Straithe // B.Postnikoff

Robot Social Engineering


Robot Social Engineering is social engineering as performed by a social robot. Examples of Robot Social Engineering attacks I’ve performed with my mob of robots are piggybacking attacks, gaining access to confidential areas through bribes, acquiring private information through spying and direct asks, and so on. (Before performing these attacks I did get proper permissions from those with the authority to give them.) These attacks make use of the social skills of social robots including persuasion, authority, trust, empathy, and so on.

As I’ve explored this topic I found that this research is a combination of Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, social engineering, computer security, and privacy. Many of the issues seen in these fields come together in one form (a robot) that can manipulate you into taking certain actions or revealing information.


(PAPER) Postnikoff, Brittany and Ian Goldberg. “Robot Social Engineering: Attacking Human Factors with Non-Human Actors.” In Companion of the 2018 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction. pp. 313-314. ACM, 2018.

(POSTER) Robot Social Engineering Poster, Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) Pioneers Conference, 2017.

(POSTER) Robot Social Engineering Poster, University of Waterloo Cybersecurity Defence Forum, 2017.


November 2015 to present.

© Straithe // B.Postnikoff.