Day Four started with excitement in the air as the students began filing into class, busy exchanging war stories about the night before. It seemed that the lack of confidence that existed in the previous days was slowly melting away. We saw the budding of real social engineers. The students were challenged at the end of Day Three to obtain even more personal and guarded information. If you’ve been following this series of blog posts, I’m sure you can guess how things went. The students did very well and some even seemed to amaze themselves with the information they extracted and ease at which they obtained the data. After a complete and thorough debriefing, it was time to move on to one of our favorite topics, Nonverbal Communication.

Our Nonverbal Communication training started off with a group exercise. Each student was instructed to go in front of the class and either tell a true story or a false story. The class then went around and said whether they believed the story to be true or false. We learned that it’s not as easy to detect deception as one would think.

We then moved onto the different modes of thinking humans use: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. We not only learned what the different types were and which type we are, we learned valuable ways to quickly determine the mode of your target. Once your target’s thinking style has been determined, a social engineer can then tailor his attack to appeal to his target’s preferred mode of thinking.

The next section of the class focused on the seven human emotions and Dr. Paul Ekman’s groundbreaking work into microexpressions. A microexpression is a 1/25th of a second muscular response to an emotion. This microexpression, as it is involuntary, shows the person’s true emotion before the brain takes over and decides to show whatever emotion the person’s brain thinks will be appropriate for the time. We spent quite a bit of time defining the seven emotions and explaining how the face muscles react to those emotions. As a special perk, the class included a 1 year subscription to Dr. Ekman’s software suite which trains you how to read microexpressions. The class participated in a quiz to determine your initial ability to decipher microexpressions and then another test after learning how the face reacts to emotion. Almost the entire class improved quite dramatically.

“Truly one of the best trainings I have ever attended…”

After delving deep into facial expressions, we moved into body language. We learned about emblems and how we need to be careful to really understand the culture we are in to properly understand the meaning or significance behind the emblem being displayed. Gestures and Illustrators were discussed in detail as the class was taught the importance of these things and how to use these things as baselines for your target to determine a change in behavior. We then learned about the meaning of Manipulators and how these can be used to determine the level of comfort your target is currently experiencing and to know when that comfort level has changed.

We ended the day with study into Verbal Style & Content. We learned the four parts to verbal style: rhythm, speed, volume, and pitch… or RSVP. Understanding someone’s verbal style is crucial to determining deception. As a class we learned many methods used to determine deception when an individual is speaking and communicating. As the class came to a close, Chris and Robin again prepared for nice, relaxing evening while the students were given their hardest, most invasive assignment to date. This assignment was sure to separate the men from the boys.