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Social Engineering: The Art of Human Hacking 1st Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 142 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 860-1300286532
ISBN-10: 0470639539
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (December 21, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470639539
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470639535
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (142 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,799 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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This book is one of the best books I read in regards to (IT) security. I do absolutely recommend this book to any pentester, security officer or person interested in this very interesting aspect of security. Performing penetration tests and security audits myself I try to especially implement SE in tests and audits since it is the best way to find issues and the human factor is neglected in most of the tests and reviews.

There was no book like this book before dealing with Social Engineering. At best SE has been mentioned in a book about security and only a couple pages were dedicated to it. But nowadays SE is becoming more and more important to keep in mind. The times when attackers and pentesters could exploit weaknesses in applications and services without the need of user interaction are mostly over. Usually the user has to open a malicious file for example a PDF file. This book explains how this can be achieved and also what to keep in mind when preparing an awareness training.

Reading this book will teach you how SE attacks are being performed, the background and underlying principles of them as well how to detect and mitigate them.

Chris explains everything in a very good and understandable way giving a lot of examples and infos on where to start with further research on the explained techniques (e.g. NLP, microexpressions...).

It is definately a must have.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book really isn't about computer safety, or about personal safety - it's just kind of all over. By page 40 I was skimming paragraphs, but page 100 I was skipping entire pages. This book is not written for people in the security field, nor is it really written for people who want to know more about their personal security. I think that if you know enough already to be aware of what social engineering is in the first place and have a decent understanding of personal computing safety - you already know what this book can give you. I would classify this book as a collegiate "survey 101" level textbook on communications - the book focuses on very general processes and only the last 60 pages discuss actual examples.

While deciding whether to buy this book or not, I joked with a friend that the fact that the first 28 people who reviewed it gave it 5 stars, was ITSELF an act of social engineering. I am not so sure that is a joke anymore. I've been buying books on Amazon for 12 some years now, and I don't think I've seen a book get that many fanatically raving reviews right off the bat. Looking back again at all those reviews, I guess perhaps if you know absolutely nothing at all about email scams and personal security, and happen to also be a CEO, then this book would be worth reading.

The foreword and first 10 pages talk about what will be in the book. This is a common format, but that's an awful lot of pages wasted on material that is literally repeated again later in the book. And then up front we see material on The Nigerian Scam. If you are a security professional or a CEO, or anyone really - and have fallen prey to this or don't know what it is, seriously, you've got bigger problems to deal with.
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9 Comments 151 of 185 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
One can sum up all of Social Engineering: The Art of Human Hacking in two sentences from page 297, where author Christopher Hadnagy writes "tools are an important aspect of social engineering, but they do not make the social engineer. A tool alone is useless; but the knowledge of how to leverage and utilize that tool is invaluable". Far too many people think that information security and data protection is simply about running tools, without understanding how to use them. In this tremendous book, Hadnagy shows how crucial the human element is within information security.

With that, Social Engineering: The Art of Human Hacking is a fascinating and engrossing book on an important topic. The author takes the reader on a vast journey of the many aspects of social engineering. Since social engineering is such a people oriented topic, a large part of the book is dedicated to sociological and psychological topics. This is an important area, as far too many technology books focus on the hardware and software elements, completely ignoring the people element. The social engineer can then use that gap to their advantage.

By the time that you start chapter 2 on page 23, it is abundantly clear that the author knows what he is talking about. This is in stark contrast with How To Become The Worlds No. 1 Hacker, where that author uses plagiarism to try to weave a tale of being the world's greatest security expert. Here, Hadnagy uses his real knowledge and experience to take the reader on a long and engaging ride on the subject. Coming in at 9 chapters and 360 pages, the author brings an encyclopedic knowledge and dishes it out in every chapter.
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4 Comments 66 of 79 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
Finally, we have a book on hacking humans that contains details of psychology and human factors related to security. There is no other book like it. For that reason, it's a must read for all security professionals.
Humans are and always will be the weakest security link. PERIOD. Up to now, there hasn't been a comprehensive book on (1) how to orchestrate a Social Engineering campaign; (2) how to prevent a Social Engineer from breaching your defenses; and (3) psychological principals of how humans think and operate. This book has all three. It includes the details necessary to fully understand critical concepts for Social Engineering such as pretexting, elicitation, and influence, which provides a great framework on how to manipulate humans to take the actions you want. I've found that many computer security professionals aren't fluent in human factors. By reading this book, they will glean that knowledge.
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE, Chris also includes case studies to see the principles in action. These studies from Chris' experience as a professional Social Engineer round out this outstanding book.
Security professionals: If you read only one book in 2011, make it Social Engineering: The Art of Human Hacking by Chris Hadnagy.
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