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Social Engineering: The Art of Human Hacking Paperback – 17 Dec 2010


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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 1 edition (17 Dec 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470639539
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470639535
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 2.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 18,608 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

"Chris Hadnagy has penned the ultimate text on social engineering. Meticulously researched and teeming with practical applications, this brilliant book offers solutions to very real problems and ever–present dangers to your business and even to yourself. Truly groundbreaking."
Kevin Hogan, author of The Science of Influence: How to Get Anyone to Say "Yes" in 8 Minutes or Less

Discover the secrets of expert con men and human hackers

No matter how sophisticated your security equipment and procedures may be, their most easily exploitable aspect is, and has always been, the human infrastructure. The skilled, malicious social engineer is a weapon, nearly impossible to defend against.

This book covers, in detail, the world′s first framework for social engineering. It defines, explains, and dissects each principle, then illustrates it with true stories and case studies from masters such as Kevin Mitnick, renowned author of The Art of Deception. You will discover just what it takes to excel as a social engineer. Then you will know your enemy.

Tour the Dark World of Social Engineering

  • Learn the psychological principles employed by social engineers and how they′re used

  • Discover persuasion secrets that social engineers know well

  • See how the crafty crook takes advantage of cameras, GPS devices, and caller ID

  • Find out what information is, unbelievably, available online

  • Study real–world social engineering exploits step by step

"Most malware and client–side attacks have a social engineering component to deceive the user into letting the bad guys in. You can patch technical vulnerabilities as they evolve, but there is no patch for stupidity, or rather gullibility. Chris will show you how it′s done by revealing the social engineering vectors used by today′s intruders. His book will help you gain better insight on how to recognize these types of attacks."
Kevin Mitnick, Author, Speaker, and Consultant

About the Author

Christopher Hadnagy is the lead developer of www.social–engineer.org, the world′s first social engineering framework. In more than 14 years of security and IT activity, he has partnered with the team at www.backtrack–linux.org and worked on a wide variety of security projects. He also serves as trainer and lead social engineer for Offensive Security′s penetration testing team.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Nickfx on 26 Jan 2011
Format: Paperback
Pen testing and IT security assessments often cover less than 1/2 of the real world security problems experienced by modern day organisations. The risk posed by willing or unwitting employees disclosing information or acting as conduits to internal systems cannot be underestimated. Chris Hadnagy has been a regular conference presenter on the subject for several years and was very well placed to write this book. It is a well written collection of the primary skills and tools used by the accomplished Social Engineer which is a must read for security professionals and company managers alike.

Written in largely non-technical language but in such a way so as not to irritate the security specialist the book takes you on a roller-coaster of disparate yet somehow cohesive techniques and tools which can lead to a successful exploitation of an individual or company.

If you are learning about security or if its the way you learn your living, you need to read this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Filip Waeytens on 17 Aug 2011
Format: Paperback
The value of this book cannot be underestimated. While the majority of technical security books focus on software and hardware security, this book addresses a factor which is often overlooked in today's security infrastructure: The human factor.
It shows how attacker's use methods and psychological tricks which allow them to gain access to environments which are technically quite secure and it does it in the best way possible: by combining real life examples (which read like a spy novel) with an academic approach, citing studies and research and all this is done in a very structured way.
Personally, I think the examples of lockpicking gear and GPS tracking stuff could have been omitted, since there are other books which address these and it leads us off topic, but on the other hand they prove some valid points and they serve as good examples/eye openers.
This book is highly recommended and also one of the very few books which can be read by the non-technical user who wants an insight on today's social engineering techniques.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By fl1bbl3 on 2 Jan 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A book containing the entire body of knowledge pertaining to Social Engineering is going to run to several volumes. Its such a wide subject encompassing a huge variety of topics that a single volume just isn't going to be able to cover them all in inordinate detail; even Microsoft canned Encarta when the Internet took off :). I therefore picked up this book hoping to gain an oversight into the field of Social Engineering, learn the most important aspects of it, and hopefully pick up some references for future study. It delivered on my expectations in spades.

It first establishes the framework of social engineering, something that I think is incredibly important. Yes you can learn individual elements but without understanding where they sit in a framework (where they are most prudent, what inputs you need and what outputs you can expect) you limit your overall effectiveness as/understanding of a social engineer. It then proceeds to take you through each of the elements in turn, delivering a precis and expanding on specific salient points. Every section is accompanied with copious references for further research and its clear that the author is intimately familiar with his material. Moreover, its also clear that he has a passion for the subject matter and this comes across well in the book.

Although written in a slight slant towards penetration testing, the author goes to great lengths to point out that in order to defend against something you need to understand how, where, and when someone will attack. Its something of an Infosec pastiche, but the Sun-Tzu quote "Know thine enemy better than one knows thyself" certainly applies here. As someone on the defence side, this book is invaluable in understanding how someone may use these techniques against us and should be a mandatory read for anyone tasked with creating an infosec program that really works.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Fugu on 24 Nov 2013
Format: Paperback
The author attempted to write a broad book about all possible aspects of social engineering. As he touches all these topics in the book, he often treats subjects in a very shallow manner at length (and at length again) and often demonstrates that he is not very knowledgeable about the treated subject. As an example for the former, we learn that we should ask intelligent questions instead of stupid ones. As an example for the latter, a lot of peripheral topics (sometimes esoteric) are treated by basically copying and pasting a buzzword list from another source without giving it a second thought even if the list is somewhat arbitrary or incomplete. Sometimes wrong sources are cited. For example, a human-communication model by "social scientist" Claude Shannon is presented. Note that Shannon was the inventor of mathematical information theory -- he did not do any sociological modelling. To conclude, the author should have limited himself to his topic of expertise instead of gathering a broad, superficial cut-and-paste patchwork from other sources. But this would probably have reduced the book to 30 pages.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stuart Duffy on 25 Nov 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book arrived quickly and fulfils everything we wanted from it. A solid intelligent book that we'll refer back too!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Pedro_Nemesis on 15 Oct 2011
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed this book, it sheds a light in all issues concerning human hacking and it explores important concepts such as elicitation, pretexting and Psychological Mind Tricks.

I believe it's a bookshelf's keeper, especially for those who work in security ande defensa areas.

It contributes a great deal for personal awareness.
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