Types of social engineering attacks

Types of social engineering attacks such as phishing are how most successful hacks start. In fact, KnowBe4 reports that more than 90% of breaches start with phishing attacks.

A social engineer tricks their victim into giving up unique information with manipulative tactics and then uses it to fool the victim even further. Once they have tricked the person, they can make an attack worse by using the personal information they requested.

A social engineering attack is a malicious act usually performed through means of email, voicemail, or chat messenger that tries to convince the victim to convey confidential or personal information. They’re most often used in an effort to steal money from you. There are nine different types of social engineering attacks: shoulder surfing, tricking into revealing sensitive information, phishing, baiting and peering (gathering easy-to-access data), Dressing (unsolicited phone calls), and Hoaxes.

Types of social engineering attacks: Phishing

1.Phishing(most common)

Phishing is a social engineering technique in which an attacker sends fraudulent emails, claiming to be from a reputable source. For example, social engineers might send an email that appears to come from a customer success manager at your bank. They could claim to have important information about your account but require you to reply with your full name, birth date, social security number and account number first so that they can verify your identity. The person emailing is not actually the customer success manager; it’s someone trying to steal private information.

In general, phishing is targeted to as many people as possible. However, there are few types of phish that are aimed at particular targets.

A spear phishing attack has a higher probability of success by using information about the victim that the attacker found online.

Whaling is another type of phishing scam. It targets higher-value targets like CEOs and CFOs. It gets its name because higher-value targets are targeted by whaling rather than the average user.

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2.Vishing and Smishing

While phishing is associated with sending fraudulent emails, it can also occur during phone calls and text conversations.

When a fraudster attempts to trick the victim into giving them sensitive information or access, this is called vishing. Common schemes may occur when an individual pretends to be from the IRS on the phone and threatens/scares them in order to get personal information or payment.

Similar to and containing the same techniques as email phishing and vishing, smishing is done through SMS and text messaging.

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Pretexting typically involves the attacker impersonating someone in a powerful position, such as an authority, who tricks the victim into complying with their wishes.

When using social engineering to gain information, a person may impersonate someone well-known or discerning to convince the other party of their intent.

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Types of social engineering attacks

4.Business Email Breach (BEB)

With potential damages reaching $6.9 billion, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received 847,376 complaints in 2021, a 7% rise over 2020.

BEB Types of social engineering attacks often fall into one of three categories:

Impersonation. This happens when scammers use fake emails to impersonate staff members, reliable suppliers, and customers. They will request sensitive information from their victim, modify payroll and direct deposit details, or send fake funds.

compromise of such an account. When hackers obtain access to a valid employee email address, this happens. Emails with malicious code can be sent to clients, vendors, and other business contacts by scammers, who can also reply to them.

Thread stealing, This version of an account compromise attack is more sophisticated. Hackers search hacked inboxes for topic lines including “Re:,” which leads to thread hijacking. they follow

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5.Honeytraps (dating scams)

Scammers use attractive photos that have been stolen to build fake online dating and social media profiles for honeytrap dating scams. An active service member stationed far away and unable to meet in person, for instance, might be the victim of a military dating scam.

Once they have found a target, they will begin to communicate with them in flirtatious and seductive ways before telling them they are in love with them. However, they require the victims to contribute presents, money, or cryptocurrencies as proof that they share their sentiments.

Particularly prevalent on social media platforms like Snapchat are honeytraps. Make sure you’re constantly being careful and knowledgeable about the risks associated with internet dating.

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Scareware, often referred to as deception software, fruadware, and malicious scanning software, makes users feel as though they are in danger right away. For instance, you can get a warning informing you that a virus has been installed on your device.

In your browser, scareware frequently manifests as pop-up ads. Additionally, spam emails may contain it.

In order to eliminate the virus or download software that will erase the malicious code, victims are instructed to click on a button. However, doing so is what actually allows the dangerous program to enter.

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7.Quid Pro Quo

For a quid pro quo, the attacker pretends to be from the IT department and requests information.

Once the hacker finds a user who needs technical assistance, they will say something like, “I can fix that for you. I’ll just need your login credentials.”

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A baiting scheme would lure a victim into providing their credentials. Baiting could be done through offering a free music download or gift card—something enticing that the user shouldn’t miss out on.

If you are at a conference with somebody who is handing out free USB drives, watch out. They may load the drive up with software that tries to take over your computer when plugged in.

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9.Tailgating and Piggybacking

Tailgating is a simple attack that relies on closely following someone and getting in the area without being noticed. For example, an attacker can get in by quickly sticking their foot or another object into the door right before it’s completely shut and locked.

Piggybacking is a form of security breach that occurs when an unauthorized person tries to enter an area by piggybacking off the credentials of a legitimate user. The main difference between piggybacking and tailgating is that, in piggybacking, the person doing it asks the authorized user for permission.

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While social engineering is undoubtedly one of the most common ways for bad actors to deceive both managers and employees into disclosing confidential information, it’s not the only way that cyber criminals prey on both large and small businesses. That’s why you must stay vigilant at all times.

What are the 4 types of social engineering?

A social engineering attack is a malicious act usually performed through means of email, voicemail, or chat messenger that tries to convince the victim to convey confidential or personal information. They’re most often used in an effort to steal money from you. These are the main 4 different types: Phishing, Vishing and Smishing, Pretexting, Baiting

What are the 4 attack cycle of social engineering?

Attack cycles, which are frequently used to describe the four steps of a social engineering attack: Information collecting, building rapport and relationships, exploitation, and execution.

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