Social Engineering – Don’t Fall In The Trap In Choosing The Best Things Out There

On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog

                                         -Peter Steiner
According to Wikipedia,

Social engineering refers to the art of manipulating people such that they perform action or into performing actions or divulging confidential information. While it is similar to a confidence trick or simple fraud, the term typically applies to trickery or deception for the purpose of information gathering, fraud, or computer system access; in most cases the attacker never comes face-to-face with the victims.
Social engineering” as an act of psychological manipulation was popularized by hacker-turned-consultant Kevin Mitnick. The term had previously been associated with the social sciences, but its usage has caught on among computer professionals.


Social Engineering : A art
The above term may seems bit complicated to understand but it plays with you always specially when you are using internet. After looking at various sites, specially on social networking sites like Facebook i can confidently say that 9 people out of 10 fall in such psychological traps created by social engineers (I’ll call them social engineers rather then Hackers or Philishers). Don’t think you are smart enough. May you are also one of them who has been tempted and fooled every time.

Which sites/resources are fake?

  • I’ll start with current era. Currently there’s great craze for earning points in EmbeePay. Surely Embeepay is genuine and there’s nothing fake about that. But look at the screenshot below.
Site URL: http://embeepointsadder.blogspot.com/2011/11/2011-november-8th-embee-points.html
Type: Fake Software

Yes, that’s a software called “EmbeePay points Adder v2.0” with payment proof. Even there are comments saying “Thanks! It works!!”
But don’t fall in this bait. That software is dumb piece of windows code with no functionality. Actually they earn money when you complete the survey when you are unlocking the download link. The “good” comments are done either by themselves from another accounts or by their friends.

  • And a silly thing about Mobile balance
Site URL: http://www.facebook.com/xxx
Type: Victim sharing fake site
This site wants to increase its traffic and thus playing a bait about “Free Mobile Balance”. And as per basic human instinct they fall in this and spreads this in his vicinity. And potentially it also takes the people basic information for free. (Big companies spends millions of dollars for Marketing just to get people’s information. )
The intention may not be just “Earning Money”. Some Social Engineers do it for fun or extracting personal information. Below are some examples of such attempts :-

Site Url: http://irintech.com/x1/co/3770/UNESCO-Announces-Indian-National-Anthem-‘Jana-Gana-Mana’-as-the-Best-National-Anthem
Type: Fake information

There are also similar post about “Guinness Book Of World records – Engineering is the toughest course“, “Don’t use plastic Eye-lenses!!” and also many false information about various technological stuffs, drinks, products and many more. Some are “internet viruses” which is a bot script and gets the control over your public profile. And the funny thing is that no one even checks the information and shares it very where.

Many of them have heard about several posts like this “…suffering from cancer…share it…Facebook will play .1$ or so“. Technically speaking, Facebook doesn’t run such initiatives of donating money. But 90% people are so sure about it (even though they don’t know) and shares it everywhere thinking that he/she has saved a life! 😛 It’s really funny to see that people don’t use their common sense during posting a stuff in forums or social networking sites.

What do Social Engineers gain from this?

  • Earn money from adf.ly(and other) and surveys when victim tries to unlock the download link.
  • Blog publicity to trigger Ad-sense earning.
  • Extracting personal information, such software can be a undetected Trojan.
  • Spreading Viruses
  • Spread Religious, Political, or Technological fake news
  • Just for Fun 😛
Why you should be aware of them?
  • Loss of Confidential or private data.
  • Waste of time as none of them is constructive.
  • Cause of potential harassment or Cyber crime.
  • Spreading wrong information and proving that you are a fool is not an good idea 😛
How can you identify such sites/resources?
  • One simple and best way is to Google it. Yes it works with 99% success. For sites, you can search for reviews from good repudiated sites as even some Review sites are fake. And form some informative stuff just search the whole phrase in Google and then you’ll get everything.
As given above screenshot from URL http://www.wehatefake.com/2011/04/10/toughest-course-hoax  There are also many other sites which will reveal that piece of information is fake or not.
  • Never see few good comments about the suspicious sites. They have may be done by their friends or partners just to fool you.
  • Just use your common-sense! Nothing can exist without a reason or cause! 
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