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Social Engineer (Brody Taylor Thrillers #1)

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  286 Ratings  ·  74 Reviews
Whose side is he on? The drug company curing dementia or the animal rights activists protesting outside?

Brody Taylor loves hacking humans. After all, people are the weakest link in all computer systems. If he's hired to break into your network, he will find and exploit the weak point. You.

The problem with always manipulating people is that even those closest to you don't t
Paperback, First, 86 pages
Published August 4th 2014 by Brookmans Books (first published August 1st 2014)
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Shirley Ford
Feb 19, 2015 Shirley Ford rated it really liked it
If I was flicking through a list of books to pay for and download I probably wouldn’t have chosen this book, but because I had been offered a free copy I read it and I am so glad I did, it was a really good story, had me hooked right from the beginning. The story is about Brody Taylor, a social engineer – or white hacker – a specialist in his field, employed by companies to check whether their systems are safe from ‘black’ hackers. Brody points out all the ways in which hackers can infiltrate ...more
Denise Lancaster
Jun 15, 2015 Denise Lancaster rated it liked it
Entertaining and well-written.
Jun 06, 2015 Donnelle rated it really liked it
This is a very short piece, so establishing the character of Brody and expounding on his line of work as well as his love life in so few pages, while keeping everything interesting enough to pique readers' interest and prompt them to give the books in the series a read was no small task; however, Ian Sutherland did quite well in accomplishing all of those goals.

Brody is an intriguing character: he's remarkably clever, though he and the truth are not always well-acquainted, and he tends to not c
Allyson Abbott
Oct 12, 2016 Allyson Abbott rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-pleasure
A great short story outlining a white hackers trail as he gathers evidence to highlight animal cruelty in a pharmaceutical company. An enjoyable read
Oct 08, 2016 Jacqui rated it it was amazing
This story is right up my interest alley. It takes readers well beyond black hat hacking to how these criminals use what is called 'social engineering'--digging into people's lives to uncover detail to enable them to break into even the most secure computer systems. I particularly enjoyed the discussion of pentests--using ethical hackers to show corporations where the vulnerabilities in their networks are.

For those who aren't geeky nerds (like me), the author walks that line well. You will be wr
Dan Ladle
The characters were good, had some proper human emotions, but were a bit one dimensional. I also felt a bit like I was sitting in an IT presentation.

Jacobsen is a REALLY awful security manager! I've never met one (myself included) who wouldn't automatically ask someone they didn't recognise what they were doing in a work premises. he would also have known about the intrusions from the pentesting, they show up like sore digits! He also hasn't heard of social engineering. He certainly wouldn't get
Charles Ray
Jul 15, 2015 Charles Ray rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brody Taylor is a ‘white hat’ hacker who specializes in using social engineering to get into IT systems – to help organizations protect themselves from ‘black hat’ hackers who would do them harm. He’s hired by Dr. Robert Moorcroft, head of R&D for a company that’s creating a new drug to treat dementia, when the company thinks it’s being threatened by Chinese hackers.
Social Engineer by Ian Sutherland is a novella that is the prequel to his longer work Invasion of Privacy, which introduces Bro
Stevie Turner
Sep 04, 2016 Stevie Turner rated it really liked it
Quite an original subject, but very apt in these modern times. Brody Taylor works as a 'white hat' computer hacker, pointing out flaws in companies' security systems. However, new girlfriend Mel thinks he works at finding suitable locations for movie directors.

This is an entertaining and well researched short story, leading on to the next book in the series, of which I shall definitely be reading! I am interested to find out more about I.T security systems, and also if Brody decides to be less
David Baird
Feb 07, 2016 David Baird rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice short story to lead nicely into the next book in the series. It's a great introduction story.. not too long and not too short. Just the right amount to peak your interest.

The book follows a white hat hacker who falls in love.. it's quite a good tale.

Only bit i didn't like was near the end when a section of text was repeated from earlier in the book, it was required for the story i understand but i found myself skim reading this.. i wonder if it could have been scripted better to refer to th
Joselyn  Moreno Burke
Oct 24, 2015 Joselyn Moreno Burke rated it really liked it
I received this book from the author for an honest review.

And I should said it was an interesting and very thoughfull short read, it gave me a lot to think about social engineering itself and everything that it implies.

