information security concept: psychological manipulation of people into performing actions or divulging confidential information
In the context of information security, social engineering is the psychological manipulation of people into performing actions or divulging confidential information. This differs from social engineering within the social sciences, which does not concern the divulging of confidential information. A type of confidence trick for the purpose of information gathering, fraud, or system access, it differs from a traditional "con" in that it is often one of many steps in a more complex fraud scheme.It has also been defined as "any act that influences a person to take an action that may or may not be in their best interests."An example of social engineering is the use of the "forgot password" function on most websites which require login. An improperly-secured password-recovery system can be used to grant a malicious attacker full access to a user's account, while the original user will lose access to the account.
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