Social engineering. (Sensory acuity). Іnterrogation tactic: the art of exposing lies.

1 August 2023 13 minutes Author: Cyber Witcher

Social Engineering and Sensory Acuity: Increasing Your Susceptibility to Cyber Threats

Social engineering is one of the most common and dangerous techniques used by hackers to gain unauthorized access to systems and data. It is a method that uses psychological manipulation for fraud, instead of using traditional hacking methods. One of the key tools for countering social engineering is sensory acuity. Sensory acuity, or perceptual acuity, in this context refers to an individual’s ability to sense, recognize, and respond to cyber threats. This is essential for successfully detecting and deflecting social engineering attempts. By ensuring a high level of sensory acuity, users can better recognize suspicious emails, messages, websites or communications with strangers that may be social engineering traps. This can mean detecting phishing attempts, identifying malware, or even detecting illegal activities in physical space.

Interrogation tactics and the art of exposing lies are woven into the complex interactions between people. They are important tools for investigators, psychologists, lawyers and cyber security. During an interrogation, the goal is not only to obtain information, but also to determine whether the information is reliable. The art of detecting lies involves understanding human behavioral cues and unconscious indicators that may indicate deception. This can include anything from small changes in facial expression to small modifications in body language or tone of voice. Interrogation tactics to expose lies can be very powerful. These may include creating a trusting atmosphere, active listening, the ability to ask open-ended and specific questions, and the ability to interpret responses correctly.

Social Engineering and Sensory Acuity

  • Sensory acuity – the ability to notice and gather information from non-verbal manifestations of a person. And the ability to process this data, to make adequate conclusions that correspond to reality, about the internal state of the interlocutor – calibration. What should you pay attention to in order to quickly and accurately recognize internal states? Such external manifestations primarily indicate a change in the internal state.

  • Change in breathing (acceleration, slowing down, delay, depth): the person became excited – and the breathing became more frequent, relaxed – the breathing slowed down.

  • Change in skin color (cheeks, ears, face as a whole, neck): embarrassment, anger, fear – these strong emotions are given by the changed skin color (however, less strong emotions and reflect less strongly, so you need to practice a little to notice them).

  • Changes in muscle tension (facial muscles, neck, arms, legs, body): not so obvious, but if during a serious conversation your interlocutor (God forbid the boss) clenches his fists, do not ignore this signal.

  • Change in gestures and microgestures: a person not only gestures widely (waving his hands, pointing, trying to depict in the air what to talk about), but also has the property of only starting a movement, hinting at a possible movement with a half-gesture – most likely, he is worried or trying something . to hide something

  • Change of posture, movement of the body, micro-oscillation. Yes, a sharp deviation from the fact that the “splash” with the whole body betrays disagreement, dissatisfaction; turn of the entire corpus to/from the interlocutor – location, acceptance/rejection of words or the interlocutor himself; if a person monitors his gestures and facial expressions or does not want to give away his mood with nods, he may accidentally see his whole body swaying. ● Change in facial expressions: the position of the eyebrows, the shape of the lips, the tension of the forehead, etc.

  • Changes in voice characteristics: speed, pitch, volume, etc.

These are the main status indicators. But the main thing is to monitor the changes. The main rule: observe the changes. You are primarily interested in changes. And also to a friend. And until three o’clock. As soon as you develop your sensory acuity and master the skill of calibration, you will be able to “catch” the state of the interlocutors and the smallest changes by all non-verbal signs or by those of them, which in this case will be detected in a person to a greater extent.

However, in the learning phase (training the skill) you will have to choose what to pay attention to and hone your observation gradually. In the process of learning, the calibration process is first made conscious – you will have to consciously decide where and when to look, draw conclusions, make assumptions, and then test them. Over time, the need for this will disappear, when with experience the skill of calibration will become completely natural and will cease to be conscious and will be an integral part of the process of your interaction with the world. This means that when you see, hear and feel information from interlocutors, you will immediately make a decision, bypassing the conscious assessment of what you see, analysis and conclusions.

