McAfee Labs - Hacking the Human Operating System - The Role of Social Engineering Within Cybersecurity
The use of social engineering techniques has become a significant and widespread means of deploying malicious attacks on the Internet to obtain sensitive or classified information from competitors, rivals, and governments, among others. A recent trend in the attacks is their targeted nature: Criminals are using sophisticated and tailored techniques to deploy malware, usually by spear-phishing emails. Another example of such a tactic is whaling, which is aimed at high-profile individuals or members of certain groups of interest for the criminals. While some organized groups may specialize in large-scale cyberattacks and scams by throwing out bait and accepting whichever victims bite, others take advantage of more sophisticated criminal activities and tailored techniques to deploy malware inside a closed organization, government, or financial institution. The adversaries gather intelligence on their targets to learn about their habits and design a tailored attack to manipulate the targets and attain their objectives, such as acquiring sensitive information.
This report from McAfee Labs examines the main threats associated with human based attacks for information gathering, fraud, or compromising a computer. We hope the report will help you better understand current risks and threats, and forecast trends in the development of criminal activities.