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Social Engineering: The Art of Human Hacking

3.83  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,331 Ratings  ·  86 Reviews
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
Paperback, 382 pages
Published December 21st 2010 by Wiley Publishing (first published November 29th 2010)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mar 23, 2012 Todd rated it it was ok
Let me start by saying that Social Engineering is one of the two areas of information security where I have specialized (in addition to application security), so I was looking forward to this book, and, undoubtedly, I set my expectations too highly.

Here is a big part of where my excitement originated: this book is one of the first books to pull together commentary on the types of things social engineers have known and been doing. This book, as well as and _No Tech Hacking_ ar
Apr 15, 2015 Simone rated it liked it
I first became aware of the concept of Social Engineering when I read Ghost in the Wires My Adventures as the World's Most Wanted Hacker by Kevin D. Mitnick and I was blown away! It was very exciting – that guy has GUTS!

I wanted to read more about the technique, not necessarily with the goal of learning how to social-engineer people in mind, but rather to try and recognize the signs so I can detect if ever I am being social-engineered!

This book is quite thorough and there is no denying the material is interesting, but I found it too long. There was too much “telling me about wh
Feb 03, 2013 Trav rated it it was ok
Shelves: saass, 667
An easy read.

The audience is not clear, but I do not believe it needs to be. The fact that the author repeatedly talks throughout about techniques you can use to social engineer, but then closes the book out with a chapter on "Prevention and Mitigation" highlighted, to me, that the book was designed more as a wake-up call to those, like the CEO he mentions in one of his case study, that believe themselves immune from the potentially negative effects of social engineering.

I find it interesting
Jonathan Jeckell
While the US government is fixated with all things cyber, this book shows how physical and technical security systems can easily be bypassed. It mainly trends to following professional penetration testers, but also provided insight into improving your ability to influence others, as well as protect yourself from predatory manipulation, like hoaxes, scams, spear phishing, etc. The part about how woefully inadequate most corporate information awareness courses are made me laugh out loud since it p ...more
Nov 12, 2011 Weston rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2011
This was an excellent book. Normally, I don't read books like this one cover to cover. I browse through them, looking at interesting parts, and then they sit on my shelf until I want to reference something in them. That almost happened with this book. I read about half way through it back in March, and then started reading some other things. About a week ago, I picked it back up and had a hard time putting it down. The explanations in the book are great, and the material is fascinating. It is sc ...more
May 07, 2011 Aija rated it liked it
Shelves: educ
A typical american-style book - too much repetition and redundancy of words.
Other than that, it is a nice systematic review of social engineering methods.
And while reading this book I realized why we shouldn't share every bit of information about ourselves in social networks (it's not like I didn't know it, but now I understand it). However, not sharing information on social networks also is information that can be used, so I conclude with same as the author: security through education. Need to
Apr 22, 2015 Jose rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Not bad. It was not a academical as I was thinking at first, it was more on the entertaining side.
Jul 30, 2011 R.Z. rated it did not like it
Christopher Hadnagy's worldview is suspect. Under the guise of showing his readers how to prevent falling prey to shysters trying to defraud them, he is really teaching his readers how to manipulate and fool people into doing what is wanted. Again and again he exhorts his readers to not break the law, yet much of what he recommends would be considered unethical and immoral by anyone who believes in respect for others. Bad stuff.
Jun 16, 2015 G rated it it was ok
Shelves: psychology
"Forget what you've heard about human beings having descended from the apes. We didn’t descend from apes. We are apes." Sex at dawn.

Refreshing literature for sales professionals. To state it a bit much seriously, social engineering is a field that will become more and more important in our overpopulated world. We are facing exponential leap in human population growth, and it doesn't seems that this situation is going to improve. There is a growth that we can't control, or prevent from escalation
Sal Coraccio
Nov 05, 2015 Sal Coraccio rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pentesting
A well done overview with added depth in key areas - overall, an excellent resource for any IT professional and will provide utility for a penetration tester looking to strengthen the person-to-person attack vector.

This book is probably best served as paper, versus audio - or at least supplemented with the actual book. This is partly due to the many lists and references and partly due to the off-putting narration. It wasn't bad, but "good" isn't quite the right word either.

This book and further
Ebrahim Elsharawy
Sep 03, 2014 Ebrahim Elsharawy rated it it was amazing
With Social Engineering, you can get a lot of information about anyone you want! ... emails, phones, address, portraits and passwords !!!

The Internet makes our privacy in risk!, so we should reduce the use of social networking websites!


good book ...
Jan 17, 2012 Takedown rated it it was amazing
This book just amazing!!!
So much valuable information, very fun and easy to read! Priceless!
Must read if you do security audit or just interested in social engineering!
This is also one of the best psychological book so worth a look even if you not interested in IT
Jan 14, 2012 Joycec rated it really liked it
This book gives a good overview of how we get hacked and/or taken advantage of. It's great insight into how trusting we can be and how others can use this to exploit us. There are parts that are way too technical for most of us but overall the book was worth reading.
Aug 19, 2014 Marya rated it it was ok
Shelves: adult-nonfiction
The topic was interesting, but the presentation was poor. The author attempts to write in a conversational tone about a technical topic, and the result is a book that comes across as simple and insincere. Perhaps the technical issues mentioned in Todd's review also lead to this lack of confidence.

I was also unimpressed with the editor who chose to label photos of fearful faces with statements like "This face shows fear" and who literally repeated a paragraph from one page to the next. This edito
Adam Zajac
Jul 31, 2014 Adam Zajac rated it it was ok
A very good introduction to social engineering. An institution's weakest point is often not it's computer network or physical structure, it's the people controlling access to those things.

