Friday, September 25, 2009

An example of a social honeypot scheme?

Be aware of some of the spontaneous Internet honeypots that appeal to certain personality types; i.e., religious, mystical, fast money themes, empowerment themes, and more.

I've personally investigated a few honeypots over the years that surround alternative energy, UFOLOGY and anomalous phenomena aspects. There is a great majority of curious, creative and adventure seeking individuals that really love to get involved in the mysteries (it's mesmerizing - thought provoking). These type of anomalous phenomena social groups attract a broad array of individuals that fall into categories of curiosity, investigative, romantic, creative, and fantasy prone. Most of these people are very intelligent. Important note: Not all of these type of social pots in the anomalous phenomena area are directly malicious, not all list server groups are directly malicious, but we all need to be aware that they attract the social engineers who are on the hunt to lurk, join in, collect information on potential candidates, and more.

Some of the more direct malicious honeypots designed to recruit candidates for profit or espionage, sometimes start on a community list server announcement; then once a number of folks join in, the engineers will invite them to a number of face-to-face group meetings at a designated place to 'get to know each other'. There the social engineers get everyone to introduce themselves, and talk about their careers and personal interests. Good social engineers empower the group of individuals. Usually there is a team of social engineers at work during these greet and meet gatherings. The team may consist of one individual to work introductions and perform elicitation of information while others are quiet doing analysis, taking note of potential candidates, even buddy up to a candidate to further work into more personalized future meetings or settings. Once they have a number of good candidates that meet the criteria desired, they will stop the initial honeypot on the list server. Then the social engineering begins to work the potential candidates further into either a compromising situation, or focus on the ideology or ego working the 'feeling of being special or chosen for some project they need help on', or even appeal to the candidates needs identified in the initial meetings (money, attention, sex, etc.).

Many social engineers look for tendencies of "MICE", which stands for "Money, Ideology, Compromise or Coercion (depending on source), and Ego" in their subjects. What some work forward to is to appeal to the candidates professional expertise and/or opinions, political opinions, their national allegiances, fantasies, or their cultural or religious beliefs; and then manipulate them using the MICE attributes for coercion with motives spanning through financial, espionage, criminal activity, human experimentation, and more.

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