Proceedings of the first International Conference on Social Sciences, Humanities, Economics and Law, September 5-6 2018, Padang, Indonesia

Research Article

Threat Language: Cognitive Exploitation in Social Engineering

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  • @INPROCEEDINGS{10.4108/eai.5-9-2018.2281060,
        author={Handoko Handoko and Dwi Anggreini Waskito Putri},
        title={Threat Language: Cognitive Exploitation in Social Engineering},
        proceedings={Proceedings of the first International Conference on Social Sciences, Humanities, Economics and Law, September 5-6 2018, Padang, Indonesia},
        publisher={EAI},
        proceedings_a={ICONSHEL},
        year={2019},
        month={3},
        keywords={language threat cognitive linguistics social engineering exploitation},
        doi={10.4108/eai.5-9-2018.2281060}
    }
    
  • Handoko Handoko
    Dwi Anggreini Waskito Putri
    Year: 2019
    Threat Language: Cognitive Exploitation in Social Engineering
    ICONSHEL
    EAI
    DOI: 10.4108/eai.5-9-2018.2281060
Handoko Handoko,*, Dwi Anggreini Waskito Putri1
  • 1: Universitas Negeri Padang
*Contact email: handoko@lptik.unand.ac.id

Abstract

Social engineering aims to elicit sensitive information by using various manipulation approach to exploit the victim. The increasing of social communication platform such as email, messenger, facebook, linkedin, researchgate, combined with the social psychology and cognitive linguistics become a new weapon to attack either personal or even institutional targets. This paper explores the language used by the attacker to expose psychological threat to elicit sensitive information and to direct the victim to execute the certain action. The data are taken from emails which contain threat language. This paper illustrates how an attacker uses threat language to perform social engineering. The analysis is based on social engineering attack classification (Mouton, 2016) and cognitive pragmatics (Bara, 2010). The result shows rather than using persuasive approach, the attacker uses the threat to exploit cognitive process in thinking and decision making. Moreover the research also found pattern of a social engineer email: warning, threat, and enhancement.