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SE'ing Encyclopedia

Updated: 08/09/2022:    If you've ever wanted to know every term and method relative to social engineering, Irrespective of your level of experience, then you've come to the right place. This SEing encyclopedia, has everything you need pertaining to common terms and methods that're used In today's world of exploiting the human firewall. All topics Include a brief description, as well as a few examples of how each term Is used In a sentence- which will be of benefit to those new to the SEing sector. To help refine your search, I've added a table of contents, whereby you can pick and choose exactly what you're looking for. 

Corrupted File Method

Sending A Damaged File That Will Not Open. 

On the grounds that you've been social engineering for quite a number of years by hitting online stores to the likes of the largest eCommerce company being Amazon, you'd be well aware of the complexities Involved when manipulating their representatives to credit your bank account, or get them to send replacement Items at no extra cost. That's all part of your "attack vector", but to ensure It runs as smooth as possible with minimal disruption from start to finish, It must be supported by a well-formulated "method", however It's not as simple as selecting anything that comes to mind. For the most part and to give It the best chance of success , It's Imperative that the method Is based on the nature of the Item you're planning to SE- both Its weight and dimensions are of paramount Importance when seeking one that's suitable. 

As an Intermediate or advanced SE'er, you'd have sound knowledge of the most common methods used such as the "DNA" (Did Not Arrive), the "wrong Item received", "missing Item" and the "partial". If you've just started your career In "the art of company manipulation and exploitation", I recommend reading my Beginner's Guide To SE'ing found here and when you've familiarized yourself with Its contents, you can continue where you left off In this article. Getting back to the above-mentioned methods, each one Is known as a "traditional method" that has a proven history of success rates well over the 85% figure. Now It Is all well and good when using one or more of those methods with ongoing SEs that have a compatible Item, but you'll find that there will come a time to opt for methods that are not widely-used In the SEing sector- one of which Is the "corrupted file method".

One of the reasons why It's not so much In demand, Is because many social engineers lack confidence when using the corrupted file method, and It's all due to not having the proper resources to build their skill set and use It to Its full potential. To this day, I continue to receive messages asking how to prepare, apply, and continually utilize It throughout the course of the SE and It becomes an endless loop of having to repeat myself. This Is why I've decided to write this guide- It will cover every angle and basically list everything there Is to know about It and of equal Importance, "Its downside". Yes, It does have a somewhat major drawback  which Is no fault of any SE'er, but more to the fact that It's limited with the number of options/alternatives you have when using It against a given rep/agent. I've covered It In the next topic, so let's check It out now.   

What Is The Corrupted File Method?

Judging by the topic's title, It's pretty much self-explanatory as to what the method denotes and I'm sure you'd have a good Inkling of what It pertains to, so In terms of purely explaining Its definition, I won't go Into too much detail. With regard to how and why It's used and effectively applying It against your target, I've elaborated on this In the next few topics, so be sure to read each and every heading/sub-heading. As Its name Implies, the "corrupted file method" Is used to corrupt a given file by using an online service like this, with the objective of circumventing the need to verify documents as per the representative's request. For example, let's say you've used the "DNA method", by claiming that the carrier driver did not deliver your package. Of course, you did receive It but you're just stating otherwise for SEing purposes.

All has gone according to plan with your SE, however In order to finalize your claim and process a refund, the rep wants you to "sign & return a statutory declaration" In the form of a text file- to confirm that everything you've said Is true and correct to the best of your knowledge. Although this Is only needed to complete your claim, for one reason or another, you don't want to sign It and this Is when you use the "corrupted file method", by sending It In a file that's unusable and will not execute- no matter how hard the rep/agent tries to open It. Now unlike the majority of other methods that only need a single Implementation to keep them running , the corrupted file method Is quite the opposite- It takes quite a few steps until completion. Don't worry, I've got you covered a little further down the page.

Okay, remember I mentioned a couple of paragraphs above, that there will Inevitably be a somewhat significant downside to this method ? Good, I'm glad your memory serves you correctly. Because some representatives work strictly by the book by following their guidelines with precision, and remain firm with their decision and refuse to budge under any circumstances, the drawback Is that "the corrupted file method does not have any alternatives that you can turn to". In other words and simply put, the only thing you can do, Is solely use It without having "another method to take over Its place when things get tough". Rest assured, this will make perfect sense In a minute or so. 

With regard to most other methods, they are quite flexible. For Instance, If you've used the wrong Item received method  and the company wants the wrong Item back but you don't have It, you can use the boxing method to take over- by boxing the return. Having said all that, there are positives with the corrupted file method and It does have a pretty good chance of success- but only If you hit It with a very methodical approach, and keep doing so on a consistent level. We'll have a look at "how to effectively use It"  In the topic below- which will give you a very clear understanding of what I'm referring to with all my above comments. 

How To Use The Corrupted File Method:

No doubt you're well aware of the corrupted file method by definition, so there's no point In repeating myself. In terms of "how to use It", It's crucial to apply It In a systematic fashion and "keep hitting the same level of consistency throughout the entire SE" and here's how you do It. To make It easy to follow, I'll use the example of the "statutory declaration"  that you've already read a few minutes ago. You're at the stage of the rep/agent requesting the document be signed & returned, but Instead, you've used this website to corrupt the file and you've sent (what appears to be) the declaration form as per the rep's Instructions. On a side note, If this site Is no longer active, hit a Google search for another one- there's quite a few corrupted file websites to choose from. 

