The Art of Human Hacking Part 5

By now you understand is how communication is the foundation of Social Engineering. But what all goes into communication? The best way of understanding it is to look at “The Power of Communication Models”. After you set a goal, (nothing malicious) write out the five major components and plan around them. The Source of info and how you got it, the Message you are trying to convey, how you Channel your message, who your Receivers are, and the kind of feedback you get from them. Following and perfecting your understanding of this model will yield valuable information. Once you learn that, you must know how to utilize it or all of the data you spend time gathering goes to waste.

To be a good Social Engineer, when you speak to people they should want to open up. As you talk to them should feel at ease. Elicitation, a tool used by spies, con members, doctors, therapists, and law enforcement. Very few tools in a social engineers’ arsenal are as powerful as this one. Elicitation means to arrive at a conclusion by logic. Alternatively, it means to draw out a particular class of behaviors. This tool can be used anywhere that your target is and has the benefit of being low risk as it is hard to detect. Even if suspicion exists, people right it off as meeting an angry stranger accused of wrongdoing for asking a quick question.

Elicitation works well because people have a desire to be polite, especially when meeting someone for the first time. When questioning someone about their profession, they want to appear informed and intelligent. If someone is praised, you will often want to talk more. And most people respond kindly to people who are concerned about them. It is easy to get people to talk about their accomplishments. A Social Engineer wants their target to take action whether that is to answer a question or to grant access to their goal. Some things to keep in mind is while talking with someone is to try and stay natural.

Nothing kills a conversation faster than when you appear uncomfortable. Educate yourself and proficient in what you will be discussing with your target. You must also be careful though. Don’t be greedy. Of course, the underline goal is to gain information. Do not let this be your focus though. If you show that you are only there for yourself then your target will lose interest. Often, giving them some form of reciprocation so they feel more obligated to share something in return.

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