Microexpressions vs Body Language (and manipulation defense, also a speculative TEMPEST attack)

Neat discussion of the difference between microexpressions and body language by social-engineer.org. Ultimately, it comes down to practice: instinctively learning what different emotions and internal states look like. It matters less whether they appear in body language or microexpressions on the face as long as you can spot them when they do.

The last social-engineer post I liked to was on priming. I forgot to mention then that priming can also be used as a defense against manipulation: as someone can prime you to be more easily led, you can prime yourself to be a much harder target. If you know the person you’re about to talk with has an untrustworthy history, for example, going over a list of what they’ve tried in the past will make your subconscious much less receptive to their manipulations.

Lastly, I’m starting to wonder if capacitor-based memory (like SDRAM or Flash) might emit potentially compromising signals that could be picked up by an adversary. This is strictly speculative for the moment; I don’t have the time, equipment, or interest to really pursue it. But maybe one of you does.

If so masking such emanations might be possible by charging/discharging a larger but equally non-inductive capacitor from a broadband source, but I don’t understand the physics well enough to say for sure. Consider it a possible line of research at this point, not a security measure…


“What’s the key?

Education. Observation. Adaptation.

We first must educate our selves on what these cues look like. Learn how stress can be indicated. How does anger look? How does sadness look? How does fear look? What body language indicates lack of interest?

Then practice observing these on people. The mall or a shopping center is a great place where you can watch people without being creepy. Watch people from a far interact, try to determine as you approach if they are comfortable or not. Then as you get closer see if you can hear conversation that indicates if you were right.

My partner in my training class, Robin, did this fascinating thing where he spoke to his son about some problems he was having in school and video taped it. What’s fascinating is seeing how you can easily pick out stress, happiness, comfort, discomfort when you are educated to see it.

Adaptation is the oil then that makes this machine run. Once you learn, once you observe be able to adapt your nonverbals to work in the situation you are in. Be able to think on your feet, think critically and make changes to put your targets in a better state of compliance will make you see like a magician or a mind reader.

Our original question here was who wins in a battle – MFE’s or Body Language and the simple answer is neither beats the other – they both win. You need one to verify and validate the other. You use them in tandem, you use them both to read, understand and also influence.


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