Social Engineering: The Art of Human Hacking
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.
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
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
4 Pretexting: How to Become Anyone 77
What Is Pretexting? 78
The Principles and Planning Stages of Pretexting 79
Successful Pretexting 91
5 Mind Tricks: Psychological Principles Used in Social Engineering 101
Modes of Thinking 103
Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) 136
Interview and Interrogation 143
Building Instant Rapport 162
The Human Buffer Overflow 172
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
7 The Tools of the Social Engineer 259
Physical Tools 260
Online Information-Gathering Tools 279
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
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
Do you think you've discovered an error in this book? Please check the list of errata below to see if we've already addressed the error. If not, please submit the error via our Errata Form. We will attempt to verify your error; if you're right, we will post a correction below.
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December 13, 2010 (Hoboken, NJ) -- Social engineering is the act of manipulating a person to accomplish goals that may or may not be in their best interest. This may include obtaining information, gaining access, or getting the target to take certain action. Many times social engineering is used in fraud, identity theft and malicious hacking.
One of the most famous hackers in the world, and later security consultant Kevin Mitnick, popularized the term "social engineering", pointing out that it is much easier to trick someone into giving a password for a system than to spend the effort to hack into the system. He claims it was the single most effective method in his arsenal.
In Social Engineering: The Art of Human Hacking, author Christopher Hadnagy details the world’s first framework for social engineering. True stories and case studies from the masters of the art, like Mitnick, and Handnagy himself, illustrate each of principles behind using social engineering to exploit, manipulate and deceive individuals and businesses alike. Chapters include (table of contents PDF download):
- A Look into the World of Social Engineering.
- Information Gathering.
- Pretexting: How to Become Anyone.
- Mind Tricks: Psychological Principles Used in Social Engineering.
- Influence: The Power of Persuasion.
- The Tools of the Social Engineer.
As increasing threats and cases of identity theft, fraud, and deception continue to show up in news stories around the globe it is even more important for consumers, IT staff and security professionals to be aware and prepared to combat them. This book provides a basis for social engineering prevention education along the adage that the best deterrent to a crime is to reveal how the crime is perpetrated. Of significant interest is the case study section:
- Mitnick Case Study 1: Hacking the DMV.
- Mitnick Case Study 2: Hacking the Social Security Administration.
- Hadnagy Case Study 1: The Overconfident CEO.
- Hadnagy Case Study 2: The Theme Park Scandal.
- Top-Secret Case Study 1: Mission Not Impossible.
- Top-Secret Case Study 2: Social Engineering a Hacker.
“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,” said Kevin Mitnick, about the book.
For more information, please contact Ashley Evens via email at aevens [at] wiley [dot] com or call 201.748.6702. You can read more about the book, download a sample chapter, table of contents, and index here: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-0470639539.html
Social Engineering: The Art of Human Hacking
Wiley; Available Now; $34.99
Paper; 408 pages; 9780470639535
About the author
Chris Hadnagy, aka loganWHD, has been involved with computers and technology for over 14 years. Presently his focus is on the “human” aspect of technology such as social engineering and physical security. Chris has spent time in providing training in many topics and also has had many articles published in local, national and international magazines and journals.
He presently is “Operations” for Offensive Security and the lead developer of Social-Engineer.Org. as well as a trainer for Offensive Security Pentesting With BackTrack Course. He has partnered with the team at http://www.backtrack-linux.org and is involved in various research projects such as Hardware Hacking, BackTrack, Exploit Development, Online Information Security Training, and various other aspects of network security. Chris is also the lead social engineer in the Offsec pen testing team. Chris can be found online at http://www.social-engineer.org, twitter as @humanhacker.
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