The Social Security Administration (SSA) has been caught using social penetration techniques to collect information about Americans, and it’s pretty damn bad.
As Ars Technica reported, social penetration tactics are used to collect data on how people interact with the federal government, including their identities, their email addresses, and the names of their children.
While SSA did not respond to Ars’ request for comment, the agency is also known to be using a variety of tactics to collect personal information about individuals, including the creation of social engineering campaigns that exploit a vulnerability in the software that powers social network apps to collect the data.
That vulnerability has been exploited to collect sensitive personal information on more than 5 million Americans, including details about their medical histories, mental health histories, and health insurance status.
The agency has acknowledged that social engineering tactics are a real problem.
But its use of them has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years.
A recent survey by researchers at the security firm FireEye, which specializes in social engineering, found that only two percent of SSA’s employees had engaged in social penetration.
That figure includes employees who have never been tasked with social engineering and those who have engaged in it.
“The majority of the time, SSA uses social engineering to gather personal information of US citizens who are unaware of the risk they face or are otherwise not aware of their privacy implications,” FireEye researchers wrote in their report.
FireEye also found that SSA employees are “extremely likely” to engage in social infiltration, and that the agency’s use of social penetration is “common and widespread.”
Social penetration techniques have been around for years.
It is an old practice that has been around since the early days of computer hacking.
For example, researchers at McAfee Labs recently published a study claiming that malware writers were using social engineering tools to create fake social accounts and collect information on unsuspecting victims.
While the researchers did not specifically name SSA, they said the agency had been “using social penetration for more than 20 years.”
The report’s authors suggested that social penetration was also used to gather sensitive personal data on individuals that had previously been identified by law enforcement, including financial information, employment history, health and credit card information, and more.
SSA is the second-largest federal agency, after the Food and Drug Administration, and has been responsible for collecting personal information for nearly 30 million people since 2001.
In a statement sent to Ars, SAA spokesperson Katie Matson told Ars that SAA’s Social Engagement Program “provides information to federal and private entities, including law enforcement and intelligence communities, that may be of interest to us, including when such information may be used to identify individuals and/or gather data from their devices.”
Matson declined to provide further details on how the agency uses social penetration to gather data, but she did note that the government’s data collection efforts “include social engineering in both our own and other organizations’ use of these methods.”
The SSA said in a statement that it does not use social engineering.
“As part of the process to gather and process information about a particular person or entity, we utilize various methods, including those outlined in the Privacy Act and Privacy Shield agreements, that are designed to provide clear, objective, and accurate information to our users,” the statement reads.
“We do not use these methods for any other purpose, including to gather personally identifiable information of individuals.
We do not collect any personally identifiable data from any of our users, and we do not engage in any such activity with any third party.”
A spokesperson for the Federal Trade Commission did not immediately respond to a request for information on SSA using social authentication.
SAA has been working with social engineers to help improve the agency in recent months, but it has been using social infiltration tactics in a way that has the potential to create an even bigger problem.
According to FireEye’s research, the Social Engaging Program uses two techniques to obtain sensitive personal details: 1) “social engineering” by creating a fake social media account, and 2) using a vulnerability of social networking app apps to gather a large amount of personal information.
Fireeye found that more than 50 percent of users who have interacted with the agency over the past year have interacted on social media accounts created to conceal their identity.
Social engineers use social media platforms to make their identity known.
They can trick people into creating fake accounts and then use a vulnerability to collect a large collection of data.
When the company discovered this vulnerability, they decided to develop a tool that would help their users detect when their social engineering efforts were being used.
The tool, called Social Engage, is called a social engineering “crawler,” and it uses a vulnerability on an app called Google’s Android SDK, which provides a vulnerability that allows social engineers access to users’ devices and the applications they use.
“When a user uses Google Play Services, they