Book Chapter: Revealing passwords: Using Social engineering methods to monitor scammer email communication

Title: Revealing passwords: Using Social engineering methods to monitor scammer email communication
Author(s): Andreas Zingerle
Email: andreas.zingerle (at) ufg.ac.at

Published at: Analyzing Art, Communication and Design Technologies

Abstract
This chapter addresses three social engineering techniques that digilante online communities of scambaiters use for ‘Inbox diving’: an act of gaining access to Internet scammers email accounts. The methods have been gathered by analyzing scambaiting forums and were put on the test in direct email exchange between the author and Internet scammers. By diving into the scammers’ inboxes, their working methods can be observed, gang structures investigated and potential victims warned. The author discusses the moral issues an ‘Inbox diver’ faces and questions the ethics of scambaiting communities that prefer social engineering techniques rather than hacking email accounts. The research lead into the creation of the artistic installation ‘Password: ******’ and the data sculpture ‘Monitoring Harry Brooks’ and presents two artistic positions dealing with password security and data visualization.

 

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