An adversary uses a social engineering technique to convey a sense of authority that motivates the target to reveal specific information or take specific action. There are various techniques for producing a sense of authority during ordinary modes of communication. One common method is impersonation. By impersonating someone with a position of power within an organization, an adversary may motivate the target individual to reveal some piece of sensitive information or perform an action that benefits the adversary.
Likelihood Of Attack
The table(s) below shows the other attack patterns and high level categories that are related to this attack pattern. These relationships are defined as ChildOf, ParentOf, MemberOf and give insight to similar items that may exist at higher and lower levels of abstraction. In addition, relationships such as CanFollow, PeerOf, and CanAlsoBe are defined to show similar attack patterns that the user may want to explore.
Standard Attack Pattern - A standard level attack pattern in CAPEC is focused on a specific methodology or technique used in an attack. It is often seen as a singular piece of a fully executed attack. A standard attack pattern is meant to provide sufficient details to understand the specific technique and how it attempts to accomplish a desired goal. A standard level attack pattern is a specific type of a more abstract meta level attack pattern.
The adversary must have the means and knowledge of how to communicate with the target in some manner.
The adversary requires strong inter-personal and communication skills.
None: No specialized resources are required to execute this type of attack.
The table below specifies different individual consequences associated with the attack pattern. The Scope identifies the security property that is violated, while the Impact describes the negative technical impact that arises if an adversary succeeds in their attack. The Likelihood provides information about how likely the specific consequence is expected to be seen relative to the other consequences in the list. For example, there may be high likelihood that a pattern will be used to achieve a certain impact, but a low likelihood that it will be exploited to achieve a different impact.
An organization should provide regular, robust cybersecurity training to its employees to prevent social engineering attacks.
The adversary calls the target and announces that he is the head of IT at the target's company. The adversary goes on to say that there has been a technical issue and he/she needs the target's login credentials for their account. By convincing the target of his/her authority, the adversary hopes the target will reveal the sensitive information.
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Page Last Updated or Reviewed:
July 31, 2018