It was pretty immersive for a 2 hours read actually, so I will recommend it to all techy lovers to give it a try.
Sean Randall
Jul 15, 2015 Sean Randall rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is free, what's not to like? It's also a seriously good story (Jacobson, pwned, loved it) and a clever way of getting into Ian's writing without having to buy something. But if you are getting this for your Kindle, save yourself having to go back to buy the follow-on novel by getting them both at the same time. It's worth it, trust me.
Chip Luonuansuu
Jul 06, 2015 Chip Luonuansuu rated it it was amazing
A 21st century thriller. A computer hacker manipulates technology, and people to achieve his goals. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.
Nicholas Adams
Dec 06, 2016 Nicholas Adams rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: thriller lovers
I'm pleased to give Social Engineer by Ian Sutherland a solid four stars.

Brody Taylor is a hacker who uses his computer skills and social manipulation to penetrate corporations' security measures to show how feeble they are. Imagine a one-man Sneakers crew!

Calling himself a "White Hat" gets him jobs that would never go to a "Black Hat," but are his intentions truly honorable?

The story switches between two timelines, one past one present, but both intersect in a way I didn't see coming. Brillian
Dot Day
Oct 18, 2016 Dot Day rated it really liked it
I first read an Advanced Review Copy of Sutherland's new book, Taking Up Serpents,a thriller featuring his cyber expert, Brody Taylor. Brody's life is in danger and his choices put also at risk his significant other, a detective who helps him through the thrilling dangers. I am not doing credit to this extremely well-written thriller. I halfheartedly expected to be bored or confused because I am only a step beyond computer novice. Neither adjective applies, however.
The author does an excellen
Nov 07, 2016 India rated it it was amazing
Brody is an elite hacker; he also happens to be one of the most highly skilled hackers in the world. His relationship with the beautiful French Mel gives him a reason to throw ethics into his work but is it enough to secure her love?
This novella is a brilliant example of modern day espionage. Brody’s social engineering exploits are eye-opening, and the carefully woven plot is a weave of mastery. The plot isn’t linear but takes us back to different timelines in a seamless way. It all unfolds at t
Hannah Spencer
Dec 06, 2016 Hannah Spencer rated it really liked it
Brody Taylor is a pen-tester: he is hired by companies to test the susceptibility of their security systems to attack. He is basically a computer hacker, con artist, opportunist and psychological trickster. As well as breaking into a biotech company's most secure areas, he is also trying to form a relationship with his new girlfriend based on something other than deceit. And the twist at the end should have been obvious!
If you liked the TV series Hustle, you will love this book. Brody Taylor is
Nov 08, 2016 Marie rated it liked it
I enjoyed this although i am not sure i would describe it as a thriller, more mystery than thrill.two stories interweave between Brody's personal and private life with not all going as it should. Some of the storyline can be predicted from the early stages but overall it was an enjoyable short read.
Marcus Case
Nov 05, 2016 Marcus Case rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I downloaded a free copy of this excellent novella from the author's website. An enticing taster, indeed. Having thoroughly enjoyed it, I've now made a start on its unputdownable full-length sequel, Invasion of Privacy.
Anders Kermod
Sep 22, 2016 Anders Kermod rated it it was amazing
I read this short fiction (the author describes is as a novella) for free on Wattpad. I assume the editions in the Kindle and iBooks stores aren't substantially different — the Wattpad edition seems largely unimprovable, easily five stars' worth.

For a short piece — I read it comfortably in 90 minutes or less — it handles a complicated and satisfyingly twisty plot with remarkable skill and confidence. It is well structured, with alternating short chapters set in the approximate present and up to
Oct 18, 2015 Amy rated it it was amazing
I got this book free from the author because I followed him on Twitter. It wasn't given in exchange for a review, but I review all the books I read, so why not? :)

Ok, I never would have picked up this book in a million years. It's not my genre, I don't do thrillers *hugs teddy bear* I needed a short book for my blogs Monday book review, this book was to hand... again, why not? The fact is I loved it. I give it full marks for pace, storyline, character development, and knowledge.

Lets start with
Michelle Perry
Nov 28, 2015 Michelle Perry rated it really liked it
Brody Taylor is the “Social Engineer.” Though to be honest, I had never heard that term before, it fits the situation nicely. He can be described as most the characters from the TV show Leverage rolled into one very clever person (without the thieving bonus for the most part) His job is to penetrate high security systems any way he can. Though an excellent computer hacker, he finds most often people are easier to hack to find a back way in. In this particular story he finds himself running a ...more
Jay Artale
Sep 18, 2016 Jay Artale rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime
Great intro to the main character, and I can't wait to read Ian's next book.
Ian Sutherland is another author whose work I first discovered by chatting on Twitter. (Regular review readers might be starting to suspect I spend most of my time tweeting!) Ian is offering this novella, Social Engineer, as a free kindle download from Amazon to give potential purchasers a chance to check out his writing style before committing to buying a full length novel.

