‘In the world of growth hacking, users are a metric, not people. Every action a user took gave Facebook a better understanding of that user–and of that user’s friends–enabling the company to make tiny “improvements” in the user experience every day, which is to say it got better at manipulating the attention of users. Any advertiser could buy access to that attention. The Russians took full advantage.
Students fooled teachers by asking them to enter account information to update their computer’s software, which they regularly do. Teachers were presented with a display that looked “exactly like” it does when prompted for a software update, but instead it was a request for administrative access, according to district technology supervisor Jurgen Johannsen.
In short, he got all sorts of information that could be used in a hacker attack. How? A bit of research and an ability to spin a few lies over the phone.
As security systems get increasingly difficult to crack, hackers are turning toward a new source of information: people.
Hackers have always utilized people or social engineering.
Chris Hadnagy, who organizes the Def Con contest, said social engineering is a “hardly discussed, trained or defended against” threat.
“Social engineering is the easiest and most widely used way to infiltrate companies,” Hadnagy said.