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Hacking like Mr. Robot Part 4 – Social Engineering

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You would not borrow your phone to a stranger in a hoodie? In one episode, Elliot asks Krista’s friend if he can use his cell phone to make a phone call. Then he calls himself and gets the phone number  of the victom and finally, access to many more private information. The exploitation of trust is also referred to as social engineering.

Keep your private information for yourself

Do not give anyone your confidential information, especially on the phone. After Elliot gets the phone number of the man who was previously largely unknown to him, he uses social engineering: As a “bank clerk” he calls the man and tells him that there is a threat to the security of his bank account. He asks for certain information to allegedly solve the problem, such as the answers to his security questions.

At the end of the conversation, the man becomes suspicious, but Elliot has already gathered enough information to add probable passwords to a text documet (Wordlist) and hack the account within a few minutes with a dictionary attack (Wordlist Attack).

Do not put unknown removable media in your computer

Elliot thinks his colleague Ollie loosely deals with basic cybersecurity. After Ollie chooses a simple password, he makes a more serious mistake. He puts a CD, probably a music CD of a street rapper, in his computer.

But the supposed rapper is a member of a hacker group, and the software, which is automatically installed in the background from the CD, makes it possible to track Ollie through his webcam and take control of the computer. This includes access to personal files that give the attackers the opportunity to blackmail.

Another example: In episode six, Elliot throws a flash drive on a prison parking lot, where a guard picks him up and puts him in a work computer. However, the virus protection of the computer prevents the malware from being started on the flash drive.

Be careful with what you post on the internet

Anyone can see all the things you publicly share online and use them against you if necessary. In the second episode Elliot reveals drug dealers to the police, and their own tweets are used as evidence against them.