Social engineering as the new deception game

Aurelian STOICA
National Institute for Research and Development in Informatics – ICI Bucharest

Abstract: As the general interest in the cybersecurity field grew in the last years, more and more researchers focused on the social engineering topic. Most of the studies approached the technical aspects of the social engineering, establishing and describing categories of human enabled cyber-attacks and positioning the concept in the IT security environment, which helps in crafting defensive techniques. This paper argues that social engineering roots are deeply established in the intelligence field, and it should be studied and understood in its social influence dimension with the same importance as the engineering one. Furthermore, the research groups social engineering tactics into state-driven social engineering and privately driven social engineering based on their coordinating entities. The lack of technology layer in social engineering activities of the past (compared to today’s flourishing digital ecosystem) was efficiently compensated by the higher degree of creativity of the people designing them, and the state apparatus support.

Keywords: social engineering, social influence, cybersecurity, deception, framing.

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Aurelian STOICA, Social engineering as the new deception game, Romanian Journal of Information Technology and Automatic Control, ISSN 1220-1758, vol. 31(3), pp. 57-68, 2021.