Uncovering Shoulder Surfing In Cyber Security
By Tom Seest
At BestCybersecurityNews, we help entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, young learners, and seniors learn more about cybersecurity.
Cyber attacks are real and can have serious repercussions for both individuals and businesses alike. One effective preventative measure you can take to lessen your risk is employing 2-factor authentication on accounts that offer it.
Hackers employ shoulder surfing as an efficient method for accessing sensitive information. This approach doesn’t require special skills or tools – making hacking easier than ever!
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Cyber attackers employ shoulder surfing as a simple yet effective technique for obtaining passwords and other sensitive data from people in public spaces. Shoulder surfing can occur anywhere – from just peering over someone’s shoulder to using binoculars, mini cameras, or cell phone video cameras to spy on their victims and steal data – leading to identity theft, credit card fraud, or worse yet, identity fraud.
Shoulder surfing attacks are a popular means of obtaining sensitive data from those working on computers or mobile devices in public spaces. By simply looking over their shoulders, criminals can obtain sensitive data like usernames and passwords on laptop screens or keyboards of mobile devices, as well as see sensitive details such as login usernames or passwords of victims on laptop screens or keyboards of mobile devices. Furthermore, criminals may use cameras to capture video footage of keyboards, papers, or even their hands being recorded by victims’ computers or mobile devices.
This type of attack requires no technical knowledge to implement and can be conducted by anyone with access to a laptop or mobile device. Criminals may even use hidden cameras in their pockets to record as the victim enters information into the keyboard, then read or print out this data with their phone or print it out themselves later to steal their identity.
Shoulder surfing affects millions of people each day, and not always with malicious intentions in mind. A recent NYU study indicated that 73% of survey respondents had seen confidential PINs without prior permission from their owners – an unwitting form of hacking often committed in public spaces such as cafes, airports, or bus stations where people regularly work on computers.
Shoulder surfing can also occur when attackers send out phishing emails to their victims containing links to a site that looks identical to the original and request private credentials from them – these stolen credentials could then be used by attackers to gain entry to victim accounts by breaching security questions and passwords or responses provided during registration for their services.
Shoulder surfing has long been practiced, even prior to the widespread adoption of mobile phones and laptops. Criminals used this tactic on pay phone users to gather their numbers and pin codes; eventually, it evolved into more sophisticated methods being employed today.
People typically think of cybercrime in terms of hackers remotely accessing a victim’s computer systems to extract sensitive information. While remote hacking exists, shoulder surfing is also a real threat that can occur from far away; all it takes for someone to spy is their shoulder for some information like passwords, credit card numbers, or login credentials to be stolen from them.
Criminals commonly employ this form of attack when people use electronic devices in public areas, such as ATMs or shops, where payment card details are being entered into an electronic device by users. Criminals then exploit this data from victims for malicious use – often to obtain money or identity theft.
Most individuals are often unaware that they are being observed, making the crime difficult to detect and prevent. Furthermore, no physical evidence remains as proof of shoulder surfing activity; further risk comes into play when victims use public WiFi services as criminals may monitor and hijack connections of victims.
Thieves can observe victims as they move their fingers across a keypad to try and gain insight into their passwords, something made even easier in public spaces like trains, planes, or concert halls where people congregate close together. Some workplaces even feature large computer screens which are visible to outsiders passing by.
Although it’s best to avoid entering sensitive information in public places such as airport lounges, sometimes this may not be possible. When this is the case, sitting tight against a wall while trying to cover as much of your screen with your body as possible is recommended.
Implementing these simple precautions to ward off shoulder surfing. When in public places, consider using a VPN or your phone as a hotspot rather than connecting directly to an open Wi-Fi network. When entering PIN numbers in public locations, make sure not to look over someone’s shoulder. Shoulder surfing can have severe repercussions that can alter both your life and finances irreparably – in fact, it could take months or years before you are back on your feet after an incident of identity theft has taken place.
People usually think of cybercrime in terms of hackers with laptops and earpieces listening in on another person’s conversations, typing passwords into an online system, and stealing credit card data from victims. But cybercriminals can also access data by “shoulder surfing”; all it takes is one glance over their shoulder to obtain usernames, passwords, and login credentials for victims – an attack that may cause everything from identity theft to physical harm for its victims.
Shoulder surfers can strike at any moment in public spaces. From airport lounges and shopping centers to train stations or cafes with laptops or tablets being used by workers – these attackers have keen eyes and ears that enable them to observe multiple targets at the same time; some even see through closed doors!
Physical barriers are essential in protecting against shoulder surfing. A person can safeguard their screen by sitting several feet from other people, using a privacy screen, or checking for cameras on their roofline to make sure no attackers are spying on their activities from spying on it directly. These steps should limit views onto device screens while discouraging attackers from spying.
People should also pay attention to their surroundings when using computers in public, including paying attention to those around them and repositioning themselves if someone stares directly at their screen. A VPN provides the best protection from shoulder surfers by encrypting data that travels over networks, making it harder for criminals to gain entry.
Logging in to websites and accounts requires using a password that is difficult for others to guess and regularly changing it. Furthermore, they should avoid entering sensitive data publicly using PIN numbers while taking extra security precautions like signing up for two-factor authentication on all their accounts – this ensures even if attackers gain access to their data, they won’t be able to gain entry without this second-factor authentication is in place.
Shoulder surfing has existed long before laptops and smartphones. Criminals have been stalking victims’ shoulders since pay phones first came into use, initially watching as they punched in phone card numbers into pay phones before moving on to observe as they entered PINs for ATMs and credit card payment systems at gas stations or stores. Shoulder surfers can gain access to personal data shared publicly and stolen by exploiting two-factor authentication (2FA). You can protect yourself by activating 2-FA on accounts as well as using privacy screens when in public settings.
Shoulder surfing is a social engineering technique in which an attacker observes another’s computer screen and keyboard without permission. Attackers may gain access to passwords, financial account details, and security questions used to reset a password. An attack may take place from either close range or from a distance, and attackers may utilize various means to gain entry, including direct observation, binoculars, video cameras (hidden or visible), phones with cameras, or phones equipped with cameras. Close-range attacks do not require special technical knowledge to execute and can occur in public places like restaurants, airport lounges, coffee shops, and business centers. Long-range attacks require the use of video cameras or binoculars.
Shoulder surfing can have serious repercussions and has the potential to have devastating repercussions for its victims’ finances and personal information. Criminals could use your personal details to access bank accounts, rent/buy property, and apply for loans or government benefits under your name; more extreme cases include theft of your Social Security Number and use it to open new credit cards or file fraudulent tax returns under your name – potentially even access medical care/health insurance in your name!
Shoulder surfers can be easily avoided if you avoid sharing personal information in public; however, that’s sometimes difficult. If necessary, accessing confidential accounts in public can reduce risks by using low-volume conversations and choosing quiet locations when discussing sensitive subjects. Also, consider using a VPN when connecting to public WiFi networks so your data travels encrypted across the web.
Please share this post with your friends, family, or business associates who may encounter cybersecurity attacks.