This is where a person who trains his sensory acuity should look

  • Neck: Kadik throat tension color pulsation

  • Hands: gestures, tone, speed, fluidity, suddenness, micromotor, involuntary tremors

  • Legs: position, tone of micromovement, direction of feet, knees

  • Body: turn position, micromovement tone

About the voice

There is another indicator, which, although not popular, is very valuable and important for us. People tend to pay a lot of attention to the words and very little to the voice. And that is why they are the least able to control this aspect of non-verbal expression of emotions. Listen to how the interlocutors pronounce what they say.

The uniqueness of voice calibrations also lies in the fact that direct contact with the interlocutor is not required – it does not matter whether you are standing at a distance of a meter or thousands of kilometers from him! When you talk on the phone, you can very accurately determine what is happening inside a person, changes in the characteristics of the interlocutor’s voice (tone, speed, volume, etc.).

You just need to learn to notice the nuances and compare the data obtained. Try to notice the slightest changes in the rhythm, pitch, speed, volume of speech, and you will receive unique and sometimes invaluable information that will go unnoticed by most of the participants in the conversation. So you will have an advantage!

Interrogation tactics: the art of exposing lies

Let’s consider the main techniques of investigative tactics when exposing the suspect and the accused in their false testimony.


This technique consists in the investigator’s appeal to the common sense of the interrogated, encouraging him to repent and sincerely confess by explaining both the harmful consequences of closing and lying, and the favorable consequences of admitting his guilt and actively assisting in the investigation of the crimes committed.

Use of positive personality traits of the interviewee

Turning the investigator to the positive qualities of the interlocutor in many cases is beneficial. Every person has a desire for self-respect, and therefore, by appealing to the interviewee’s honesty and decency, his merits in the past, authority in the team, among his comrades, his personal and social status, he can be convinced to be frank and truthful.

Stop lying

This technique is used when there is no need to give the suspect or the accused an opportunity to “deploy” lies, when the investigator has reliable information about the circumstances that are revealed during the interrogation. In this case, the false testimony of the interrogated person is immediately rejected, the lie is stopped in the “germ” by presenting the available evidence or other means of influence. Having lost hope for the opportunity to misinform the investigator, exposed by the facts, interrogations often turn from lies to the truth.


This technique is applied to persons who have a conflict of motives, one of which prompts them to give false testimony or refuse to testify, and the other – to confess their guilt, repent of what they have done. Such a struggle of motives does not go away and can be quite strong due to the skillful tactical influence of the investigator and during the interrogation. Taking into account the fluctuations of the interrogated, the investigator, reporting certain information, deliberately “lays” in his mind such information that should ensure the victory of positive motives, and then takes a break in the interrogation, waiting for the interrogated to give up the motives that lead him to give false testimony .

Admission of the legend

It is not uncommon for an investigator, knowing or guessing that a suspect or accuser gives false testimony – a legend, gives an opportunity to tell it. Having entered into a kind of game with the interrogated person, he sets out with the intention of extracting from him as many details, specifics, and details as possible and to record the story in the interrogation protocol as accurately and thoroughly as possible. Having given the opportunity to the interrogated to express whatever he wants, the investigator provides strong evidence that the questioner debunks the legend. Caught off guard and prepared to create new lies, interrogators can give truthful testimony.


This technique consists in the investigator’s unexpected decision to carry out this or that investigative action after the interrogation, while the interrogators, who are sure of the investigator’s lack of information about certain circumstances of the case, consider this impossible. For example, the investigator tells the accused, who gives false testimony, about the intention to make a face-to-face bet with a person who, in the opinion of the interrogated person, is no longer alive. A type of use of the factor of suddenness in interrogation is such a common method of exposure as the unexpected presentation of evidence.


This technique is opposite in nature to the previous one. It is believed that sometimes it is expedient to present the evidence sequentially (as an example of increasing evidential force) and systematically, focusing on each of them in detail, in order to let the accused “feel” the full force of a separate piece of evidence and their entire complex.

