Politicians are an interesting class of people when discussed in the context of Social Engineering. The public nature of their career not only requires them to use social engineering on a daily basis but it also opens them up to becoming victims of SE as well.
Politicians Utilizing Social Engineering
Many of the tasks that a Politician is required to perform lend themselves nicely to SE. It would seem that, in the United States at least, a person that is an expert in SE techniques would have a better opportunity at becoming a successful Politician than someone who is not. Many times during a Politicians career he/she is forced to implement many of the basic Social Engineering principles.
The ideas of reciprocation, obligations, concessions, authority, consensus, commitment and consistency, and liking are the very essence of what a Politician must strive for in order to be elected in the first place. This is what gets most Politicians their jobs at first, and what sometimes leads to their demise as well.
Social Engineers Utilizing Politicians
Just like any other celebrity, the life of a Politician is open to the public. This vast amount of public knowledge makes them ripe for the picking to a keen Social Engineer. The potential to harm a Politician’s public image is enough for them to be very wary of who they trust.
During the 2008 United States Presidential Elections, Sarah Palin was twice the victim of Social Engineering.
- The first was a research based attack that resulted in her personal email account information to be disclosed on the Internet.
- The second time, she was “prank called”by a comedian pretending to be French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
If anyone has seen the Sacha Baron Cohen’s movie Bruno there really isn’t much to say.
- During the movie, Ron Paul is tricked into having an “interview” about Austrian economics which quickly goes awry.