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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. 

Carrier Company Introduction


An Introduction To Carrier Companies & Their Operations

There's a lot to think about when social engineering companies with the Intention to deceive their representatives to Issue refunds, or dispatch replacement Items while you still get to keep the original one that was Initially purchased. Given each and every store differs to some degree with their warehouse logistics and Inventory management, It's Imperative to be well-acquainted with the organization of orders, claims, as well as their returns policy - as It will significantly help to select the right method against the nature of the Item.

For example, If you did your homework on one particular online retailer, and Identified It had CCTV cameras actively monitoring the picking & packing of stock, logic has It, you wouldn't use the wrong Item received method - for the fact that they'll refer to the footage and deem that your product was correctly sent from their dispatch area. With regard to returning your Item for a refund using the faulty Item method, by saying It was not functional right from the get-go, It'd be a bad choice to swap It with something that looks similar (such as your old/used product) and send that - specifically when dealing with Amazon. At the time of writing this post, they're very meticulous with checking returns, so I don't need to explain the outcome of your claim.

As you can see with all the above, In each case, your SE would have well and truly come to an end, all because you didn't take the time to perform your "Information gathering sessions" by researching the company's terms & conditions, Inclusive of neglecting to hit a practice run ("trial SE") to establish how their warehouse operates when processing orders. As a result, It led to opting for Incompatible methods, which was ultimately responsible for causing the SE to fail In Its early stages of the attack vector.

Sure, some reps who have no brain cells left approve claims with very little to no questions asked, but I'm talking about those who work strictly by the book and follow protocol every step of the way. Over and above all that, there's a very Important element that many SE'ers completely overlook when putting together their SE In readiness for Its execution - namely "the carrier that will be servicing the delivery", and If they do happen to remember It while the claim Is In motion, It may be too late to do anything about It.  

For Instance, as a social engineer yourself, are you aware of an "OTP" (One-Time Password) or "the driver taking photos of your house" when receiving your goods? Moreover, what about "your package being Inspected by the driver" at a given collection point? If you've just started your career In the art of company manipulation and exploitation, It's safe to say that you have no Idea what the events above relate to, correct? I thought as much. Rest assured, I've got you covered by elaborating on all that and a lot more.

If you haven't worked It out as yet, this guide Is aimed at discussing everything pertaining to "carrier companies" that Includes the Impact they have on a couple of traditional methods, how to research their operations, the point at which packages are weighed, and finalizing with what Is typically expected from their pickup & delivery service. After reading this entire article, you will have a clear understanding of how carriers are structured, and why they're a significant part of your social engineering activities. Okay, without further delay, let's rip Into It.

The Carrier Plays A Huge Role With Two Methods

Every method used In the SEing sector, has Its pros & cons, but If you've flawlessly prepared It against the nature of your Item by covering every angle and leaving no room for error, you have full control of Its formulation while It's still In your capable hands. However, the moment the attack Is launched and leaves your local environment, It's not possible to predict the series of events that take place with the company and Its carrier partner. In terms of the latter (carrier), It plays a huge role with two commonly used methods - being the "DNA" and the "boxing method", both of which heavily rely on the carrier to succeed, so let's first check out the DNA method as per the subtopic below. 

The DNA Method

As Its name Implies, the "DNA" (Did Not Arrive) method Is used to say that the package that was scheduled for delivery by the carrier driver, did not arrive at Its Intended destination - at the SE'ers address, drop house or any other location used as a delivery point. Of course, the package was received, but the social engineer Is stating otherwise to get a refund or replacement. The DNA Is considered a universal carrier-based method, for the reason that you're ONLY claiming the package did not arrive, Irrespective of what It contains.  

Whether It weighs 50 grams or 50 pounds, the fact Is the driver (seemingly) failed to drop off your consignment, thus the size & weight has no relevance whatsoever. But be realistic with your SE by exercising common sense and good judgement. For Instance, If It's a huge "1,000 L fridge that costs over $2,000", the driver will not leave It at the doorstep without requiring some form of verification. And that's when problems can be experienced - with the possibility of putting an end to your plans with the DNA method, especially when you have no clue on how to circumvent the verification (more on this In the last topic).  

