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People Hacking: The Psychology of Social Engineering
Social engineering can involve a lot of 'groundwork', information gathering and idle chit chat before an attempt at gaining information is ever made. Like hacking, most of the work is in the preparation, rather than the attempt itself.
Social Engineering Fundamentals, Part I: Hacker Tactics
The basic goals of social engineering are the same as hacking in general: to gain unauthorized access to systems or information in order to commit fraud, network intrusion, industrial espionage, identity theft, or simply to disrupt the system or network.
Social Engineering: The Human Side Of Hacking
Hackers, and possibly even corporate competitors, are breeching companies' network security every day. Sometimes all they have to do is call up and ask.