The subject of women in the field of social engineering has been a topic of discussion for us here at SEORG for a long time.  A few months ago we put up a poll asking the public to vote on this topic.  The results were surprising, to say the least.

We broke the topic down to a few questions.

  • The voters gender
  • How many women does the voter know in security?
  • Who do they think is inherently more honest?
  • Which gender they feel makes a better Social Engineer naturally?

Each voter had a chance to defend their thoughts too.

First, what we were pleasantly surprised about was how many women actually voted.

63% of the voters where female.  That is a really interesting fact for us.  In previous discussions we had a hard time finding women willing to discuss this topic.  To see that over 60% of those voting where women was encouraging, especially with the next detail.

How many women did each voter know in security?

72% of the voters only know between 1-9 women in security personally.  A staggering 21% know ZERO women in security… the range from 1% to 3% with only 1.2% knowing 51+ women in security.  What we also found interesting was how many men made up this particular set of stats:

  • 78% of the men that took the poll knew zero women in security
  • 64% know 1-9 women
  • 11% know 10-25
  • 0% know 26-35
  • 5% know 36-50+

The next set of data was also very interesting – Who is more honest?

No shocker here – only 22% of the voters rated men as more honest where as a staggering 77% voted that women where naturally more honest.

Now all of this was leading down to one path and that is who is voted as being the best at social engineering.  In previous discussions via our podcast we heard, even from women, that many thought men where better since they were rated at being better at lying.  The stats up to this point seemed to point to those facts… women being rated as more honest and many men not knowing many women in security….

So what where the results?

It is probably no shocker that women won the coveted Best at Social Engineering prize but what will shock you is….

Women won by a staggering 86+%!  86% of the people who voted said that women are naturally more inclined towards social engineering!  This was a huge statistic for us.

Of course this then lends itself to a few questions:

1.   Why are there not more women in social engineering?

2.   If there are, where are they?

3.   Do women feel that way or men?

This is where the stats got really interesting.  70% of the men voted that women make better social engineers, yet 95% of the women who voted also voted that women make better social engineers.

Obviously amongst the genders this is where they can agree.

Guys, want to defend the title?  Women, want to prove that you are the best?

This year at Defcon 20 you will have an opportunity to prove it.  The announcement and details are coming really soon!

Also the next poll will start our official first study on trust and people’s faces.  To join in check back soon, to help with photos email us at contribute -@-