Shortly after Christmas I was asked if I wanted to go on site and do some Social Engineering. My social engineering experience was small to none, the most relevant experience I had was when I was younger, me and my cousin used to ring up football teams to try and talk to the managers but that is as far as it went.
The company I was doing the Social Engineering attack against had three buildings that my co-worker and I had to try and gain access to. This was not going to be an easy task as like most buildings these days they have CCTV, security guards and we thought they used RFID(Radio-frequency identification) to gain access to certain areas of the building. We also found out that last year they had the same test done and they did not gain access to any of the buildings so it was not looking good.
We spent one day doing out homework, looking at the site using things like Google maps to try and get info on location, we also drove around the building site to locate all the ways into the building, they all looked really secure and we felt that we could maybe get in just one of the buildings, which was the main one, this was because they had more than one entrance so it gave us better odds of gaining access.
We also meet the client before to get our ‘get out of jail free’ letters theses are letters that say we have permission to break in just in case things go wrong.
The day of the test
We turned up on site at the main building and attempted to gain access, we figured out if we turned up around 8:30 we could just follow other members of staff into the building. This was not an easy task at both entrances were guarded by security and they had RFID sliding doors in place and of course we did not have a RFID swipe card to use so we decided the best way would be to tail gate other members of staff into the building. I saw two young ladies about to enter the building so I caught up with them and went thought the RFID sliding doors right behind one of them and proceeded into the building. My co-worker did pretty much the same but using another door, within seconds we were both in the building and buying a drink in their canteen waiting for the client.
We then proceeded to the next building this had two entrances and we both felt this would be a lot harder to gain access, as the building was small and all open plan so people would notice us walking about more. I took the back entrance and my co-worker took the front. I got into the building from the back entrance as two builders were leaving and was presented with a lift. I went into the lift only to notice that I needed a RFID card to go pass the first floor where security was, so I had no choice but to quickly think up and story and think of it fast, it would need to get me pass the RFID sliding doors. I pressed the lift and ended up at reception and was questioned by the security guard on who I was and what I was doing there. At this point I noticed my co-worker was already passed the sliding doors so I had to be careful with what I said as I was unsure of the story he gave to get through. I was not getting very far though as every answer I gave was questioned more and I was getting worried about dropping my co-worker in it, so I decided to hand over the get out of jail free card, at this point it became clear that my co-worker had made out he was the head of security who signed my get out of jail free letter. I had to then think quickly so I would not drop my co –worker in it, so I just made out I had missed him and would wait for him as I needed to speak to him.
The last building which should have been the most secure building and we both felt we had no chance of getting into this, there was only one entrance so we just decided to go at the same time and see what would happen. We approached the building and saw a worker on his way down to the exit through the RFID doors so we timed our steps that we could just walk through the doors as he left. We done this and he looked back at us and we felt “oh no he going to ask us what we were doing” but he never. Reception had two big doors in front of it so the security guard did not see us and he was also busy with other members of staff, we just decided to go up the stairs and another helpful member of staff held the door open for us so within 2 seconds we had gained access to the companies most secure building. We even stood right by the door for about 10 minutes looking awkward but no member of staff approached us. We called the client and he told us to look for a guy and he would be able to help us, it was only at this point that some women noticed us and said “who are you and how did you get here” but this was only because we went over to them. They decided to ring security and ask why are there two guys walking around and to their surprise he said what guys.
It was a weird feeling, there was lots of pressure doing the tests, but you didn’t really notice it too much after gaining access because it was a really good feeling. I must admit I felt a bit like James Bond and it was really good fun, I also learnt a lot of good tricks from my co-worker who does most of our social engineering. I hope that I get to do more in the months to come.