Social Engineering Tactics in Politics Are a Growing Problem
The landscape of politics is treacherous these days. Political affiliations are supercharged to butt heads. The common voter wearing a red or blue badge typically misunderstands the other, yet can’t see the forest for the trees and dissect how it is that the other “team” has its own ideas and policy platform. Trickle-down economics is dead, but it’s beneficial to reach across the aisle to understand why it was seen as a valuable addition to the United States’ policy perspectives.
Furthermore, cutting to the heart of what purpose narrow yet continued veneration of a debunked economic theory serves in today’s political landscape is an opportunity that can’t be missed. The Trickle-down theory is but one of hundreds of failed or failing ideas that were advanced by all manner of political affiliations.
What is social engineering?
This is where the issues inherent to social engineering come into the fold. Social engineers are social media savants that work on messaging issues in an easily digestible way and that frames the policy, problem, or platform as something that benefits each listener. While the supply-side economic theories advanced by the Reagan team in 1981 – and in similar form by many before him – directly benefitted the wealthy, the framing of this policy aimed at raising wages, boosting prosperity, and increasing mobility and purchasing power for the poor most specifically.
Social engineers create tailored messaging campaigns to target key demographics and buzz phrases that will excite all layers of society about policies that may or may not work to improve their status. When you strike out on the campaign trail for local or national office, you will need the help of a social engineer and a strong cybersecurity team behind you. Asking yourself, “what is a common method used in social engineering?” is a great way to get started when hiring a team of cybersecurity and social media professionals to help tailor your message and image for maximum impact.
Campaign websites are a frequent target of the attack, so these digital assets are a crucial piece in finding overall success in your race. Hackers leveraging phishing, malware, and other scam attacks all plague campaigns’ digital assets, trolling for sensitive information on your strategy or donors. Protecting these resources is crucial, so social engineers, cybersecurity professionals, and a customized and secured website are essential.
How can you rewrite this trend?
Social engineering credentials rest on a foundation of good intentions, but best practices in the industry have been turned toward a different market. The concept is built on a desire to tailor content customized for personal preferences, dislikes, and needs. However, the process has grown beyond itself. Scammers, phishing attacks, and data miners all work tirelessly to comb for personal data that can help turn the tide of a losing campaign with a perfectly timed attack ad that speaks to our basest instincts.
You can change this, though. By committing to “white hat” social engineering practices like asking for personal data, soliciting permission to save certain identifying materials, and conducting thorough research that protects the identities, passwords, and sensitive information while working to create new campaign materials are all great steps. A social engineer committed to ethical practices can also bring you along this path to powerful data leverage without selling your soul in the process.
Put, social engineering is the framing of content for consumption by an audience that may be primed to reject the policy idea out of allegiance to their own self-interests. Social engineering techniques don’t have to be leveraged for persuasion campaigns that seek to shovel poor solutions to systemic problems. Leveraging these techniques to help you understand your voters’ needs is the way forward.