Social Engineering is not hacking

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Phoning up customer support and convincing them that you are indeed James Patterson the 3rd does not count as hacking. If someone does that and then steals your Xbox Live Gamertag it doesn’t mean that Xbox Live has been hacked.

There are now new stories doing the rounds saying that ‘social hackers’ are gaining access to your accounts and taking over your profiles.

Honestly this is nothing new and is something that financial institutions, video stores and numerous other companies have faced over the years. I remember when I was 10 and I managed to rent tons of video’s on other people’s accounts (all purely accidental of course).

So how do we stop this from happening? Well there is very little we can do to be honest. Don’t tell anyone your password, don’t give out personal details over the Internet and don’t get irate with customer support when they ask you that barrage of questions…

So when you get told that Xbox Live (PSN) has been hacked, again, don’t freak out. Neither system is compromised and the only ‘hacking’ going on is social engineering.

Last Updated: August 29, 2008

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