social engineering


: management of human beings in accordance with their place and function in society : applied social science
: social methods (such as phishing) that are used to obtain personal or confidential information which can then be used illicitly
The previously noted trend of switching from social engineering to hacking methods in attacks on organizations strengthened …San Fernando Valley (California) Business Journal
social engineer noun
plural social engineers

Examples of social engineering in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The researchers continued: Octo Tempest commonly launches social engineering attacks targeting technical administrators, such as support and help desk personnel, who have permissions that could enable the threat actor to gain initial access to accounts. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, 27 Oct. 2023 Getty Images | Bill Hinton Microsoft has been tracking a threat group that stands out for its ability to cash in from data theft hacks that use broad social engineering attacks, painstaking research, and occasional physical threats. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, 27 Oct. 2023 For many decades, Soviet authorities encouraged intermarriage between ethnic groups as part of a social engineering project aimed at building a Soviet nation, one free of ethnic or racial biases. Robert Hornsby, Foreign Affairs, 24 Oct. 2023 Ariely, for his part, predicted that nudges were just the beginning, and held out for more ambitious social engineering. Gideon Lewis-Kraus, The New Yorker, 30 Sep. 2023 The result would be a disastrous cacophony—another example of why social engineering doesn’t work. Readers, WSJ, 26 July 2023 The co-conspirators used social engineering techniques to convince a Twitter employee into giving them access to administrative tools to the platform. Margi Murphy, Fortune, 10 May 2023 Social Engineering Attacks The most pressing concern for everyday consumers is social engineering attacks, which rely on psychological manipulation to trick users into divulging personal information or performing an action that could compromise their security. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 3 May 2023 Malware development, methods for dodging antivirus and security products, ways of hiding malicious code, and social engineering techniques were all included in the list. Matt Burgess, WIRED, 29 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'social engineering.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1899, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of social engineering was in 1899

Dictionary Entries Near social engineering

Cite this Entry

“Social engineering.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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