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Social Engineering - Starter

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Manannan

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Post Mon Jul 18, 2011 3:57 pm

Social Engineering - Starter

I'm a new blood when it comes to ethical hacking, pentesting, and social engineering and only hold practice and experience as any credential.  If I were going to make a career of social engineering, what Certs/Studies should I seek?  My current thoughts are Sec+, MCSA: Sec, CEH, SSCP, CCNA, CCSP, and finally CISSP.  Is there a more logical progression or something I may have missed?
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cd1zz

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Post Mon Jul 18, 2011 4:15 pm

Re: Social Engineering - Starter

I personally dont know how you'd make a career of just social engineering. SE is a part of a bigger animal. I dont even know of any certs in this arena.

Are you asking how to get into security or specifically SE?
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sil

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Post Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:07 pm

Re: Social Engineering - Starter

Take psych classes. Period
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lorddicranius

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Post Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:21 pm

Re: Social Engineering - Starter

sil wrote:Take psych classes. Period


+1

There's [free] videos over at Academic Earth too, one class taught at Berkeley, then a full course taught at Yale:

http://academicearth.org/subjects/psychology
GSEC, eCPPT, Sec+
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nonexistententity

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Post Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:33 pm

Re: Social Engineering - Starter

You could always get advice and direction from guys like Chris Hadnagy and Dave Kennedy too:

http://www.social-engineer.org/
http://www.secmaniac.com/

-N33
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Manannan

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Post Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:35 pm

Re: Social Engineering - Starter

Thanks for the replies.  My question was mis-formed and I'm surprised that anyone was able to target in on what I meant, especial so well.  My purpose was to inquire as to a cert path that would help me in Social Engineering and shore up my skills on the technical end.  The psych class suggestion was one avenue I had considered.  I'm looking into a future career in security with an emphasis on the Social Engineering aspects.  Possibly as part of a pentesting career.  Right now, I have interests and motivation but not a course.  I will check the video courses and see about opening a dialog with Chris Hadnagy and Dave Kennedy.  Thanks for the insight and redirecting my question to a answerable one.
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hell_razor

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Post Tue Jul 19, 2011 5:07 pm

Re: Social Engineering - Starter

sil wrote:Take psych classes. Period


I knew there had to be a use for it sometime...  :P
A+, Network+, Server+, CISSP, GSEC, GCIH, GPEN, GCIA, GISP, GCFW
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tturner

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Post Wed Jul 20, 2011 2:13 pm

Re: Social Engineering - Starter

I was a psych major for 1.5 years but I'm a really bad social engineer in person or over the phone. It's a much different story when I can establish my scenarios in written text. Some people just don't have the gift of gab required for really exploiting trust and I don't think it's something you can learn. The concepts of how to modify behavior, and learning what makes people tick and how trust relationships work is invaluable and trainable, but delivery is a whole different animal. I recommend recruiting a hot chick to help. It's way more effective than any pretexting scenario you can deliver yourself (usually)
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CISSP, CISA, GPEN, GWAPT, GAWN, GCIA, GCIH, GSEC, GSSP-JAVA, OPSE, CSWAE, CSTP, VCP

WIP: Vendor WAF stuff

http://sentinel24.com/blog @tonylturner http://bsidesorlando.org
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lorddicranius

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Post Wed Jul 20, 2011 3:01 pm

Re: Social Engineering - Starter

tturner wrote:I was a psych major for 1.5 years but I'm a really bad social engineer in person or over the phone. It's a much different story when I can establish my scenarios in written text. Some people just don't have the gift of gab required for really exploiting trust and I don't think it's something you can learn. The concepts of how to modify behavior, and learning what makes people tick and how trust relationships work is invaluable and trainable, but delivery is a whole different animal.


I'm the same way, I'm really socially awkward.  I need to learn the SET framework haha

tturner wrote:I recommend recruiting a hot chick to help. It's way more effective than any pretexting scenario you can deliver yourself (usually)


lol Very true.
Last edited by lorddicranius on Wed Jul 20, 2011 4:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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hell_razor

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Post Wed Jul 20, 2011 3:56 pm

Re: Social Engineering - Starter

tturner wrote:I recommend recruiting a hot chick to help.


That fixes a lot of "issues"...:)  Might even create new ones.
A+, Network+, Server+, CISSP, GSEC, GCIH, GPEN, GCIA, GISP, GCFW
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Manannan

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Post Thu Jul 21, 2011 10:34 am

Re: Social Engineering - Starter

I am well aware of the "hot chick" method.  A fireworks stand employed it to drive others out of business. They outsold competition 3:1.
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don

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Post Thu Jul 21, 2011 11:10 pm

Re: Social Engineering - Starter

Here are some out of the box suggestions in no particular order:

1. Confidence - This comes with being secure with your knowledge of a technology and/or situation. Experience helps here, too. So go practice. Pick up some women, will you?

2. Take an acting course and a public speaking course. Try some improv games with your friends. Helps you be swift on your feet when something is thrown at you that's not expected.

3. Always have an out. Oh I'm sorry, I was looking for the bathroom. Oops... I am so lost. Or is Dr. Smith's office in this building? This goes along with a couple concepts we may or may not be familiar with. First is the lawyer's creed not to ask a question to which you don't know an answer. Or to go the magic route, the magician's choice makes it look like the victim is in control, but you really are. Look it up.

Just some quick thoughts that I hope help point you in some directions to research and eventually try.

Don
CISSP, MCSE, CSTA, Security+ SME
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cd1zz

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Post Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:16 am

Re: Social Engineering - Starter

If you've watched any of Dave Kennedy's presentations he says he has success doing the following:

Target an individual in the organization that is new, specifically in Help Desk since there is usually a lot of turn over and they have access to "stuff." Pretend you're someone high up in the company, act like its an urgent situation and that you need "help." It's human nature to try and fix the problem or help the other person so if you stage the situation appropriately, you can get the results you want. It's amazing what you can learn about a company on LinkedIn.

"This is Super High Up Vice President Joe Schmoe, I cant open this PDF and I need it ASAP for a big meeting that starts in 5 minutes... can I email it to you so you can open it for me?"
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dalepearson

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Post Mon Aug 01, 2011 3:41 pm

Re: Social Engineering - Starter

Depending on your definition of Social Engineering you can do it full time, however in my experience you will have other skillsets to leverage also.

There are no specific certifications for SE, however there are some workshops at conferences that talk about social engineering, and red team engagements that would be of benefit.

My suggestion is to study the following areas:

Psychology
Neuro Linguistic Programming | Hypnosis
Micro Expressions
Body Language
Neuroscience
I personally also recommend study of Illusionists, Mentalists and Magicians.

Good luck on your journey.
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Manannan

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Post Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:20 am

Re: Social Engineering - Starter

Thank you all for your direction and help.  It looks like I have my work cut out for me.  Excellent advice.  Will be watching and learning.
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