Social Engineer's protagonist is Brody Taylor, a computer hacker, but one who only uses his powers for good! Except of cour
Jennifer Tooker
Jun 21, 2016 Jennifer Tooker rated it really liked it
Not all hacking involves computers

Meet Brody Taylor. By day he’s an unassuming IT independent contractor. By night, he is Fingal, elite white hat hacker. Brody performs “penetration testing” for clients who independently contract him and then report his results upon completion so the company can take action to close any vulnerable gaps in their security. Recently hired by a pharmaceutical company, Brody finds himself in an ethical dilemma he hasn’t previously faced. In an effort to woo his activ
Mike Robbins
Nov 07, 2016 Mike Robbins rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller
Social Engineer is a novella, not a full-length book, but it’s long enough to get your teeth into. It’s the story of Brody Taylor, a so-called “white hat” hacker, who works as a consultant checking security systems for companies. Brody runs a check on HTL, a drug company that is getting close to a cure for Alzheimer’s – something many people would love to steal. Brody does his stuff and finds the company a lot more vulnerable than it thinks – but not always in the ways it would have expected.

Natalie Wood
Jul 08, 2016 Natalie Wood rated it liked it
Brody Taylor is a ‘white hat’. Not the type who once appeared in gung-ho Hollywood westerns but a good guy who drives a Smart Fortwo coupé, sprays flash drives like bullets and causes high ranking executives to smash posh fountain pens in boardroom brawls.
Taylor is indeed a very modern cowboy – a so-called ‘ethical’ computer hacker who works as a freelance penetration tester, examining organisations’ computer security systems by gaining access to them under cover; then explaining how, so allowin
David Allen
Jul 25, 2015 David Allen rated it really liked it
A solid start to a series...

Ian Sutherland takes a well known but little defined aspect of espionage and shines a black light upon it.

Social engineers basically hack machines and people using knowledge of technology, systems, and psychology. Some of it is legal, some of it is not.

The story bounces back and forth between our main character trying to lead some semblance of a romantic life while pulling off one of his most daring gigs yet.

The narrative style often goes to a series of revelations ma
Christopher Carrolli
Brody Taylor is a top-notch computer hacker hired by a prestigious pharmaceutical company for one specific assignment—hack into their computer system and search for security breaches. The pharmaceutical company has received an anonymous tip that their defenses are low and that their staff is lax. So, Brody is the best man for the job, and we are taken on an exciting whirlwind tour of his mission, where we witness his expertise and his manipulations. And we root for him every step of the way.

Tracey Madeley
Oct 23, 2015 Tracey Madeley rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller
This story shifts from the past to the present with annoying regularity, but stick with it as there is a point to it.

I found it not only strange but unbelievable that GCHQ would ring a member of the public, even to protect commercial interests. However, by the end of the book it all made sense.

This is a novel about how insecure our personal and business information is and how through multiple platforms we leave a trail of breadcrumbs which says a lot about our personal life. It also points to th
Aug 10, 2016 Jennifer rated it really liked it
How safe is your intellectual property? Maybe not as a safe as it should be. Brody Taylor is a hacker and social engineer, and he’s the go-to guy if your security needs to be tested. Brody is currently investigating at a pharma company that is on the verge of a breakthrough in Alzheimer’s treatment. He also recently met Melanie, an animal rights activist. Will his investigation interfere with his relationship? Can a man who makes a living telling lies even have a relationship?

This is the first s
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Ian Sutherland is a crime thriller author. Leveraging his career in the IT industry, Ian's stories underscore the threats we face from cybercrime as it becomes all too prevalent in our day-to-day lives.

Learn more about Ian at
More about Ian Sutherland...

Other Books in the Series

Brody Taylor Thrillers (2 books)
  • Invasion of Privacy (Brody Taylor Thrillers, #2)
  • Taking Up Serpents (Brody Taylor Thrillers, #3)

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“Even the best defences can still be compromised,” 0 likes
“Well, there’s pentesting and then there’s pentesting.” 0 likes
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