What is Elicitation: A Cyber Security Threat?


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I have seen it all. From malware attacks to phishing scams, today’s cyber criminals are always looking for new ways to gain access to secure networks. One of the oldest and most effective methods of cyber attack is elicitations. What is elicitations, you ask? It’s a technique used by hackers to gather sensitive information by manipulating people’s emotions and mental processes. It’s a powerful form of social engineering that can leave even the most tech-savvy individuals vulnerable. In this article, I am going to delve deeper into elicitation, why it’s such a serious cyber security threat, and how you can protect yourself against it. So, buckle up and read on!

What is elicitation in cyber security?

In the world of cyber security, it is important to gather as much information as possible to understand potential threats and vulnerabilities. One technique that is useful in gathering information is called elicitation. Elicitation is a method that is used to gain information that may not be readily available through straightforward means. This technique is especially useful because it allows security experts to gather information without arousing suspicion in those who have the information.

Here are some key points to note about elicitation in cyber security:

  • Elicitation involves asking indirect questions that help to reveal needed information.
  • This method is useful in situations where information is not freely available and may be guarded.
  • Elicitation requires a skilled interviewer who can build rapport, be persuasive and non-threatening.
  • This technique may involve the use of social engineering tactics such as pretexting and baiting.
  • If conducted successfully, elicitation can provide valuable information about an organization’s security posture or potential threats against it.
  • In summary, elicitation is an important technique in the field of cyber security for gathering information that may not be readily available. This method can be successful if approached skillfully and with an understanding of social engineering tactics. By using elicitation, cyber security experts can gain valuable insights into potential threats and vulnerabilities, providing a more secure environment for organizations and their assets.

    ???? Pro Tips:

    1. Be vigilant of manipulative techniques used during elicitation that could reveal sensitive information about your organization.
    2. Train employees to detect and prevent elicitation attempts, such as disguised phishing tactics or probing questions.
    3. Keep sensitive information confidential by limiting access to those with a need-to-know basis, and avoiding discussing it in public or over unsecured channels.
    4. Establish clear guidelines and protocols for employees to follow in case they suspect an attempt at elicitation.
    5. Continuously review and update your organization’s security measures to stay ahead of new elicitation tactics and threats.

    Understanding the Concept of Elicitation in Cyber Security

    Elicitation is a process of gathering valuable information that is not readily available through open sources. It is a vital tool for attackers that allows them to obtain information that can aid in their attack. In the world of cyber security, elicitation is a technique used to extract sensitive information from employees or other insiders. Elliciting information from personnel can provide attackers with the necessary information they need to launch a targeted attack on the system.

    In the process of elicitation, attackers may use various methods to gather the information without raising any suspicions. They may deploy social engineering techniques or impersonate an authorized personnel to extract the desired information. Elicitation can be difficult to detect, which makes it a popular tool among attackers.

    The Purpose of Elicitation in Gathering Information

    The main purpose of elicitation is to gather information that is not easily available. This could include details about security systems, passwords, access codes, or any other confidential information that would help the attacker to breach a system. Attackers may use elicitation to gain information about a particular individual, an organization or even a country. With this information, they are able to carry out targeted attacks on the intended victim.

    Techniques Used in Elicitation for Cyber Security

    Elicitation techniques for cyber security include the following:

    • Pretexting
    • This involves the creation of a fictitious scenario to manipulate an individual into divulging sensitive information.
    • Phishing
    • Attackers create fake email accounts or fraudulent websites to lure individuals into providing sensitive information such as login credentials.
    • Baiting
    • Attackers leave an electronic device, such as a flash drive, in a public place for an unsuspecting person to find. The device contains malware that can infect the victim’s device and provide the attacker with sensitive information.

    Signs of an Elicitation Attempt in Cyber Security

    Being able to recognize the signs of elicitation attempts in cyber security is crucial in combatting them. Some of the most common signs of elicitation attempts include:

    • The attacker attempts to build rapport with the target.
    • The attacker attempts to create a sense of urgency to get the target to provide information quickly.
    • The attacker uses flattery or appeals to emotions to persuade the target to provide the desired information.
    • The attacker is deceptive or evasive when asked questions.
    • The attacker appears to have information that they shouldn’t have, indicating that they may have obtained it through elicitation techniques.

    How to Mitigate Elicitation in Cyber Security

    Mitigating the risks associated with elicitation in cyber security requires a multi-faceted approach. Here are some of the measures that can be taken:

    • Educating employees about elicitation and other social engineering techniques can be an effective way to prevent attacks.
    • Ensure that sensitive information is well protected and not easily accessible.
    • Implementing access controls that limit who has access to sensitive information can prevent it from falling into the wrong hands.
    • Regularly monitoring networks and devices for suspicious activity can detect elicitation attempts before they lead to a breach.
    • Performing background checks on new employees or those with access to sensitive information can help to identify potential risks early on.

    Examples of Elicitation in Cyber Security Breaches

    Elicitation has been used in several high-profile cyber security breaches. One example is the 2013 Target data breach, where attackers used stolen credentials to gain access to Target’s network. The attackers impersonated a trusted vendor to gain access to a system that was used to manage vendor accounts. They then used the stolen credentials to steal credit and debit card information for millions of Target customers.

    Another example is the 2015 hack of a US government agency’s data. In this instance, the attackers employed social networking techniques to gather information about the agency’s employees. They then used this information to craft convincing phishing emails that appeared to be genuine. By tricking employees into giving up their usernames and passwords, the attackers were able to access the agency’s network.

    Importance of Education and Training to Combat Elicitation in Cyber Security

    Education and training are essential in combating elicitation in cyber security. Employees must be educated on how to identify and report suspicious activity. This could include anything from suspicious emails or phone calls to strange behavior by colleagues. Training can help employees to learn how to recognize potential threats and take appropriate action to prevent a breach.

    Overall, combating elicitation in cyber security requires a multi-pronged approach that involves educating employees, implementing access controls, regularly monitoring systems for suspicious activity, and continually evaluating and improving cyber security measures. With the right measures in place, organizations can mitigate the risks associated with elicitation and keep their sensitive information secure.