Back on-topic, when the representative receives your file, he will not be able to open It, so It's a certainty that he'll ask you to resend It and you do exactly that, but "In a different file format". For Instance, If you've emailed a "PDF" file the first time, corrupt a Microsoft Word file with a ".doc" or ".docx" extension and after you've sent It, assure the rep that It's working perfectly fine on your end. This gives the Impression that you're doing your utmost best to resolve the Issue. If he's fully focused and not half-asleep on the job, yet again, he will request the file and will continue to do so, hence you keep repeating the same process- "corrupted files In different formats each time". When he says that he's still unable to view the file, vent your frustration In a firm, but polite manner, that you're looking at the same file as you speak and you can clearly see Its contents.

Also, calmly express how disappointed you are that such a simplistic task of opening a file cannot be done, and If need be, get him to escalate your claim to senior management. Now remember I said that "there's a downside to this method and It does not have any alternatives that you can turn to?". Well, this Is the reason for Its limitation- you have no option but to continue sending corrupted files and If the rep/agent Is just as determined as yourself, It becomes a cat and mouse game between you both, which can ultimately lead to the rep declining your claim. That being said, SEing Is all about being "confident", "adamant""not taking no for an answer", "persevering" and "doing whatever It takes" to get the result you're after. Be sure to combine and apply each of those attributes, and you'll find that the corrupted file method will work In your favor.

When To Use The Corrupted File Method:

Upon reading each topic so far, you now know what the corrupted file method Involves, how to effectively utilize It and what to expect whilst your SE Is In progress. What you (probably) don't know, Is "when It can be used", so what you're about to read lists all the common "events" that you can put the method to good use. As such, when you deal with a particular representative, you'll be well aware that the corrupted file method Is at your disposal, thus you can begin to formulate It accordingly. Given you fully comprehend all facets of the method Itself, I won't bother explaining It again, but rather only elaborate on the definition of each of the (below) events and why they take place, so without further delay, let's make a start. 

 Providing Proof Of Purchase

In order to credit your account or dispatch a replacement Item free of cost, you may be asked to provide a "proof of purchase" (often abbreviated as "POP")- just to verify that the Item you're SEing does In fact belong to the respective company. If you happen to be using the "serial number method", whereby you didn't purchase the Item to begin with, then you obviously don't have the POP, hence the need to corrupt the file to give the Impression that you've sent It. Of course, there are other reasons why a POP may be requested. The "faulty Item method" Is one of them, which Is used to say that the Item you purchased, Is not functional and Instead of sending It back for a refund, some reps ask for the proof of purchase. Whatever the case may be, you know what to do!

Filing A Police Report

If you're an advanced SE'er who's been hitting online stores for many years to date, you'd know that a "PR" (short for a "police report") Is part of a company Investigation and simply required to move forward with your claim and nothing more. As a result, you're not concerned to go to your local police station and get one signed or (where available) doing It on the Internet. On the other hand, some beginner SE'ers are hesitant to go ahead with It- thinking that the Feds will bust their door down at 5:30am and start reading out their rights. I can assure you that nothing could be further from the truth. Cops have got more Important things to do, than pursue a bit of paperwork that claims your package did not arrive at your premises. The "corrupted file method" Is an alternative to personally filing a police report

Providing Proof Of Destruction

There are not too many companies who ask for a "Proof Of Destruction" ("POD"), but nonetheless, you never know If It will happen to you at some point during your social engineering activities, therefore It's vital to know the circumstances of why It's warranted. Rather than returning your "defective Item", the rep/agent will tell you to "destroy It"  by (for example) cutting the cord on a computer mouse, breaking the keys on a PC keyboard, or perhaps drill a few holes In the SSD (Solid State Drive). To verify that your Item has been destroyed, he'll ask you to take a photo that clearly shows the damage has been done and send It thereafter. Evidently, you don't want to break your Item as described, so you guessed It, email the rep a file that does not open- meaning, corrupt It

Verifying The Faulty Item

As you've read a couple of paragraphs above, the "faulty Item method" Is used to say that the product you bought, has no functionality  and the rep will then go through a few routine troubleshooting steps- to try and Identify the cause. You will of course, say that It's still not working  and after he's satisfied that It's defective, he'll (either) request to return It, or ask you to take a photo- much the same as the "proof of destruction" example above. In addition to that, he may say that the Item's serial number and a handwritten note needs to be Included In the photo. This Is just to prove that It belongs to you, and that you didn't copy It from Google Images. You're well-Informed with the corrupted file method, so use It to your advantage. 

Asked To Sign & Return An Affidavit

When the company Is assessing your claim through an "Investigation" and the details collected are Inconclusive, they sometimes ask you to sign & return an "affidavit". The purpose of this, Is to confirm that the Information you've provided about the actions of your SE, Is In fact true and correct. Unlike a statutory declaration that must be signed In front of a Justice of the Peace to make It legally binding, an affidavit Is quite the opposite. Put simply and without the legal jargon, once your signature Is added, It becomes a legally binding document and can be used as evidence In court. Although It may only be needed to purely finalize your claim, many SE'ers are reluctant to sign It (which I certainly agree and recommend to not put pen to paper)- for the reason that matters can be taken further, legally, at any point In time. You know what to do to avoid It, so go ahead and corrupt the file.       

In Conclusion:

If you've been following my articles on this blog (122 guides In total at the time of this post!), you'd see that every method Is supported with some type of alternative, thereby It allows you to continue your SE by Implementing changes along the way. However, the corrupted file method does not have any flexibility, hence you need to keep repeating the process (corrupting It) by using a very calculated approach until your claim Is finally approved

Despite Its downside (as mentioned In the first topic), If you push the representative to his/her absolute limit and remain firm with your attack vector by refusing to give In and do whatever It takes to succeed, there's a significant chance that the SE will work In your favor. Do remember that "attitude" plays an Integral role with every SE, so remove all negativity and remain positive about your abilities as an SE'er. You'll be amazed at what can be accomplished "when you believe In yourself!".