Paper: How to obtain passwords of online scammers by using social engineering methods

Title: How to obtain passwords of online scammers by using social engineering methods
Author(s): Andreas Zingerle
Email: andreas.zingerle (at)

Published at: Cyberworlds conference 2014, Santander, Spain.



This paper addresses three social engineering techniques that vigilante 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. I discuss the moral issues an ’inbox diver’ faces and question 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 presents an artistic position dealing with password security.

If you want to read the full paper, please get in touch with me: mail at andreaszingerle dot com



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