If It's only a signature, fine, go ahead and scribble a fake name, however a few carrier companies have Implemented other measures, namely "taking photos of the delivery point" - which Is used to verify that the package was delivered to the right house. At the time of this guide, "DPD" who services many major retailers such as Amazon and ASOS, Is one carrier that takes photos In one of two ways as follows. The first Is "the outside of the premises", whereby the driver either places the package at the doorstep, or at a nearby location of your home, and photographs It (Including the background) thereafter.

The other approach, Is "asking you to open the front door", and he'll put the package In the "entryway" and take a snapshot as proof of delivery.  As a result, If you try and deny that your order arrived, the carrier will refer to their photo(s) and It will clearly show the package In your doorway, hence It'll be used as proof to decline your claim. Can you see how your SE was solely Impacted by the "carrier", with no mention of the store/retailer being SEd? 

This Is a prime example of why It's paramount to familiarize yourself with the "type of carrier" that will be delivering your goods. Naturally, photographic evidence can be bypassed (I've referenced how It's done just before concluding this article) but to remain on-topic, we'll have a look at the second and final method called "the boxing method" - that also (predominantly) relies on carriers to achieve a favorable outcome.        

The Boxing Method

There are a number of ways the boxing method can be used, but for the purpose of this tutorial, I'll demonstrate only the one example. After the product was purchased and the carrier driver delivered It to your house, you'd contact the rep/agent and say that It's not working. Evidently It's fine, but you're claiming It Isn't for the Intention of social engineering them. The rep will then go through a few routine troubleshooting steps - to try and Identify why It's not operating as per Its factory condition. Everything he asks you to do, you'll reply that It's still not functioning.   

When he's satisfied It's defective, a refund/replacement will be arranged, but "only when your (seemingly) broken Item Is returned". Obviously there's no Intent to send It back, and that's when the "boxing method" comes Into action by returning the package/box without the Item. If It's extremely light (less than "120 grams"), send the box on Its own with nothing Inside. But If the weight significantly exceeds the 120 gram limit, substitute It (the Item) with dry Ice. Be sure to read my guide on how to effectively use dry Ice. 

Okay, the objective of the boxing method, Is to make It look as though the package was tampered with during shipment. To do that, cut the package/box on one side and seal It with different colored tape, so when the company receives the package, they'll think that someone stole your product at some point In transit. Because the (apparent) theft Is no fault of your own, expect the claim to be approved.

However, there's a couple of things that can end your SE purely as a result of the carrier Itself. How so, you ask? Well, what happens If the carrier Is not responsible for loss of goods?. Or the driver noticed the different colored tape on the package at the collection point, and raised a damage report? You guessed It, they'll release themselves from liability, hence your SE has well and truly failed miserably. 

Yet again, can you see how your SE was dedicatedly Impacted by the carrier? Believe It or not, both events could've easily been avoided. In terms of cutting & taping the package/box, do It on the underside of the box or where the package joins, and only enough to allow the Item to be removed. As for the carrier not accountable for lost goods, It's as easy as opting for another carrier company who does take responsibility. That's one of many reasons  why It's crucial to "research the carrier", so let's check It out now.    

How To Research A Carrier Company

The first thing you must do with any retailer/store that you've never SEd before, Is to "research how they operate", by gathering as much Information as possible and evaluating It thereafter. And of equal Importance, Is to do the same with "the carriers they utilize to service their deliveries" - for the fact that the majority differ (to some degree) In how they deliver and verify consignments. For example, as you know, "DPD" can be the biggest pain when dropping off packages and deciding to take photos of the external part of your home, or requesting your permission to open the door and taking a picture of the package In the entryway.

On the other hand, other carriers require an "OTP" (One-Time Password) and If you don't provide It to the driver, he'll walk away and mark It as an undelivered shipment. Also, some carriers will arrange to collect the package from your home, and ask to leave It open for the driver to Inspect It - just to be certain the goods are enclosed/Inside. There's no doubt you can see why It's vital to "research the carrier" prior to hitting your SE - as It can make all the difference between success and a failed outcome with the "DNA" and "boxing" methods. 

