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Social Engineering. The Art of Human Hacking

  • ID: 2251726
  • Book
  • December 2010
  • 416 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
"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

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Foreword xiii

Preface and Acknowledgments xvii

1 A Look into the World of Social Engineering 1

Why This Book Is So Valuable 3

Overview of Social Engineering 9

Summary 21

2 Information Gathering 23

Gathering Information 26

Sources for Information Gathering 33

Communication Modeling 43

The Power of Communication Models 53

3 Elicitation 55

What Is Elicitation? 56

The Goals of Elicitation 58

Mastering Elicitation 74

Summary 76

4 Pretexting: How to Become Anyone 77

What Is Pretexting? 78

The Principles and Planning Stages of Pretexting 79

Successful Pretexting 91

Summary 99

5 Mind Tricks: Psychological Principles Used in Social Engineering 101

Modes of Thinking 103

Microexpressions 109

Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) 136

Interview and Interrogation 143

Building Instant Rapport 162

The Human Buffer Overflow 172

Summary 178

6 Influence: The Power of Persuasion 181

The Five Fundamentals of Influence and Persuasion 182

Influence Tactics 187

Altering Reality: Framing 215

Manipulation: Controlling Your Target 233

Manipulation in Social Engineering 248

Summary 256

7 The Tools of the Social Engineer 259

Physical Tools 260

Online Information–Gathering Tools 279

Summary 297

8 Case Studies: Dissecting the Social Engineer 299

Mitnick Case Study 1: Hacking the DMV 300

Mitnick Case Study 2: Hacking the Social Security Administration 306

Hadnagy Case Study 1: The Overconfident CEO 310

Hadnagy Case Study 2: The Theme Park Scandal 317

Top–Secret Case Study 1: Mission Not Impossible 322

Top–Secret Case Study 2: Social Engineering a Hacker 329

Why Case Studies Are Important 337

Summary 338

9 Prevention and Mitigation 339

Learning to Identify Social Engineering Attacks 340

Creating a Personal Security Awareness Culture 341

Being Aware of the Value of the Information You Are Being Asked For 344

Keeping Software Updated 347

Developing Scripts 348

Learning from Social Engineering Audits 348

Concluding Remarks 354

Summary 361

Index 363

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Christopher Hadnagy
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