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NLP and Social Engineering - Hacking the human mind

Arrow Image This is a more in depth look into social engineering and how to use NLP to increase your success in social engineering.



Hey everyone this is an extension to my original Social engineering article. This will add on to the specifics behind some techniques that you can use in real social engineering. I hope this really adds on to what I mentioned in the previous article, enjoy.

*The basics of NLP*

NLP stands for nuero linguistic programming, and as the name suggests it is the “programming” of a person’s subconscious mind to get them to do what you please. This is a very good skill to learn for social engineering. NLP is a real phenomenon that can be used by any person. The only real requirements to perform NLP are a working brain and the ability to speak.
NLP works in a way that you give a person subconscious suggestions while you are conversing with them. This is kind of like hypnosis, but NLP is not as noticeable and it is far more effective.
NLP is used in various forms throughout our life. Our teachers use it to keep students in line. Police use it to interrogate people. Advertisements rely on NLP to get their products sold, and we use it in our daily lives without even noticing it. NLP can and is used in therapy to help patients overcome fear and pain. NLP is also used by the military to interrogate POW and to gain intelligence. NLP can also be used in social engineering to exploit peoples trust and to gain further access into a system via social hacking the human factor.
NLP relies on the fact that our subconscious mind notices everything whether we choose to notice it or not. Our dreams come from our subconscious mind playing back and reviewing events in our lives. Our subconscious minds are vast and can retain a lot of information that we do not even realize that we have. NLP is not affected by religious doctrine or dogma, and it does not matter your ethnicity, race, or morals. Everyone can use NLP.
A lot of people do not believe in NLP because they believe in the Hollywood idea of psychics and hypnotists having strange and bizarre powers. But this is not true; NLP is an art of communicating with the subconscious mind of another person. Our subconscious minds are very susceptible to external influence, so a person can be easily influenced if you know how to confront and use these skills against their human nature or factor. Did you know that 95% of the reasoning behind a consumers purchase is associated with a subconscious decision?

*The Human Factor*

Regardless of age, profession, religion, or philosophical beliefs, people are always trying to persuade each other. All human beings regardless of what they say and do need other people. We as humans want people to trust us, to follow, and to accept us. This is very important to NLP, influencing another person’s decisions, and getting information from them. Learning is also another part to the human factor. Learning is the basics to most behaviors, because most behaviors are learned. Emotions are also a part of the human factor. Emotions are responses to events or stimuli. Emotions are mostly expressed through a persons facial movements, whether they are small or big. No two people are exactly alike mentally, not even twins.
Our subconscious mind is a mind beyond our normal conscious awareness, and it is the biggest part of our mind. All basic human drives and forgotten memories are a part of the subconscious mind. Some people class our minds into three groups and these groups are Id, Ego, and the Superego
Id is the subconscious mind. It is the driver of our basic human wants and needs. These needs and wants include our need for food, water, shelter, and sex.
Ego is our conscious mind which operates on the reality principle. It seeks to be socially acceptable, it wants gratification, and it wants to be trusted.
The Superego is the locus of the sense of right and wrong in a humans mind. It is kind of like the little devil and little angel you see in cartoons sometimes, standing at a character’s shoulders. It seeks moral perfection; basically it seeks reward and acceptance while despising punishment and hurt.
Another part of the human factor is the fact that we as humans naturally try to conserve cognitive energy. Basically we don’t think every second of our lives. So while we are not consciously paying attention to something our subconscious is.

*The twelve laws to persuasion and NLP*

The twelve laws I will introduce to you are twelve laws you can use to persuade and influence another person, to get them to do what you want. These laws are based on the human factor in one way or another. They will show you how to look at a person and see what they are thinking. These laws will improve your communication with these people and you will be able to manipulate people to get what you want through these laws. You just need to apply them and you will be successful with practice.

*the Law of Dissonance*

This law states that people are more inclined, even subconsciously, to gravitate towards and follow people who are consistent in their behavior. People are naturally inclined to act in a manner that is consistent with their cognitions, basically their beliefs, attitudes, and values. When people feel dissonance or strains on our consistency we try to find ways to deal with the psychological tension. Some ways people with this tension are through denial, and rationalization. A good quote is “We find what we seek. If we can’t find it, we make it up.” And that is so true. One way to use this law would have to get a commitment from a person. Once you have a commitment from a person you create a dissonance. Then to release the person’s tension you offer them a solution.

*the law of Obligation*

This law states that when others do something for us, we feel a strong need, even a push, to return the favor. Researchers have found that when someone “persuades” you to change you mind, they will more likely be persuaded by you. Telling a secret also creates an obligation, for you are telling them something private and this creates a bond between you and the person. You showed them trust, so they will most likely show trust back to you. To use the law of obligation you basically need to create a sense of obligation within the other person, so that they are obliged to do something for you.

