Book Reveals, Prevents, The Art Of Human Hacking

Author Chris Hadnagy details the world's first framework for social engineering

December 15, 2010

4 Min Read


HOBOKEN, N.J., Dec. 14, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- 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, as well as Hadnagy himself, illustrate each of the 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. -- Elicitation. -- 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:

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 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, twitter as @humanhacker.

About Wiley

Founded in 1807, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. has been a valued source of information and understanding for 200 years, helping people around the world meet their needs and fulfill their aspirations. Since 1901, Wiley and its acquired companies have published the works of more than 350 Nobel laureates in all categories: Literature, Economics, Physiology or Medicine, Physics, Chemistry and Peace.

Our core businesses publish scientific, technical, medical and scholarly journals, encyclopedias, books, and online products and services; professional/trade books, subscription products, training materials, and online applications and websites; and educational materials for undergraduate and graduate students and lifelong learners. Wiley's global headquarters are located in Hoboken, New Jersey, with operations in the U.S., Europe, Asia, Canada, and Australia. The Company's Web site can be accessed at The Company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbols JWa and JWb.

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