social engineering techniques and tools
  • Proven ways to communicate
  • How experience will reinforce methodology
The course includes lectures, labs, and demonstrations on tools (such as Kali Linux, Social Engineering Toolkit (SET), Cupp, Dradis, Creepy, and Recon-NG Framework) that can aid you in the SE process. Other tools – such as voice, use of the phone, and personal appearance – that are used for persuasion also are discussed. You will learn about:
  • Exploitation Lifecycle – the general five steps of hacking
  • Where SE fits in the exploitation lifecycle
  • Digital information gathering
  • Targeting
  • Digital profile reduction
SME Dean Pompilio discusses the following aspects of the psychology of SE that a Social Engineer needs to master to manipulate targets:
  • elicitation - the exercise of “teasing” information out of someone
  • framing – building a frame around the subject you are discussing
  • pretexting – devising a story or excuse to get a target to be receptive
  • cold calling – getting someone to give you info while being helpful
Other subjects discussed by SME Dean Pompilio are:
  • Bypassing physical security with SE techniques
  • The fact that technology cannot solve the problem
  • Post exploitation
  • Digital evasion
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