Targeted social engineering

Monday, 19 January 2009, 12:44 PM EST

There are many variants on each, but in general, mass attacks do not distinguish by target either through the exploit, vector and social engineering used. The exploit is customized to fit a large audience. In the case of spear phishing, the attack is customized to a smaller audience, such as CEO’s of a relatively wide set of organizations, or visitors of a specific web site. Targeted attacks are those in which only a single organization or just a few people are specifically targeted. In the latter case, both exploit and the social engineering are customized to almost the level of the individual. The cost of executing such an attack is relatively high, but the revenue per unit (= compromised user) is also much higher.

At SANS.

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