With regard to Identifying the carrier(s) used by the company (yes, there may be more than one!), It's not hard at all. It literally took me 20 seconds to find a list belonging to Amazon found here, so use common sense by hitting a Google search with the relevant keywords. In terms of what to look for when performing your research, I've put together a few details below to get you started. You can find the answers to some, by navigating to the carrier's website "terms & conditions", and/or executepractice run to see who will be delivering your order. The following Is not an exhaustive list, but rather Is aimed at demonstrating the events that take place with all major carrier companies.

  • Does the carrier driver accept signatures?
  • Is an OTP (One-Time Password) required on delivery?
  • Does the driver take photos of your home? If so, where?
  • Does the driver leave packages at your doorstep?
  • Is It the same driver servicing each delivery?
  • Is a damage report raised for packages that appear to be tampered with?
  • Who's responsible for loss of goods during transit?
  • Does the driver personally Investigate when using the DNA?
  • Does the driver physically Inspect goods at the collection point?
  • Is there a non-tracking service available (good for the DNA method!)
  • Do they refuse to transport dangerous/hazardous goods?
  • Is It the carrier's choice to leave packages In a safe place at your home?
  • What action (If any) Is taken when you're not home to accept the delivery?      

When Do Packages Get Weighed?

Given there are so many gateways packages travel from one destination to another, such as International freight going through customs, as well as shipments dropped off at various storage facilities, It's Impossible to speak for the way each and every consignment Is handled. As a result, I've focused on "local deliveries" - namely when packages are weighed as they're travelling through the carrier's network. The reason I've decided to discuss this topic, Is because a lot of social engineers are Ill-Informed of when packages are weighed, thereby It affects their judgement when (for example) calculating the dry Ice sublimation time with the boxing method.

What you're about to read, Is not tied to any specifics and Is based on a typical local delivery  from the consignor (sender) to the consignee (receiver) and vice versa, so depending on the circumstances of your shipment, be sure to allow for some flexibility by adding and/or removing "the stages" of when packages are recorded by weight. Okay, In very simple terms, here's how It works. After the company picks & packs your order, the size and weight of the package/box Is taken, and Is also documented In their Internal systems by the warehouse personnel - just before It's sent from their dispatch area.

When their carrier partner (or a third-party service) collects the package, It's transported to the depot and again, both the "weight and dimensions" are taken for record keeping and cost of freight. If It's a standard shipping (or a similar variant), the package Is placed In storage awaiting a delivery time and date. When It's ready to be dispatched, the weight Is processed by the carrier for the last time, and the driver then loads the package (along with hundreds of others) In the van/truck for his daily delivery run.

As already mentioned, all the above procedures are a classic example of a local delivery service, but not an exact representation of the series of events that take place. There are many other factors (like a "same day delivery or postal service") that may alter the way things are handled, and at what point packages are weighed and distributed, hence this should only be used as a general guide. Now when returning your product back to the company, simply reverse everything -  You send It, the carrier weighs It at the depot, and the Inwards goods department takes note of the weight when received In their warehouse.     

What To Expect With Carriers

This article has exceeded Its reading time way beyond what I Initially anticipated, so to avoid congestion and needless repetition, I will not be discussing "what to expect with carriers" directly In this topic. Instead, I'll reference my tutorial, which elaborates on most of the details that are written In point form In the topic named "How To Research A Carrier Company" that you've just read a couple of minutes ago. My guide also Includes how to circumvent certain events and happenings, so do take the time to check It out In Its entirety.    

In Conclusion

Now that you've finished reading this entire article, you have learned that some carrier companies can have a significant Impact on a couple of very popular methods called the "DNA" and "boxing". As such, you're now well aware of the Importance to "research the carrier" that will be servicing your delivery, thereby It will help minimize complications when utilizing the said methods. 

You also have a pretty good understanding of "when packages are weighed" pertaining to local deliveries In general, thus you can apply your method and adjust Its formulation according to how your shipment will be transported by the carrier company. In closing, I'd like to reiterate to thoroughly read my guide on what to expect with carriers - as It's an Integral part of successfully social engineering every online store with the DNA & boxing methods