Social Engineering (Manipulation?) Advice, Please!

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.

Social Engineering (Manipulation?) Advice, Please!

Post by TheTechBrony on Tue Sep 09, 2014 5:18 pm
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I've heard about social engineering advice before, but I've never really tried it, and I was wondering if there was anybody who could give me advice as to how to employ this technique.
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Re: Social Engineering (Manipulation?) Advice, Please!

Post by cyberdrain on Tue Sep 09, 2014 5:56 pm
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Things you need: an insight into the human mind, thinking how it can be manipulated, knowing how people think or act in certain situations and lastly, I think you need to be very strong socially. I read somewhere it's not much different from trying to exploit a computer system: making a system (mind) do something it wouldn't normally do (exploit) by ways of certain input (manipulation).
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Re: Social Engineering (Manipulation?) Advice, Please!

Post by tripbeam on Tue Sep 09, 2014 6:11 pm
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Be confident and have it all thought through of what you're going to do and throw the odd joke or seem friendly. Make the other person feel like you have been friends a while or that you're interested in helping them. Make it seem like you are a trust worthy person, and maybe even convince yourself that you want to be this persons friend and that your doing more than what your goal was intended to be. A social engineer can have 2 faces, the friendly guy who wants to be your friend wih good inentions and the darker side of striving for that goal. Whether it's "oh if i'm nice to these people and make sure there food is delivered on time i'll get a tip" or maybe "oh if i make myself seem like a nice guy and get these people to trust me i can do lots behind the scenes".

No i'm not telling you to go and use this for those particular reasons, you could do it for plenty of reasons. You could act nice to your teacher/boss for your gain like maybe getting better marks or a raise.
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Re: Social Engineering (Manipulation?) Advice, Please!

Post by TheTechBrony on Tue Sep 09, 2014 6:34 pm
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cyberdrain wrote:Things you need: an insight into the human mind, thinking how it can be manipulated, knowing how people think or act in certain situations and lastly, I think you need to be very strong socially. I read somewhere it's not much different from trying to exploit a computer system: making a system (mind) do something it wouldn't normally do (exploit) by ways of certain input (manipulation).


Well, there are still more than a few sites where I'm relatively popular. I also took a college level psychology course at the age of 12, so I'm pretty good there. From my ability to use multiple accounts to my advantage, I guess I'm probably pretty well set for this kind of stuff, then. If the human mind on the Interwebz can be manipulated like a computer system, then it should be relatively easy.
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Re: Social Engineering (Manipulation?) Advice, Please!

Post by limdis on Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:54 pm
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You really need to learn to lie. and I don't necessarily mean 'lying well', I mean learning to make yourself do it without giving away all the obvious signs that you are lying; ie being comfortable lying. Conduct experiments. Start simple and get more bold. Social Engineering isn't about being crazy elaborate or even super convincing, it's about being human. Except that you are putting yourself in the shoes of someone you're technically not.
"The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear..."
"Drink all the booze, hack all the things."
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Re: Social Engineering (Manipulation?) Advice, Please!

Post by TheTechBrony on Wed Sep 10, 2014 8:36 am
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I'm pretty good at lying on the Interwebz, which should be easy because you can't really see the person you're lying to, and they can't see you. And viewing things from another person's POV is kinda second nature because there are a few websites where I conduct debates, and I have to look at things from my opponent's side.
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Re: Social Engineering (Manipulation?) Advice, Please!

Post by Rosenkreutz on Wed Sep 21, 2016 6:06 pm
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As stupid as it may sound, in my opinion one of the best tools for social engineering is introspection.
Finding out about your desires and needs and how you respond to outside influences will teach you a
great deal about how people work, and the necessary humility to use this skill wisely. Also experiment with
mantras, and train your focus, preferably through meditation (lying, which might in many cases occur during
such an operation, requires tremendous amounts of focus and memory to carry out properly and without logic
loopholes).
Another important skill to develop, but much less Important, is imitation. Being able to recreate various dialects,
accents and behaviors will improve your performance greatly, as these may add your psychological impact.
Actors, for example, are great social engineers by design, if you look at it from a certain angle.
You might also want to look up on NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming) aswell as things like mantras and the
subconscious in general. A big hint that I wanna drop here: YOU have to believe your role. This is where acting
comes back into play. Even if you just pretend to be a regular Desktop Sam asking some Reception Lily for whatever,
the better your background story, the harder it is to detect you as a social engineer. And the more you can BE "Sam",
the more you will act like an actual person instead of a robot spitting out a few preset lines to rush to the extraction.

Lastly, plan ahead. Prepare for various questions, outcomes and reactions. The best way to keep control over a
situation is to stay calm and try to get to where you want through soft skills rather than try to build up pressure.
People wanna do favors, not chores. And most of all, they want to play.
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Re: Social Engineering (Manipulation?) Advice, Please!

Post by tremor77 on Fri Sep 23, 2016 8:03 pm
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Some good advice above. From personal experience often it's just best to roll... don't practice, don't try to perfect lying (just be a sociopath and believe it yourself), and know the moment.. sometimes being confident is practical, but other times being vulnerable is better - you have to gauge the target and the situation. Great example.. IT personnel and CSRs (Customer support reps) love to be what I call "Easy Heros", the dumber you are the more they will help you. You can practice social engineering all the time, in every day life.. just try to get a little more out of all of your various human interactions. There are entire professions that are basically social engineering and they are the most powerful professions in the world.. CEO's, Politicans & Lawyers... they all pretty much play a big game of social engineering...

My favorite social engineering practice is to get gas at the pump at gas stations with pay inside options where you can pump first. I'll go with $20 cash and my expired debit card and I'll go over by like 20 cents to see if I can just get the cashier to eat it.. or maybe someone in line will pony up for ya. You can run a ton of scenarios around this.. for me the best one is when I'm dressed well and going respectable businessman style.. run the debit, denied.. damn.. i left my visa platinum at home.. well I got cash.. shit I'm a bit short. Most of the time cashier's will just be like.. it's 20 cents.. you're good. When you go broke as shit style you actually get more shit from people. It's just a lesson in human behavior...
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