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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 (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 115,348 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Higgsb on 27 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback
The publication is very well rounded giving a good brief description considering the complexity of the subject / practise of Social Engineering allowing for a good starting point for further indepth study.

In my opinion it is written in a way that makes you drive for a better understanding and in turn a wanting to pass on the knowledge (like any good Ethical Hacker).

The psychological principles intrigued me most and has in fact caused me to examine nearly ever social encounter I have giving me a feel for the true nature of the conversation, and in some cases getting what i want (some what to my surprise). First I found myself drifting in my own thoughts with trying to take in and process every aspect of the conversation from visual cues to tone of voice causing the person talking to me to either go "errrr you ok" or "hello?" (depending on whether the conversation was held over the phone in person etc).

Regardless of your knowledge or abilities in Social Engineering. After reading this book you will start picking up signals and even using some of the skills you have learnt. That's a promise.

It covers everything in once place and as mentioned previously its a great start for detailed study. Gives you all the direction you need.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By xyberpix on 29 Sept. 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
There are may resources that have tried to cover social engineering over the last few years, and I can honestly say that this blows them all out of the water.
This is a book that should be included in all business training, whether you are a CISO, CIO, or a member of a security team, what you will learn in this book will change your life, and the way that you look at security in general.
I can imagine that this book will also scare the hell out of a lot of readers, but Chris has put down on paper what the bad guys do, and how you can learn the same methods to be a successful social engineer, and also how to protect your organisation against these attacks.
Don't expect this book to instantly turn you into an expert social engineer, as these things take a lot of time and effort, but it gives you everything you need to become one.
All I can say is well done Chris, this is the book that the security and executive world has been waiting for.
This book really will change your life.
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