The Art of Deception: Controlling the Human Element of Security by Kevin D. Mitnick

A classic book about social engineering before the term was even coined. I remember this being one of the first ‘hackers’ I had heard about when I was growing up.

Mitnick Message Man has invented many wonderful tings that have changed the world and our way of life. But for every good use of technology, whether a computer, telephone, or the Internet, someone will always find a way to abuse it for his or her own purposes

This book is a series of real stories and examples of social engineering exploit examples. As this book was written in 2002 and references the author’s own experiences with social engineering in the 90s, expect there are many examples with fax machines and phone networks. A lot of the hacks are low tech, but the author shows how you can get little pieces of information from differnet sources, and then keep manipulating people to give you more and more information.

A lot of this intelligence is now gathered with open source intelligence gahtering (OSINT) using the internet, but it was different in the 90s. This book also suffers by being very repetiative in parts. This should’ve been a much shorter book. I was just breezing through it near the end so that I could finish it.

It was an interesting read but I’m sure you can probably find a more up-to-date book about social engineering. I picked up this book in Humble Bundle of 5 books for $1 USD, so I am happy with the value I got out of this book.

Rating: ★★★

Book #3 in my 2023 Reading Challenge

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