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Publisher's Summary

Social Engineering: The Science of Human Hacking reveals the craftier side of the hacker's repertoire - why hack into something when you could just ask for access? Undetectable by firewalls and antivirus software, social engineering relies on human fault to gain access to sensitive spaces; in this book, renowned expert Christopher Hadnagy explains the most commonly used techniques that fool even the most robust security personnel and reveals how these techniques have been used in the past. 

The way that we make decisions as humans affects everything from our emotions to our security. Hackers, since the beginning of time, have figured out ways to exploit that decision making process and get you to take an action not in your best interest. Networks and systems can be hacked, but they can also be protected; when the "system" in question is a human being, there is no software to fall back on, no hardware upgrade, no code that can lock information down indefinitely. Human nature and emotion is the secret weapon of the malicious social engineering, and this book reveals how to recognize, predict, and prevent this type of manipulation by taking you inside the social engineer's bag of tricks.

©2018 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (P)2019 Gildan Media

What listeners say about Social Engineering, Second Edition

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  • RM
  • 04-10-19

Eye opening listen

You probably already know some of the concepts in this book, you probably use some of them on a daily basis to some extent. But The things you don’t know, he fills in and ties together with amazing clarity. This can also shape the way you communicate with people on a regular basis.

I now have a much better idea on how to formulate a quick short communication to people to get my point across. This is just one small take away from this amazingly great book. this book covers much more than history phishing emails though, it covers the entire methodology from gathering Intel through report writing. He does a deep dive on phishing, smishing, vishing, and other methods. Not only does he detail best practices, but he also goes into the science of why these things work.

If you are also looking for advice on how to break into the industry, this is the authoritative place to start.

I also do security awareness training where I work, and these concepts will be integrated into that training from here on out.

I cannot recommend this book enough!

16 people found this helpful

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Hands Down the BEST Resource for SE

I've read a lot of books on SE, but combines the psychology, science, and social dynamics into an easy to follow formula like this book does. I'm not kidding, it saved my marriage.

8 people found this helpful

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Author thinks he is funny... He isn't.

this book has some good info, but is full of unfunny humor, quips, puns, and jokes.

Author is also fond of self adulation and name dropping.

overall good info, written poorly.

I got so sick of listening to bad jokes, author patting himself on the back so hard he was ar risk of breaking his arm. was unable to finish.

if bad jokes and self adulation interspersed with a smattering of good info is your thing you will love it.

if you are looking for a serious and straightforward journey into a topic find a different book.

14 people found this helpful

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A little dissapointed

I was hoping for more science and psychology. There is some toward the end, but still not what I was looking for. The first half of the book is like a classroom lecture. The author does state he gives week long classes and it seems like half the book is a classroom lecture made into a book. The second half does provide some practical application the author has used in real life and those stories were the most enlightening. The book seems geared more toward a person who wants to be or is a new social engineer in that career field. I learned more about social engineering from Kevin Mitnick's books. He is the original social engineer and hacker all others are compared to. The author narrates the book himself which is well done. That is a very good match for this type of book. There are some things to be learned from this book and I did learn things. There is value in reading the book for most anyone.

8 people found this helpful

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good listen

I enjoyed the book greatly. It was eye opening and very instructive. If you are looking for a good book on social engineering this one will ring true, grab you, and help you see.

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Good Material, well presented by the author!

I picked this up on a lark. Wasn't aware that this author had several books prior. Was immediately impressed by references to work by Dr. Paul Eckman, an expert on non-verbal communication; I've read a couple of his books as well. Well structured as a survey on the material, and I appreciate that the author will connect concepts to real world experiences. Have actually recommend this to friends.

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excellently preformed and great content

this is an excellent book about the methods of social engineering and how it is used in a professional manner. I recommend this to anyone who is curious or interested in security. in particular to security guards so that they understand what to look for when people are trying to take advantage of you. by focusing on the human vector the author really reveals the shortcomings of security

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Very Educational

The book was filled with good stories as examples which I found exciting. Cool that it was narrated by the author. I will definitely listen to it again.

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terribly written

for topics like this, you will have to start with concrete examples. narrow but representative of s.e. instead, the author spends the first part of the book going through things that are abstract, broadest, and absolutely meaningless.(do you care about the cooking metaphor when you don't even know what you are reading? do you care what the broadest possible definition of s.e.?) I was interested in learning what s.e. was, but ended wasting time. just couldn't continue with his terrible terrible writing.

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loved it

I read the first one, art of human hacking. this one was a perfect addition to the original.

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  • T. Nav
  • 05-08-21

Meh

As if written for naive grandmothers. Below base level. Offers zero value to people with base-level street smarts.

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  • H
  • 02-19-21

Excellent book

Absolutely loved this book and I'm going to buy the paperback now as there is so much useful info in there I will be one I read again and again

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-18-21

Fantastic Book

I am really enjoying this book and it has some really useful and practical insights.

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  • Kyle
  • 11-13-20

An entertaining and informative listening for all audiences

I don’t think I will ever be involved in this industry, but that doesn’t matter when listening. The author was very skilled in making this an approachable book, with it at points feeling like a spy novel instead of reality. The stories the author tells are very entertaining and it is mind boggling what can be achieved.

I would also note that the author does a good job of summarising the key points of what a story is demonstrating, and I can see how this book would be of great value to someone interested in the field.

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  • imcg
  • 11-02-20

Very Important and Impressive

As someone who is very much interested in SE, Cyber Security and all the bells and whistles that go with that area, I have to say, this book was excellent. Chris, the author has clearly been an expert in this field for a long time. I believe many organisations need this type of awareness as I find it fascinating. I only wish there were options for a SE career where I am!

Highly recommend the listen, I am probably going to buy the physical copy now, it'll be a great reference point for a couple of figures he mentions.

I found out about the author via darknet diaries podcast, also a great listen if you enjoy this. Chris recommends some further reading of his own and other works, I'll most definitely read those.

5/5 enjoyed it immensely.

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  • Heath Pilkington
  • 02-04-20

excellent, thought provoking

So many ways to make even every day life better if one adopted his techniques or, took them to heart and adapted them into their own. I highly recommend everyone read this for basic behavioral cues for improved socializing in personal and professional environments.

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  • Bharat H
  • 03-27-19

Terrible

Couldn't get through it. Terrible book, not very informative and has some awful attempts at humour. Could likely be summarise in one or two pages.