What is social engineering?

Last Updated: Dec 17, 2012 07:53PM CET

Social engineering is the art of manipulating people so that they divulge sensitive information, such as their passwords or other personal information.

While similar to fraud, it is typically trickery or deception for the sole purpose of information gathering, theft or privilege escalation on computer systems. In most cases the attacker never comes face-to-face with the victims.

Examples of social engineering include, but are not limited to: