The art of deception: controlling the human element of security

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Sometimes documents that you deem to contain only innocuous data can be of great value to a social engineer. A single piece of information is not valuable per se, but combined with several pieces just like it, can form something of value.

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The stories throughout the book are depicted in great detail with accompanying telephone conversations and in-depth clarifications of what happened. It is of the utmost importance that your employees understand how big of a mistake can occur from mishandling non public information. Also very important are things everyone takes for granted like passwords, also in the form of verbal security codes.

Using proper passwords and not disclosing them to anyone is one of the crucial steps to security.

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Mitnick notes a fundamental fact when it comes to the training of users. If the training is successful, users will learn how to think and observe more. The author also explains what a corporate information security policy is and provides insight on how you should develop a comprehensive information security program. This information can definitely be used as a sort of a reference guide.

At the end of the book you see some lists and charts that provide a quick reference version of the social engineering methods discussed throughout the book as well as the verification procedures from chapter I believe this book to be an eye-opener to how vulnerable we are. It goes beyond all those things. Education is needed to make both you and your employees question some situations.

Book Review : The Art of Deception Controlling the Human Element of Security

You need a good security policy. You definitely need this book. Subscribe to get regular updates from Help Net Security. The weekly newsletter contains a selection of the best stories, while the daily newsletter highlights all the latest headlines! About the authors Kevin Mitnick is a security consultant to corporations worldwide and a co-founder of Defensive Thinking , a Los Angeles-based consulting firm.

Book – The Art of Deception: Controlling the Human Element of Security

Still it is very accessible and would be a great book for someone not so familiar with computers and hacking to see how some of it is done. It should serve as a wake-up call for management as to some of the dangers we face every day. And while most of the stories presented are more in the spirit of curiosity, or fun, or revenge, it would be easy to take them up a notch into activities with serious corporate impact.

November 18, - Published on Amazon. After reading it, the book makes one more aware of what to be careful when giving out information of any kind and how to protect yourself and your company's assets. There's tons of books on security with respect to technology but this is the first one I've seen that actually focuses on the weakest link when it comes to security - the human element. Reading the scenarios really opened my eyes. Theres a scenario where a social engineer pretended to be a manager of a video store.


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After enough talking to another employee at another branch, the social engineer was able to get enough information to obtain the credit card of someone who owed money to the client the social engineer was hired by. In reading the scenarios, I'd seen examples where I'd asked for the type of information described for perfectly legitimate reasons.

I'd never imagined how someone could take just 1 or 2 pieces of information and create chaos for a person or a company. If you're in the IT industry, or work in any kind of customer service, you really need to pick up this book.

This book doesn't bash people for being as helpful as they can be team player, etc. He's just saying to be more aware of what's going on and when giving out any kind of information, being a little cautious doesn't hurt. As humans, we're not perfect to begin with, but a little awareness will make it just a little harder for that social engineer to get what they want. August 25, - Published on Amazon. It is both an enjoyable and informative read.

Mitnik is the "real deal" in exploiting social engineering techniques and his books should be required reading by corporate security policy makers and I am sure it is for many already. This book illustrates various techniques for bypassing established corporate physical and information security security policies. I have actually inadvertently used some of these techniques when troubleshooting network issues or having forgotten my passcard to gain access to systems and rooms.


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It is often easier to bypass the rules than to go through the steps needed to obtain proper access and people are surprisingly willing to cooperate "just this one time". This book will help you sensitize your employees to the risks of bypassing security policy and recognize when this might be occurring. Highly recommended! November 24, - Published on Amazon.

"The Art of Deception, Controlling the Human Element of Security" by Jeffrey Barlow

This is the first book that I've read from cover to cover in close to 7 years. I could not put it down! Read it in 2 weeks, taking notes, evaluating the way I responded to calls at my companies help desk, reviewing some of the links mentioned in the book, etc. This is one book that if you read it you will have the ability to better defend and better compromise anything and anyone, but if you don't read it you will eventually regret it because there is a wealth of information that I haven't found anywhere else.

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There are popular web links mentioned that I was shocked to find were still valid. The detail and instruction are immaculate and if you don't read it Headlines should read, "Mitnick does it again with a simple Mitnick Message! Kevin, you inspire me and I wish I had your knowledge and influence. Go to Amazon.


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