In general, in investigative tactics, there is a whole arsenal of techniques for presenting evidence:

  • Separate presentation of different evidence in one or another sequence;

  • Simultaneous presentation of all available evidence;

  • Presentation of initially indirect, but then direct evidence;

  • Sudden presentation of evidence (which was discussed above);

  • Presentation of evidence regarding their increasing importance;

  • Presentation of a complex of evidence after prior notification to the accused about the presence of evidence, their enumeration with an indication of the sources of their origin (or without indication);

  • Presentation of evidence, as it were, accidentally, in the middle of the case;

  • Giving the accused the opportunity to examine the evidence himself and assess its persuasiveness;

  • Fixation of attention on individual signs of evidence;

  • Accompanying the process of submitting evidence with an explanation of the mechanism of its formation, the circumstances of its discovery;

  • Presentation of evidence with a demonstration of the possibility of technical and forensic means of identifying and deciphering the hidden information contained in this source.

Stress relief

Often, during the interrogation of the accused, he does not refuse to talk, but he also cannot conduct it, because he feels constrained, excessively tense. And here the investigator, influencing the interrogated person in a certain way, sometimes only with the intonations of the voice, individual phrases, tries to remove this tension. Successful release of tension quite often leads to frank recognition. The relief that came after the removal of tension causes the interrogated person to desire to “pour out in the conversation”, “talk to the heart”.

Using the “weak spots” of the accused person

The “weak point” of an individual should be understood as its features, using which it is possible to achieve correct, truthful testimony during interrogation. The “weak point” of the interrogated person may be a tendency to melancholic experiences, hot temper, arrogance, etc. So, in the anger and anger of the accusations, tell what you would not have said in a normal state (for example, betray your accomplices). At the same time, investigative ethics forbids appealing to the lowly qualities of the interrogated (greed, acquisition, etc.).


This is a peculiar technique, the essence of which boils down to the fact that the investigator, talking to the accused, will imperceptibly translate the conversation from the sphere of abstract, extraneous conversation into the sphere of substantive conversation. At the same time, when speaking about an “outsider”, by inertia one speaks about what one would not like to say. To obtain a greater effect, it is necessary to make such transitions from one subject to another more often.


Accusers should always sensitively and respectfully monitor the course of the interrogation in order to understand what is important for the investigator and what is secondary. In this regard, the interrogator seeks to focus his attention on one, in his opinion, main thing. “Given this circumstance,” L.B. Filonov and V.I. Davydov note, “investigators artificially shift the interrogator’s attention to areas that are not of primary importance, thereby distracting him from more important areas. All this is done on the basis that the interrogation will be treated with less caution, more careless of those circumstances about which the investigator would like to get more detailed information.

Creating the impression that the investigator is well informed

The essence of this technique is that the investigator, without deceiving the interrogated, convinces them of the information until then. This can be achieved, firstly, by the ability to behave in a certain way, secondly, with the help of reliable information, while the prosecution does not foresee what kind of information it is (individual details of the biography, facts from the case, etc.). As a result, the interrogated person gets the impression that the investigator knows not only individual details of the case, but also others. This can force the accused to stop locking.

Creating voids

This technique is used in cases where, in the absence of sufficient evidence, the investigator conducts his reasoning based on a number of reliable facts. It only shows the accused “unfilled” places in the case. At the same time, drawing a fairly clear and complete picture of the event, he traces the logic of individual facts together with the interrogated and offers to fill in unclear places. These unfilled spaces and ambiguities, indicated by the investigator, cause anxiety in the interrogated person and a natural need to free himself from illogicality, to bring everything said into line with logic.

Forced pace of interrogation

This technique is that the investigator, using an active position, takes the initiative and anticipates the opinion of the “adversary” with previously prepared moves in the form of questions or judgments. Given the high rate of submission of interrogation questions, assuming this rate, it will be impossible to carefully consider and stretch the answer.

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