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Computing (FOLDOC) dictionary
social engineering
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Term used among crackers and samurai for cracking
techniques that rely on weaknesses in wetware rather than
software; the aim is to trick people into revealing passwords
or other information that compromises a target system's
security. Classic scams include phoning up a mark who has the
required information and posing as a field service tech or a
fellow employee with an urgent access problem. See also the
tiger team story in the patch entry.