Social Engineering Attack

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On November 3rd Robinhood, a popular crypto currency and investing app, was a victim of a social engineering attack that affected seven million of its users. The attack done for financial gain proven by the attacker reportadly demanding ransom payment for the exploited information shortly after the attack. The attack was deployed via telephone communications with a Robinhood customer support agent, allowing the attacker access to internal systems and exploit customer’s personal information such as email addresses, phone numbers, and full names. No user’s more personal information such as social security numbers, bank account information, or debit and credit card information was reported as being part of the exploit. (Upguard, 2021).

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Another recent social engineering attack was the Twitter bitcoin scam from 2020. The attacker sent out fake emails from prominent Twitter user’s accounts with a link claiming to double your bitcoin that was purchased through the link. The accounts that were affected were those of celebrities, the president Barack Obama, Apple, and a few others. Using these accounts the attackers were able to accrue one hundred thousand dollars in just a few minutes of posting the link. (Mitnick Security, 2020). In conclusion, in both attacks employees of the company were the vulnerability that allowed the attack to play out. Proplerly educated employees is one of the best methods of decreasing the occurance of social engineering attacks. (Mitnick Security, 2020).


Upguard. 2021. Social-Engineering Attack Hits Robinhood, PII of Millions Breached.

Mitnick Security. 2020. The Top 5 Most Famous Social Engineering Attacks of the Last Decade.




Social engineering is a rapidly growing trend in the world of cyber security. The art of social engineering is accomplished through tactics such as phishing emails, as was seen with the 2016 democratic campaign. A phishing email was sent out to several members of the democratic party. Attackers created a fake Gmail account and directed users to change their passwords due to unusual activity. When users clicked the link, they were brought to a phony website in which the attackers obtained the victims’ login credentials. The attackers then used this information to log in and release an archive of emails, that in the end, probably cost Hillary Clinton the presidential election. Another example of social engineering occurred when televisions Shark Tank judge Barbara Cocoran was targeted. In this case, the attackers sent an email from a very similar replica address of Mrs. Cocorans assistant to her bookkeeper requesting a renewal payment regarding investments properties. The attack was only discovered because the bookkeeper emailed the legitimate email account asking for information on the request(Gatefy, 2021).

Gatefy. (2021, June 21). 10 real and famous cases of social engineering attacks. Blog, Threat Research.


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