Social Engineering: The Mindset Of A Cyber Criminal

Who is a cyber criminal?

A cyber criminal is an individual that commits crime with the use of a computer as a tool or as a target. Cyber criminals operate in many ways but the most common way cyber criminals operate in today’s digital age is through social engineering.
Social engineering is a strategy used by cyber criminals to manipulate or trick people into revealing their personal or sensitive information. In most cases it involves interesting and convincing stories from cyber criminals to lure unsuspecting individuals, companies or organisations into falling victim.  Common social engineering attacks include:
1. Sending of fake distress messages to unsuspecting victims.
2. Sending an email with a link which will redirect unsuspecting victim to a fake website.
3. Sending a message to an individual that he has won a lottery involving huge amount of money and asking him to provide his bank account details or other personal information.
4. Sending attachment or apps containing malware to unsuspecting victims.
5. Pretending as a bank, internet service provider, business partner or social media platform administrator and asking of password, PIN or other personal information from unsuspecting victim.
The internet can be a very good tool for learning, creativity, sharing useful information and connecting with people but despite its great benefits, it is also used by cyber criminals to commit crime.
In today’s technology age, cyber criminals can be very smart when it comes to online fraud. They will use all kinds of tricks to target their victims around the world.
As internet usage  increases on daily basis so does the amount of sensitive and personal information which are made available on social media. The  cyber criminals are aware about this and they always want to take advantage of it.
However, we must be informed that we all have personal or sensitive information that is worth something to cyber criminals which they can sell out to other criminals or unsuspecting victims.  This is why it is very important for us as individuals or organisations to understand the mindset of a cyber criminal.

The mindset of a cyber criminal:

1. He thinks faster than his victims.
2. He is always searching for people’s personal and sensitive information and he is ready to get it at all costs.
3. His main motive is to obtain money or personal information from his victims.
4. He is always learning and thinking of news strategies to defraud his victims.
5. He wants to make friends with as many people as possible to increase his chances of getting  more victims.
6. He doesn’t give up on his victims no matter how pathetic the victim’s situation is.
7. He wants to use his cyber security knowledge to defraud anyone that comes in contact with him at any time.
8. He believes in using different identities to convince his victims.
9. He spends a lot of time to study the mindset of his victims.
10. He has special interest in defrauding the aged people and young children because they are the most vulnerable to cybercrime in today’s digital age.
Conclusively, we must be informed that our greatest  weapon and best defense against cyber criminals is to educate ourselves about their strategies so that we can understand their mindset.
Rotimi Onadipe,
Tel: +234-8169121819