For priestly ministry, while the basic skills are certainly relevant the book does not directly provide anything useful. Although not evil, per se, social engineering is a form of manipulation, and in ministry we should be avoiding a conscious, deliberate manipulation of our people. Furthermore, most of the exa
James Mason
Jun 30, 2015 James Mason rated it did not like it
My motivation to finish this book was just to be sure I could provide a fair review.
The editing of this book seemed awful. It was littered with sentences and phrases that added nothing. Some phrases would be entirely redundant. The focus also seemed to go to some weird places, e.g., he spent a long time discussing the "features" and installation process for his favorite free text editors.
Some of my dissatisfaction is my own fault: I was hoping for a book full of stories about (primarily) onlin
Mar 20, 2011 Dan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: infosec, psychology
I thought "Art of Deception" was the best book out there on the subject of social engineering, and then I read this.... Outstanding.
Aug 28, 2015 Josh rated it really liked it
A enjoyable book on an interesting topic.

So the book covers ways that people can manipulate social and technology variables to access systems of data, it's covering topics between computer(/device) hacking and con artists.

It breaks the topics down into smaller pieces about tools or elements of social engineering. How does a social engineer infiltrate or get access to data. What research is useful, and how to do the research. For example, if a dumpster dive might be effective, how do you get secu
Jari Pirhonen
Pretty good introduction to social engineering. The author actually explained methods and tools. Some other books on the same topic I've read concentrated too much on cases/stories. Social engineering stories are most of the same - you hear a few and you get the picture - no need for more. By the way, the first tools introduced in this book were lock picking tools. What's that? One would think that good social engineer wouldn't need to pick locks, but talks his way to information. This book also ...more
Feb 13, 2012 John rated it liked it
Interesting, but way too credulous on the NLP nonsense.
Jun 01, 2016 Miguel added it
Good book to my appreciation, not rating due to lack of understanding of the general subject and how this book stands against others of its type.

As an alien to the subject the amount of awareness this book raises is incredible, i don’t feel unhackable, I read about the "talents" of con artists before, but this is more than just that and when you are done with it you will feel a little scared about the time you didnt knew how exposed we all are to the many, discrete and powerful attack vectors o
Hakan Jackson
Mar 31, 2015 Hakan Jackson rated it liked it
Here is a book about manipulating people where you see the methods of manipulation used against you the reader. My biggest problem with this book is that it is a "how to" book when I really want to know "what" and "why". It's to the point where this book gives you tactics to practice to be the best ethical* social engineer. It's like the trainer who teaches you how to hurt people, but only for self defence... The book is a compilation of what you could get from business books, but written to app ...more
Mar 12, 2011 Dgg32 rated it it was amazing
Nice facts, useful tipps.
Troy Swinehart
Feb 26, 2016 Troy Swinehart rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book 7 of 12 This one should be cool as all get out! I am the puppet master (evil laugh)...well at least I'll figure out why I'm the puppet. Sorry got carried away after reading Faust.

Good thing I was ahead on my reading schedule for the year....yikes this is dense. Probably going to hot track the rest of this since Hadnagy has a tendency to repeat everything multiple times. Right now I am suggesting that if this topic is a casual interest for you...pass on this book...or at best skim it. (For a
Paulo Limp
Mar 26, 2015 Paulo Limp rated it liked it
Mixed feelings about this book. There is some very useful information in it, but at the same time it loses itself in some moments, becoming pretty boring. Probably it needs a good editor.

I've learned a lot about social engineering, including some stuff I believe I'lol be able to apply on my day-to-day activities. As the book says, not all social engineer attempt is malicious; doctors do it all the time to convince their patients to follow the correct treatment for their problems. I'm also convin
Jean Gonnella
Aug 09, 2012 Jean Gonnella rated it it was amazing
I think e everyone that has the time should take the time to read or listen to this book on audio...i think the audio version is great...i This book provids insight on the weakest link in any security program. He shows that hacking access to a system doesn't mean the bad guys even need to touch a keyboard. They just a phone and with a bit of research are able to talk their way into gaining access.

The author clearly outlines the steps of a social engineering attack. The book starts with the resea
Nate Huston
Feb 04, 2013 Nate Huston rated it it was ok
Nothing earth-shattering here. The book is a whole lot less about the contemporary cyber-based social-engineering that many think about when they hear the term (for many of us, that term was probably introduced in the context of cyber scams) and a whole lot more about the art of social interaction.

The table of contents gives a good overview of the framework. The two most interesting chapters are on elicitation (arranging an interaction in order to get the results you're looking for) and influen
Jan 17, 2016 Ranjana rated it it was ok
Too much paranoia for me to feel comfortable reading it. It said in the introduction the intended audience was for people who might have been targets or people interested in shifting what's around them. It made me feel like I was reading a how-to guide on being uncaring of those around you. I felt slimy afterward. I also did this as an audiobook and the narrator was totally creepy. I couldn't write it off completely because it did have some interesting information.
May 31, 2014 Ken rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Companies, these days, must keep a lot of information secure. In Retail business, keeping the customer's credit card info safe, and keeping employee's identity information secure are top priorities.
I learned from this audiobook that even though it is important to protect from hardware and software hacking, it might be more important to protect against hacking the humans at the gateway, namely, receptionists and security personnel.
I think the book could have been considerably shorter and still p
Dec 25, 2014 Giovanni rated it it was ok
The book is clearly written for people who want to take action or get involved into the 'scene' of human hacking.

The book is written as if all of its readers are either idiots or advanced hackers allready, there is little or no middle ground for people who just want to read about cool 'techniques' or tricks to try out in college or in their day to day life
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