Have we effectively taught ourselves how to be antisocial?

Social engineering is the art of manipulating people into performing actions or divulging confidential information. While similar to a confidence trick or simple fraud, the term typically applies to trickery for information gathering or computer system access and in most cases the attacker never comes face-to-face with the victim.

Have we effectively taught ourselves how to be antisocial?

Post by burntout on Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:51 am
([msg=54691]see Have we effectively taught ourselves how to be antisocial?[/msg])

SE is a topic that has a significant amount of its roots in simple getting to know you chitchat. And because of that, I find myself wondering, how do people even get to know each other after being exposed to the topic? I don't know about the rest of you, but I no longer see things the same way I once did. Every time somebody asks me any sort of personally reflective question, I can't help but think of how it could possibly be related to The Big Five. And I either refuse to answer it, subvert answering it, or simply lie. No sort of relationship, or sense of community, can be built on that type of foundation.

I haven't always known about social engineering either, or what can be done with it, and certainly don't know it as well as I probably should. So I often find myself questioning just how much of myself I've actually exposed, and to whom. I'm quite positive, as I've already encountered many, that there are even people who know me better than I know myself. Some probably even pissing their pants in exuberance that I'm even writing this. Others, including family, wondering where my recently developed trust issues have stemmed from, when at any moment, any person I've said anything to, can use me as a weapon against me.

What's worse, is that I look at people like Johnny Long, Moxie Marlinspike, and RSnake, people that are considered famous, and pioneers in this industry, and don't understand how they can be so vocal and open about who they are, while I seem to be developing a deeply rooted social anxiety disorder.

Have I studied too little? Have I studied too much? What am I not understanding? Now that social engineering is such a threat to security, am I wrong to have this feeling that everybody could be, though most likely probably isn't, the enemy? Am I wrong to push them away because of what I've learned? Have I pushed them away to the point, that I'm now so alone, that I'm even alone in feeling this way? How do I go back to being me again? Is it just that I haven't managed to prove myself? Am I just burnt out? How do I stop seeing things this way? Will this all be perceived as a joke, when it's honestly ruining my life?

A shitload of stupid questions left spinning around in my head, but I won't ever know unless I ask.

Is there a place where old hackers go to die?
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Re: Have we effectively taught ourselves how to be antisocial?

Post by sanddbox on Sat Mar 05, 2011 3:10 pm
([msg=54694]see Re: Have we effectively taught ourselves how to be antisocial?[/msg])

Uhhh...what? This has nothing to do with learning Social Engineering, and everything to do with some sort of social disorder.
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Re: Have we effectively taught ourselves how to be antisocial?

Post by Goatboy on Sat Mar 05, 2011 5:51 pm
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sanddbox wrote:Uhhh...what? This has nothing to do with learning Social Engineering, and everything to do with some sort of social disorder.

Actually, it does. I think the point he's trying to make is that through the knowledge of SE, he's acquired a distrust for people. Granted this might be the manifestation of a mental disorder, but it stems from SE.
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Re: Have we effectively taught ourselves how to be antisocial?

Post by sanddbox on Sat Mar 05, 2011 8:30 pm
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Goatboy wrote:
sanddbox wrote:Uhhh...what? This has nothing to do with learning Social Engineering, and everything to do with some sort of social disorder.

Actually, it does. I think the point he's trying to make is that through the knowledge of SE, he's acquired a distrust for people. Granted this might be the manifestation of a mental disorder, but it stems from SE.


I understand that point wholly, but an understanding of the human psyche has never led me to feel a disconnect with other humans. Advanced social engineering does sort of develop a "they're my tools to use" mentality, but I tend to keep an important distinction between normal-life interaction and social engineering.
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Re: Have we effectively taught ourselves how to be antisocial?

Post by insomaniacal on Sat Mar 05, 2011 10:46 pm
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99.9% of people aren't trying to glean information from you for malicious purposes. Social Engineering is a fancy term for reading people. No amount of reading will teach you that,only experience and observation. Go out, have fun, observe how different people react to different things, and you'll build a base on which to be able to judge someone's motives with a good degree of accuracy, giving you a "one up" in the social chess game that is life.

Worry too much, and you'll end up wasting tons of your time, while slowly becoming a tin-foil hat guy.
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Re: Have we effectively taught ourselves how to be antisocial?

Post by Vulpine on Sat Mar 05, 2011 10:47 pm
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I can kind of see the point that you're making, but I didn't learn it from social engineering, I picked it up from biology and psychology. People have an instinct to socialize with and befriend those who they perceive to be of benefit to them. Whether that's also to your benefit or not, is the only thing that you have to figure out.

You certainly sound a little overly paranoid, though. Most people are either too stupid or too lazy to use personal information against you.
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Re: Have we effectively taught ourselves how to be antisocial?

Post by Smirnoff Mech on Tue Apr 12, 2011 2:26 pm
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I agree that this is a little over paranoid and far fetched.

In all honesty, social engineering is a skill not used by many. I for one have done pretty well with it, even obtaining money, information through the process. It is foolish to believe that at every turn someone is trying to use you. It is a waste of energy to be constantly paranoid that someone is always trying to just manipulate you.

Major thing is though, I think everyone is a bit of a social engineer. Everyone lies to get what they want, maybe not as in depth as social engineering, yet we all do it. So honestly stop worrying about it.
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Re: Have we effectively taught ourselves how to be antisocial?

Post by neuromanta on Tue Apr 12, 2011 2:58 pm
([msg=56280]see Re: Have we effectively taught ourselves how to be antisocial?[/msg])

[OFF]
I honestly don't know why "social engineering" is considered a hacker skill. Social engineering simply means to lie to other people, manipulate them and cheat them to do harm. This is what politicians, media moguls and advertise agents do, who are far more worse then crackers. Why does people think that social engineering is a cool thing?
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Re: Have we effectively taught ourselves how to be antisocial?

Post by Goatboy on Tue Apr 12, 2011 3:23 pm
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neuromanta wrote:I honestly don't know why "social engineering" is considered a hacker skill.

Social engineering can be used in many places to supplement or even replace technical attacks. Humans are always the weakest link in security, so it makes sense to attack them. Kevin Mitnick is the usual example given here. He wasn't what some would call a traditional hacker, but he had enough technical skill that it could be used to devastating effect when combined with the access he got from SE.
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Re: Have we effectively taught ourselves how to be antisocial?

Post by neuromanta on Tue Apr 12, 2011 11:53 pm
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Goatboy wrote:
neuromanta wrote:I honestly don't know why "social engineering" is considered a hacker skill.

Social engineering can be used in many places to supplement or even replace technical attacks. Humans are always the weakest link in security, so it makes sense to attack them. Kevin Mitnick is the usual example given here. He wasn't what some would call a traditional hacker, but he had enough technical skill that it could be used to devastating effect when combined with the access he got from SE.


Ok, I understand that. By "hacker" I didn't mean "the one who can break systems" type, but "the one who can build and tweak systems creatively" type of hackers. SE is purely a black hat skill. Yes, it takes some skill and even creativity to social engineer, but it still is what it is: immoral cheating. That's why I'm confused.
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