What is Social Engineering?

When I tell people what I do I get a lot of mixed reactions.  I've heard everything from "that's cool" to "that's creepy".  This is probably because there are a lot of different definitions of social engineering out there. A lot of these definitions come close to the point, but they usually miss a few key items.  Here is the definition I use when people ask me "what is social engineering?" Social engineering is the attempt to manipulate human behavior There are three key parts to this … [Read more...]

Microexpression Training: A Review of MiX Professional

Humintell recently released their new microexpression training tool MiX Professional.  It includes a number of new items not in the previous MiX product line.  You can find a copy of my review here. … [Read more...]

5 Signs You’re Studying FACS

You look for a "mirror app" for your camera phone Your face hurts in places you never knew it could You start coding the faces on billboards You realize how varied "neutral" really is You catch yourself imitating other people's facial expressions in public … [Read more...]

Perception Matters: The “unit effect”

Saw this today on Arstechnica.com: "The human brain engages in all sorts of mental shortcuts in order to make quick judgements about the world, and some of them make us vulnerable to marketing. For example, consumers will readily attach weight to completely fictitious product statistics, preferring items with the most bogomips, even if they have no idea of what the significance of that figure is. That may be disappointing, but apparently it's even worse than that—even when they do know what the … [Read more...]

10 Principles for Successful Social Engineering

Do you know what makes a social engineering attempt successful?  Much of the current literature focuses on various tools and tactics such as NLP, framing, weapons of influence, trust etc.  However what makes a person comply isn’t a particular method or approach, but how effectively you use specific principles. The power of a social engineering tactic stems from the fact that these principles are (often) built into the tactic itself.  So if you want to succeed at social engineering, you need … [Read more...]