What is Social Hacking?

Hacking is a very diverse word now. Hacking is something that has many different meanings. In the IT world we get the responsibility of dealing with all types of hacks even if they really do not fall into our category of work.  One of these areas that is not real hacking by IT standards is Social Hacking. Social Hacking does not involve any real computer expertise to do. Anyone who is good at lying or deception can be a Social Hacker. Real hacking involves real computer knowledge to break into accounts or computer systems and steal the information. Whereas Social Hacking is the practice of convincing you to give the hacker your information or pay them money.

Why would you give a hacker your information?

Social Hackers are scam artists, they intend you trick you in some way and steal your information.

For instance a Social Hacker may call you and state that they are from your bank and they need to confirm some information about your account. In this process they will attempt to get you to give them your social security number or account number. In the Spring of 2019 a church in Cleveland Ohio fell victim to Social Hacking. The media portrayed this as a sophisticated hack when in reality, anybody who knows how to email and can go to the bank could run this scam. The church was building was remodeling and had hired a contractor so there was an expectation to spend significant amounts of money with the contractor. The scammers (lets call them what they really are) emailed the church treasurer. They pretended to be the contractor. The scammer stated that the account number had changed for the contractor. And  the next payment (somewhere over 100k) would need to be wired to this new account. The treasurer did just this, and life went on like normal for a few months. Until the contractor (the real contractor) contacted the church and asked why they had not been paid? Upon this call it was discovered that the church had been scammed. Social hacking is tricky, it is not real hacking it is scam artists using emails and fake websites to steal your information. And people give it to them. Don't be a victim of a Social Hacker. Always check before you send money to  anyone you don't know. If you are not expecting a call from someone it is likely a scam. Account changes expected changes should all be confirmed re confirmed. I highly my speaking series on Recognizing Email Scams which  covers this in more detail. There are some software's such as our Email security product that can further protect you from these types of scams. However there is not replacement for education. If you need help with education DataCom Technologies provides education programs on these subjects and other tech related subjects. DataCom Technologies is a technology management company specializing in cyber security.

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