The Art of Deception: Controlling the Human Element of Security

The Art of Deception: Controlling the Human Element of Security

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By (author) Kevin D. Mitnick, By (author) William L. Simon, Foreword by Steve Wozniak

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  • Publisher: Hungry Minds Inc,U.S.
  • Format: Paperback | 368 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 226mm x 28mm | 460g
  • Publication date: 17 October 2003
  • Publication City/Country: Foster City
  • ISBN 10: 076454280X
  • ISBN 13: 9780764542800
  • Edition: New edition
  • Edition statement: New edition
  • Sales rank: 14,830

Product description

The world's most infamous hacker offers an insider's view of the low-tech threats to high-tech security. Kevin Mitnick's exploits as a cyber-desperado and fugitive form one of the most exhaustive FBI manhunts in history and have spawned dozens of articles, books, films, and documentaries. Since his release from federal prison, in 1998, Mitnick has turned his life around and established himself as one of the most sought-after computer security experts worldwide. Now, in "The Art of Deception", the world's most notorious hacker gives new meaning to the old adage, "It takes a thief to catch a thief." Focusing on the human factors involved with information security, Mitnick explains why all the firewalls and encryption protocols in the world will never be enough to stop a savvy grifter intent on rifling a corporate database or an irate employee determined to crash a system.With the help of many fascinating true stories of successful attacks on business and government, he illustrates just how susceptible even the most locked-down information systems are to a slick con artist impersonating an IRS agent. Narrating from the points of view of both the attacker and the victims, he explains why each attack was so successful and how it could have been prevented in an engaging and highly readable style reminiscent of a true-crime novel. And, perhaps most importantly, Mitnick offers advice for preventing these types of social engineering hacks through security protocols, training programs, and manuals that address the human element of security.

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Author information

Kevin Mitnick is the founder of Defensive Thinking, an information security firm, and speaks widely on security issues. He has appeared on 60 Minutes and elsewhere in the media, and his exploits have spawned several bestselling books, including The Fugitive Game. William Simon is the bestselling author of more than twenty books.

Review quote

a fascinating read (ForTean Times, June 2004) "...a lot of interesting cautionary tales..." (New Scientist, January 2004)

Back cover copy

The world's most celebrated hacker delivers the lowdown on today's most serious security weakness-human nature"Finally someone is on to the real cause of data security breaches-stupid humans ... Mitnick ... reveals clever tricks of the 'social engineering' trade and shows how to fend them off." -Stephen Manes, Forbes"A tour de force, a series of tales of how some old-fashioned blarney and high-tech skills can pry any information from anyone. As entertainment, it's like reading the climaxes of a dozen complex thrillers, one after the other." -Publishers Weekly"Mitnick provides hair-raising examples of social engineering-disgruntled employees stealing top-secret research, smooth-talking con men acquiring data on next-generation explosives for terrorists-and explains how to combat it." -Angela Gunn, Time Out New York"He was the FBI's most-wanted hacker. But in his own eyes, Mitnick was simply a small-time con artist with an incredible memory [and] a knack for social engineering... This is Mitnick's account, complete with advice for how to protect yourself from similar attacks. I believe his story." -Simson Garfinkel, Wired

Table of contents

Foreword.Preface.Introduction.Part 1: Behind the Scenes.Chapter 1: Security's Weakest Link.Part 2: The Art of the Attacker.Chapter 2: When Innocuous Information Isn't.Chapter 3: The Direct Attack: Just Asking for It.Chapter 4: Building Trust.Chapter 5: "Let Me Help You".Chapter 6: "Can You Help Me?".Chapter 7: Phony Sites and Dangerous Attachments.Chapter 8: Using Sympathy, Guilt, and Intimidation.Chapter 9: The Reverse Sting.Part 3: Intruder Alert.Chapter 10: Entering the Premises.Chapter 11: Combining Technology and Social Engineering.Chapter 12: Attacks on the Entry-Level Employee.Chapter 13: Clever Cons.Chapter 14: Industrial Espionage.Part 4: Raising the Bar.Chapter 15: Information Security Awareness and Training.Chapter 16: Recommended Corporate Information Security Policies.Security at a Glance.Sources.Acknowledgments.Index.