Asking For Help With SE'ing

How To Effectively Ask For Help With Social Engineering.

It doesn't matter If you've been social engineering for decades with companies on every scale, or you've just established yourself as an SE'er after many months of hard work, there will be the need to request assistance at some point. Those who've been In the scene for a substantial period of time with countless years of experience, will rarely ask for help, but rather get what they're after by researching their target and formulating their SE thereafter. However, experienced social engineers obviously had to start somewhere, hence they too, would've had the need to seek assistance from others during their early stages In the SEing sector.

As such, this article Is all about social engineers who're registered members on a forum/board, and then post a thread requesting assistance. Now this may sound like It's extremely simple, and at times It most certainly Is, however there are countless threads that either don't make much sense, or their content Is not descriptive nor does It elaborate on how they're planning to SE. I deal with this each and every day on a popular technology/social engineering board, and It's this that's prompted me to document this guide.

You will learn all the values to effectively generate a thread that will not only attract attention without even opening It, but also entice fellow SE'ers to come to your aid and help In every way possible. Although this predominantly relates to beginners, advanced SE'ers also neglect to clarify their Intentions on some occasions thus If you're reading this from an advanced standpoint, I'm sure you'll benefit to some extent. To make It easy to follow, I've written everything In point form. So without further delay, let's get this started.

The Thread's Title:

When your SE doesn't quite go according to plan, one of the first things you do, Is create a thread In the appropriate section of the forum and of paramount Importance, Is Its title- namely how you decide to name It. This ultimately determines the amount of Interest It will attract, which Is precisely what you need to get help In the fastest way possible. If Its bland and misleading, then don't expect members to attend to your thread In a timely manner. Here's my recommendations.

  • Keep It short, yet relevant to your request.
  • Do not solely use uppercase letters.
  • Only abbreviate It as necessary (example: "DNA").
  • If It pertains to a company, name It (example: "Amazon").
  • Do not use unicode emojis- It gives the title a spam-like appearance.
  • Don't use a bunch of exclamation marks- this demonstrates desperation.
  • Be sure there's no spelling errors significant with a misleading request.

As you can see, I've only mentioned just over a handful of tips however It's not about quantity, but "quality". The first port of call Is to get members Interested In your thread and If you put the above Into practice, they'll surely view Its content, which brings me to my next point.

The Thread's Content:

There's no doubt that the thread's title Is essential to entice traffic, but It serves very little purpose If the content you post, Is Insignificant and not clear about the type of assistance that you require. For Instance, I keep coming across posts saying (for example): "I want to SE using the missing Item method, do you think It will work?". Not only haven't they named the company that they're planning to SE, but of the utmost Importance, Is the nature of the "Item"- If It's too heavy, the said method obviously cannot be used. When writing your post, It's Imperative to provide as much detail as possible about the entire SE In an appropriate fashion, so let's checkout my recommendations as follows.

  • Name the company & Item In question.
  • If the SE Is In progress, provide all details.
  • If the SE failed, provide the reason(s).
  • Keep your post as brief as possible.
  • Use proper English that's clearly understood.
  • Do not use all uppercase letters.
  • Do not enlarge the text font- this will not attract attention.
  • Make sure everything Is grammatically correct.
  • Do not be repetitive- get your point across and leave It at that.
  • Use paragraphs, and not an entire sentence.
  • Be sure to use punctuation as necessary.
  • If English Isn't your first language, use Google translate.
  • Do not demand, but rather "ask" for assistance.
  • Do not use profane language.

There's a lot more that can be added, but I've simply provided the most relevant points. I'd like to reiterate the part about "using paragraphs". It's crucial to format your post In this manner, with around 5 sentences per paragraph- as It makes It very easy to follow and comprehend. I've come across posts consisting of 80 sentences without any paragraphs and you know what I did? Completely Ignored It, and moved to the next post. Many other members would've also done the same.

Can you Imagine If I didn't use paragraphs In this tutorial? Without question, It will be extremely difficult to follow and most likely, you wouldn't bother reading half the content, let alone the entire article! Evidently, users will reply with their guidance and advice, however there may be some responses that're Inaccurate, thereby lead you In the wrong direction. Let's see how to effectively filter Information, and only take the most appropriate replies under advisement.

Reading Replies:

On the grounds that you've created your thread by applying a few of my suggestions as stated above, your questions and concerns will be attended to with quite a number of replies- some of which will make perfect sense, and others may be somewhat Inconclusive. Whilst It's Important to sift through every post, of greater value Is to filter those that're relevant and beneficial to your request. For example, there's no point pursuing a member's recommendation that's Incorrect and will ultimately lead In a failed SE.

So how do you decide what to take on board and what to totally disregard? Well, there are no hard and fast rules- you'd have to exercise common sense & good judgment but what will significantly help, Is "to view the profile of the member(s) In question". Begin by checking out their previous posts to other threads, with the objective of Identifying whether their advice was accurate and complete. It doesn't matter If they have 10 posts or 10,000 posts- what you're looking for Is "quality" and not quantity. 

If you'd like to take It even further, head over to other popular social engineering and/or hacking forums to see If they have a registered account and do the very same thing, by reviewing their posts. If the board has a reputation system Implemented, It will give you a good Indication of the member's character- too many negative reps and replies, speak a thousand words. Finally and stating the obvious, hit a Google search to cross-check any details that you're unsure of and as with the forums, make sure It's true and correct by verifying the Information with other trusted sources

In Conclusion:

As you've most likely gathered, asking for help on a given board/forum, Is not as easy as creating a thread within a matter of a few seconds and expect Immediate and helpful replies thereafter. Sure, you may get members here and there attending to your needs, but the accuracy of replies are only as good as the Information they have at their disposal. The equation Is pretty simple- what you put out, you get back In. If you neglect to elaborate about your concerns In a clear and precise manner, then don't anticipate a lot of answers In return. In closing, you now have the tools and know-how to create HQ threads, that will surely entice the forum's community to lend a helping hand.