*the law of Connectivity*

The law of connectivity states that the more we feel connected to, a part of, liked by, attracted to someone, the more influential they become. There are four main factors to connectivity: attraction, similarity, people skills, and rapport. Attraction operates by making one positive characteristic of a person affect the way others overall perceive them. The theory of similarity states that familiar objects are more liked than less familiar ones. Studies show that we as humans tend to be drawn more towards those who are like us and are usually people we associate with.
The number one skill that most successful people have is people skills. You can get people to like you faster if you become interested in them, pay attention to them, and talk with them. This gets them to be comfortable with talking to you, and helps you connect with them so you can commune far more effectively. One of the quickest ways to form a connection between people is to use and remember their names. Seeming friendly also helps a lot with effective communication.
In order for your audience to take your message into consideration they must have some level of respect for you. Respect usually takes time and patience to harvest, but there are ways that you can create respect within a group or with a person. A great way to do this is by showing gratitude towards the other person or group. Also never criticize others and don’t talk about your problems with them. This will help build some respect with the group or person.
Rapport is the connection between people that make them feel close, as if they knew each other for ever. Whether you realize it or not we are constantly reading others and being read by others through our body language. The three ways we are perceived by others are as follows:
- 55% - Visually (body language)
- 38% - Vocally (tone of voice)
- 7% - Verbally (word choice)
Body language and gestures are an innate part of our human factor and psyche. Through our eyes we can gauge the truthfulness, intelligence, attitudes, and feelings of a person. Our eye’s pupils are one of the most sensitive and complex muscles in our whole body. They respond to light, stimuli, and even emotions.
As strange as it sounds touch is an important part of body language and establishing connectivity. Subconsciously we as a part of our human factor like being touched, it makes us feel appreciated. Now when I say we like being touched I don’t necessarily mean in a sexual way.
The best way to establish rapport is to do one or many things of what I talked about above. But the best way to establish rapport with a person is to mirror them, but don’t mimic them they might find that rude. The reason mirroring works is because they feel like you have a similar demeanor so they naturally feel more connected.

*the law of Social Validation*

People as a part of the human factor have an innate desire to belong to a social group or event. We as humans want a sense of belonging and acceptance. Social validation (a.k.a. peer pressure) compels us to change our behaviors, our attitudes, and our actions, even when what we observe doesn’t really match our true feelings, style, or thoughts. Only 5 to 10% of the population engages in behavior contrary to the social norm.

*the law of Scarcity*

Whenever choice is limited or threatened the human factor has a need to maintain a share of the limited service, and this makes us crave it more. Most of us as humans fear the point of decision making so we naturally want to put it off until later. Which means more likely the decision won’t be made. Ways feelings of scarcity are place among people include deadlines, limited spaces/numbers/access, potential loss, and restricted freedom.

*the law of Verbal Packaging*

Over 60% of your day is spent in oral communication. Using the right words and phrases is captivating, while using the wrong words and or phrases is devastating. A good way to make what you say better is by double speaking. Double speaking is where you replace offensive words and phrases with less offensive ones. This is important so you can maintain communication with the person. Some things that screw people up in using their words are the use of too much technical language or jargon. This kind of language makes some people feel inferior and they are not able to easily communicate with you. Also try not to use too much profanity or slang; this gives a bad impression to anyone. Speak in your everyday language and keep it simple and clear, also try to keep sentences short. Also a great way to better use words is to use words that engage your audience, or words that catch your audience’s attention. Never talk down on the person you are communicating, for this can lose respect and rapport very easily.

*the law of Contrast*

The law of contrast explains how we are affected when we are introduced to two vastly different alternatives in succession. The way things are presented to us in succession can distort or amplify the way we feel about the other object(s). This law relies on the human factor of perception. When people are introduced to something they immediately compare it to their past experience or knowledge. By presenting your prospects with a contrast they will not need to look to their past experiences for one.

*the law of Expectations*

The law of expectations states that if an expectation is before a person they will usually comply with that expectation. Individuals tend to make decisions on the way others expect them to act. Presupposition is a form of a question that uses words and language that indicates what you are asking has already been accepted by the other person.
An embedded command is a technique used to communicate to the conscious mind while sending a message to the subconscious mind. The idea behind this is to actually bypass the conscious mind and communicate directly with the subconscious mind. This is commonly used in advertising and marketing. The most effective embedded commands are short and concise, and are no longer than two to four words. Studies show that embedded commands can actually change our attitudes and beliefs. To use an embedded command all you have to do is talk with the other person and place a slight emphasis on certain words, don’t make it obvious or it won’t work. Also you can use a method of confusion, by confusing the person you can inject (sounds a lot like sql injection) an embedded command directly into their subconscious mind. You can generate confusion in many ways, for example you can talk rapidly and place emphasis on the words of your embedded command. Another effective way to use embedded commands is to create a certain emotion rather than to get them to do something. This can be done by the use of emotion captivating words and or phrases.

*the law of Involvement*

The law of involvement suggests that the more we engage someone’s five senses, and involve them mentally and physically; we will create the right atmosphere to be influential. You can generate involvement by creating an atmosphere with music, lights, etc. You can also ask questions to engage the person mentally, or tell them stories that are relevant to what you are talking about. Also the repetition of certain things you want to communicate to a person can be effective. Also building suspense and distracting are goods ways to create an involvement among the person(s) you are influencing.
By nature people will help support what they help create. Role playing is a good way to get people involved. Plus when someone role-plays they have to think about that which they are role-playing which will make it much easier to influence them. In essence you would be making people come up with arguments that are against their beliefs.
Another way to increase participation is to ask questions and advice. A part of the human factor is to feel wanted and needed. Questions create immediate involvement. This is because when someone asks you a question it is a part of the human factor to think of the answer even if you don’t give one. Much like movements questions elicit to automatic responses from the human mind.

