The last thread I found dealing with this is over a year old now. Hope this is in the right forum.
I've been getting interested in the practice of social engineering for about a year now, and I finally found an article that does the topic
It's about 3 years old now, but it's still very timely and relevant IMO. What I found the most interesting was that the author stated that social
engineering was first used by men to simply get what they wanted from women. Personal use only. But it has since evolved from that to a psychological
weapon of war, gaining the most prominance during the cold war, to scamming people over the phone and internet simply to get money out of them.
I personally think social engineering can have a very positive effect on society if used for the right reasons. Unfortunately, the very nature of this
practice and the fact that human beings use it does not lend itself to positive practices or outcomes. The best way I can describe this is to say say
that it is mainly used to get money from people anymore. Phishing is the most popular method, and phishing is just another form of social engineering.
To those who don't know, social enginnering, at its core, is simply the art of using words when you talk or write to someone to get what you want
from them. Whether it's information, or a response that will help lead the conversation in the direction that you want it to. I personally think that
if we had more people in positions of power, from people who manage stores and businesses, to mayors, to the President, who have a good heart and who
sincerely want to accomplish positive things, this world would start to turn in the right direction again.
As it stands though, the majority of people in positions of power have one thing on their mind; money. If there's one exception to this rule that I
have seen in my lifetime though, it's that the ones who have authority who do not have money on the top of their priority list...are women. I think
that may be due simply to their nature. For thousands of years, women were never the breadwinners. They have always had a different set of priotities.
The social tables though have been turning for about 100 years years now, but I don't think that's enough to override a womans basic instinct to
take care of people. A woman can be born and bred into a position of authority in the business world, but she will always have that basic instinct to
care for and nurture other people.
This is a very unique position that a man will never find himself in, and it's something that I have a hard time finding people talking about. If the
subject of women in the workplace is ever brought up in the news, it's always health related or how it effects a family's home life. Never have I
seen a news article or program tha focuses on the unique social engineering aspect of women in charge of businesses. Or even countries for that
matter. I think if this angle of social engineering is explored more, we might see some positive changes in the workplace.
But just because women may have have a unique place in the social engineering aspect of work, doesn't mean that we men can't learn a thing or two as
well. I've been on too many jobs where the lack of communication between boss/worker and the varying levels of management is astounding. Sometimes I
wonder if more businesses should incoporate a social engineering class into their management training programs. I personally think that would be a
good thing to do, because I've noticed that on a daily basis, we all use social engineering in one form or another. We just don't realize it. I
believe that's what they call "untapped power".
The need for money is always going to be in our society. There's no changing that. More people can use social engineering as a tool to help get
money, but we don't have to do it at the expense of others. Some people may try to argue that this practice only works when you have a much more
intelligent person doing the engineering over a less intelligent person. That may be true, that may be why it works in the first place, but the
mindset of the intelligent person has to change from "I'm better than them" to "I was born into a different set of circumastances then them".
When this happens, there is no more of the attitude of one person being better than the other. Just different. It puts people on a more emotionally
level playing field, which in turn gets more things accomplished. We will always have different social classes. That cannot be avoided IMO. But the
"Us and Them" mentality has to go.
This post got to be a bit more long winded then I planned. If you agree or disagree with any of the points I made, let yourself be heard. The main
point I was trying to make is that we can help improve our personal and business lives if we tap into and learn more about how we can use social
engineering to our benefit.