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Social Engineering: The Art of Human Hacking [Paperback]

Paul Wilson , Christopher Hadnagy
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
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Book Description

17 Dec 2010 0470639539 978-0470639535 1
The first book to reveal and dissect the technical aspect of many social engineering maneuvers From elicitation, pretexting, influence and manipulation all aspects of social engineering are picked apart, discussed and explained by using real world examples, personal experience and the science behind them to unraveled the mystery in social engineering. Kevin Mitnick—one of the most famous social engineers in the world—popularized the term “social engineering.” He explained that it is much easier to trick someone into revealing a password for a system than to exert the effort of hacking into the system. Mitnick claims that this social engineering tactic was the single–most effective method in his arsenal. This indispensable book examines a variety of maneuvers that are aimed at deceiving unsuspecting victims, while it also addresses ways to prevent social engineering threats. Examines social engineering, the science of influencing a target to perform a desired task or divulge information Arms you with invaluable information about the many methods of trickery that hackers use in order to gather information with the intent of executing identity theft, fraud, or gaining computer system access Reveals vital steps for preventing social engineering threats Social Engineering: The Art of Human Hacking does its part to prepare you against nefarious hackers—now you can do your part by putting to good use the critical information within its pages.

Frequently Bought Together

Social Engineering: The Art of Human Hacking + The Art of Deception: Controlling the Human Element of Security + Ghost In The Wires: My Adventures as the World's Most Wanted Hacker
Price For All Three: 29.69

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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: 22.7 x 15.5 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 46,284 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–, 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– 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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding coverage of a critical skill 26 Jan 2011
By Nickfx
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
5.0 out of 5 stars The weakest link 17 Aug 2011
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Social Engineering Portal 2 Jan 2012
By fl1bbl3
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read 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
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good 3 Oct 2011
By iproute
Its was a present for a professional penetration tester and actually he enjoied the book very much. He proposed it undoubtedly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars thought provoking, eye opener into the vulnerable human mind
Social engineering is used everyday, in every aspect of our life, without us even knowing at times! Not just by con men, hackers etc but sales reps, doctors, parents employers,... Read more
Published 6 months ago by daza166
1.0 out of 5 stars Bad overall, I would give it no stars if I could
This book offers no real insight and his background doesn't seem legit, which he implies he something to do with 'the real hustle'. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Joe Alt
2.0 out of 5 stars An Insult for the Intelligent Reader
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... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Fugu
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Well written and informative a must for any pen tester but interesting enough to be read by anyone. Highly recommended.
Published 9 months ago by Jason Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting book
Interesting book from one the creators of the Real Hustle. Google Christopher Hadnagy to find out more about his work but if you are interested in computers and a bit of social... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Giovanni
4.0 out of 5 stars Great content combined with a lucid writing style
I am an avid reader of social engineering related books. I have bought quite a few titles in this area however I can confidently state that Chris' book is the one that is close to... Read more
Published 23 months ago by CCT
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Have Read!.
This book is a treasure trove of information that would benefit every body not just those interesting in IT security. Read more
Published on 17 Feb 2012 by GreenFox
1.0 out of 5 stars The biggest con of them all!
I can only assume that the positive commentators are aquainted with the author. This book is about cons and scams, and whilst all opinions are subjective, this has to be the... Read more
Published on 15 Nov 2011 by Zadig
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