How To Hack A Human

Check out social engineering expert and founder of the DEF CON Social Engineering Capture the Flag contest Chris Hadnagy's recent interview on Dark Reading Radio.

It happens every day, several times a day: An end-user opens an email attachment or clicks on a URL in an email thinking it's legit -- or just out of curiosity -- and boom, malware infects his or her machine, and the attackers get a foothold into the victim's corporate network.

Duping users is just too easy, and that's what makes social engineering so pervasive and dangerous. Most cyber espionage campaigns and financial-stealing malware attacks start with a clever, and sometimes ridiculously simple, phishing email, which ultimately leads to a major data breach.

Chief human hacker Chris Hadnagy, a social engineering expert and author from, sees these scenarios play out every day while working with corporate clients to help them prevent their users from falling victim to these attacks. Hadnagy also hosts the annual Social Engineering Capture the Flag contest at DEF CON, which this year focused on retailers -- particularly employees at some of the nation's biggest big-box stores (including Home Depot) who gave away troves of potentially sensitive information to cold-callers posing sometimes as the IT department.

[Famed annual contest reveals how many retailers lack sufficient defenses against social engineering. Read Home Depot, Other Retailers Get Social Engineered.]

Hadnagy joins Dark Reading Radio on Wednesday, October 1, at 1:00 p.m. New York time (10:00 a.m. in San Francisco), to talk about the latest social engineering ploys, including those used in the Social Engineering Capture the Flag contest at DEF CON. Hadnagy will explain how his firm works with clients to protect themselves against social engineering and will also provide a postmortem of the DEF CON contest, where Home Depot was among the most socially engineered targets.

Join us tomorrow for the show, which includes a live online chat, where you can ask Hadnagy your social engineering questions. Just register here

About the Author(s)

Kelly Jackson Higgins, Editor-in-Chief, Dark Reading

Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Editor-in-Chief of Dark Reading. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise Magazine, Virginia Business magazine, and other major media properties. Jackson Higgins was recently selected as one of the Top 10 Cybersecurity Journalists in the US, and named as one of Folio's 2019 Top Women in Media. She began her career as a sports writer in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, and earned her BA at William & Mary. Follow her on Twitter @kjhiggins.

Keep up with the latest cybersecurity threats, newly discovered vulnerabilities, data breach information, and emerging trends. Delivered daily or weekly right to your email inbox.

You May Also Like

More Insights