The Art of Human Hacking Part 10

We have talked a lot about Pretexting, what it is, how to use it, and some things you need to be careful about. But like anything, you can never be too careful, especially when dealing with other people. Whether you are on the giving or receiving end of a SE situation, there are things you have to keep in mind in order to reduce a negative outcome from your encounter. If you think you are on the receiving end of one of these situations, then it’s obvious. Keep a cool head, do your best not to give out any info they are hinting towards, and try to end the conversation quickly without giving off the impression that you know what they were doing.

For the social engineer, it’s different. Rather than just slipping past a guard to get you your goal, you are treading through an active minefield. You are trying to get to the center, get your prize and get back out without setting anything off. If you aren’t careful, you’re done. All the research you’ve done, all the data you sorted through, the persona you created, all of the time you dedicated to your art, wasted. There are a few things you must keep in mind in order to make sure you navigate that field in the most thought out way possible so keep these in mind.

1, Don’t think about how you feel. It is important to remember this while you are building your pretext. While you are doing your best to relate to the individual to get them to open up, you have to be warry of your own emotions dripping in and getting added to the mix. These are mostly your feelings of fear, showing any indications of being nervous, and of course anxiety. All of these will lead to show any intentions you have and your “operation” will end in failure. At the same time, you may not experience nervousness or fear. For you, you must make sure you don’t become over-excited which can also lead to mistakes.

2, Don’t take yourself too seriously. You’re not James Bond. Whatever you are doing is highly unlikely to save the world from evil masterminds. (On the off chance that it is, good luck, I believe in you, please don’t screw it up. No pressure.) No matter how cautious you are, mistakes are going to happen somewhere along the line. You have to be able to laugh at yourself and learn from them. Failure is the principle of life. And who knows, your failures from your interactions could lead to even greater success.

Both 3 and 4 are things we have discussed before and don’t require much depth. These are learning to identify what is relevant and seek to gain experience. Knowing what you need to bring to an encounter, what language to use, and how an individual responds in a social environment. And of course, practice. The only way you can gain the skills of social engineering is to try learn the basics and teach yourself the rest in the field.

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