*the law of Esteem*

The law of esteem recognizes that the human factor causes humans need and want praise, recognition, and acceptance. Self-esteem is the elusive aspiration of most people. It is a confidence in ones self. Pride is the exact opposite of self-esteem. A prideful person gets no pleasure out of having something, but only out of having more of it, or bigger and better. We all have an ego; we all yearn to feel important in one way or another. In order to effectively influence others you must temporarily let go of you ego and focus only on your objective. Sincere praises and compliments can have a powerful affect on people. Praise boosts the self esteem, and it can make that person easier to want to be influenced.

*the law of Association*

To maintain an order of our world, our minds and brains link objects, gestures, and symbols with our feelings, memories, and life experiences. Anchoring is a technique that captures the feelings, memories, and emotions of certain events, places or things in another person. An anchor can be anything that brings up a thought or feeling and reminds a person of something they have previously experienced. It will usually reproduce the exact emotion or feeling they experienced at that time, and it will be easier to influence them if you can get them to associate this anchor with what you want to influence them with.

*the law of Balance*

When you are trying to influence someone you must keep your message balanced. Your message should both target the emotions and maintain logic. Logic and emotions are the two components and elements for perfect persuasion. Emotions create movement and action, while logic plays the role of creating a foundation for emotion.

*Before you begin to Influence someone*

With wars you must plan out your attack before you rush into battle, well the same goes with NLP and social engineering. You have to prepare mentally and be ready to persuade, you must be confident and composed. There are three D’s you can learn to effectively prepare to persuade or influence anyone.
Discover what your prospects want and need to hear
Design and structure
Deliver the message with confidence, and purpose

Things you should monitor while influencing someone include:
- Beliefs and values
- Change
- Acceptance
- Personality Directions
- Listening
- Persuasion structure and engineering

Comments

ynori7on March 03 2009 - 15:46:00
Much better. Still doesn't go into much detail about any of the topics, but it serves as a very good list with basic descriptions. VG rating from me.
c4p_sl0ckon March 03 2009 - 16:03:46
A very nice article. Really interesting information, even though it's not an exact science.
clone4on March 03 2009 - 16:10:13
Good improvement, but still lacks nice clear examples(for each law practical example for instance), and sometimes you still repeat yourself, but from poor-->very goodWink Oh and definitely lacks outro...
paranoiahaxon March 03 2009 - 19:35:23
Not a bad article. You need to keep it more concise to be honest. And although you've told us about the laws, you haven't really laid the foundations of NLP. NLP was invented by Bandler and Grinder for therapeutic purposes, and has become somewhat distorted since the millenia. Although these points are regarded as true amongst psychologists, you have to remember that none of this has been proven, because psychology isn't an exact science, you cannot establish a cause and effect relationship whilst maintaining ecological validity, and you cannot monitor the processes of the mind. You mention the ego, superego, and the unconscious mind. I suppose you mean to refer to the Id when you refer to the unconsious mind because the rest of the terms are of Freudian ideology but are still highly regarded in today's standards of psychology nearly a century on. It would have been better if you could have used examples of embedded commands. For the purpose of this article I will include some here: If you invoke a confusion state, as you have mentioned in the article, this induces heightened suggestibility. Here you can use embedded commands such as "that's touching to hear." This may result in the subject touching their ear. A simple way to induce confusion is to use grammatical error. This forces a person to search inwards about what you just said, whilst trying to concentrate on what you're currently saying and this bypasses the critical faculty (something you ommitted from this article, google it) and then you can communicate directly with the subconscious mind. I myself am a certified hypnotist, so I am well qualified in this area, and NLP is basically an evolved form of hypnosis, yet I still retain to hypnosis as hypnosis can unlock even more, and hypnosis is far more powerful because it induces a trance state that is great for employing suggestions. Even forms of covert hypnosis are of really good use but obviously not as effective. But a good start on the article, I'd like to see more. I'm giving you "Good".
yours31fon March 06 2009 - 16:57:12
I liked it. It seems more in depth than the regular data mining and it gives an ok description of the topic. Good from me.
root_opon March 12 2009 - 09:34:21
I like the subject and the content, even though it's very basic. This article makes it sound like it's easy as regular programming, but NLP is far more complicated than that. Although good content, but lacking the real foundation of NLP though. Rated VG
digitalchameleonon March 18 2009 - 01:42:21
This type of material really takes SE to the next level, allowing the manipulation of the mind on a level the subject is typically unaware of. Rated VG.
backslashon March 24 2009 - 16:50:55
A nice article, and you are showing your knowledge of NLP in an effective way. I'd like to see more detail about the subject and perhaps some clear examples, gets a "very good" from me.
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