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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Packed With Knowledge!
In The Art of Deception, Kevin D. Mitnick, a corporate security consultant who was once arrested for computer hacking, has written a fascinating book about how to control security lapses due to the "human element." With writer William L. Simon, he describes how con artists use social engineering to gain information by lying to pass themselves off as insiders. By being...
Published on June 22 2004 by Rolf Dobelli

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3.0 out of 5 stars A good eye-opener for business people
I'm a business person turned technical and have mixed opinions about this book. I would recommend it to people who have no awareness of how social engineering can compromise computer security above any physical security countermeasures.
It is repetitive in its warnings and examples, but one's reaction to that repetitiveness (boredom, apathy) only serves to illustrate...
Published on June 7 2004 by steader


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Packed With Knowledge!, June 22 2004
By 
Rolf Dobelli "getAbstract" (Switzerland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
In The Art of Deception, Kevin D. Mitnick, a corporate security consultant who was once arrested for computer hacking, has written a fascinating book about how to control security lapses due to the "human element." With writer William L. Simon, he describes how con artists use social engineering to gain information by lying to pass themselves off as insiders. By being sensitive to human behavior and taking advantage of trust, they learn to bypass your security systems. The book teaches you how to ward off such threats and educate employees. Yet, problematically, this information could also help con artists be more sophisticated. In any case, this highly informative, engaging book includes sample conversations that open the door to information, along with tips about how various cons are used and what to do about them. We recommend this book to corporate officers, information managers, human resource getAbstract. directors and security personnel, but don't tell anybody.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book for anyone intrrested ins ecurity or people, Sept. 16 2004
This review is from: The Art of Deception: Controlling the Human Element of Security (Paperback)
This is a great book, ti is filled with great stories, preventitive mesures, and more. This is a very easy read, and will be well worth the price fro anyone intrested in security, computer security, corprit security, or how people think, and how socity is flawed. If you are not in a buisness, or a company where this is usefull, then you might get boared with the ammount of talk on hwo to implement security into a company, but even still, it is a great book
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3.0 out of 5 stars A good eye-opener for business people, June 7 2004
By 
"steader" (Ridgefield, CT USA) - See all my reviews
I'm a business person turned technical and have mixed opinions about this book. I would recommend it to people who have no awareness of how social engineering can compromise computer security above any physical security countermeasures.
It is repetitive in its warnings and examples, but one's reaction to that repetitiveness (boredom, apathy) only serves to illustrate how one can easily become a target of deception. One must analyze all social interactions within any high-security context to decrease security risk. This book emphasizes that a situation can actually be high-security without the average business person knowing it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars This book is must for System Administrators and IT Managers., April 19 2004
By 
A. Chopra - See all my reviews
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The Art Of Deception is a fairly good book especially if you are holding key position in Information Technology. This book will provide you examples of social engineering that can lead information theft. This book provides the information on all the aspects that needs to be taken care of, if you plan or implement network security. However, people looking for technical details will be disappointed, as it does not provide any technical information or way to protect or safeguard corporate information.
I like this book because it takes your attention to places that are ignored by many people. Remember, installing and configuring Firewalls, IP Sec, and Encryption is useless if you leave your server room accessible. That's exactly what this book tells. Having $ 100,000 technology is not enough to protect your information if you are careless about the information that a social engineer can use to break that technology.
This book is worth buying.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Tao of Deception, April 18 2004
By 
Richard Peterson (Summerville, SC United States) - See all my reviews
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Other reviewers write that this book is repetetive, and I agree - I believe that Mitnick is trying to convey a mindset. Each scenario in the book, taken alone, is insignificant. You can skip through the book, reading here and there, without losing much. Don't expect to learn much in this book about technicals of network security. But then again, all the computer and telecommunications savvy in the world does not make a hacker.
The right technical skills and knowledge, plus the mindset presented in this book equals hacking. If you are on the security side of things, reading this book (or a few chapters of it, at least) will help you get into the mindset of a hacker, and thus better detect weaknesses in your organization or system.
By the way, I thought the book was an entertaining read. Others say it was boring. I think they expected the wrong thing out of the book. For those of you that have read Harvey Mackay - this book is a lot like "Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive" - he tells parables to get the message across.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent insight into social engineering, April 12 2004
I'm responsible for securing our company's network, which includes writing security policies and guidelines for users to follow. Like many people in the industry, much of my security training has been focused almost exclusively on the technologies used to attach and defend networks. But more and more, I think we are all beginning to realize there is a very important human element involved as well. Mitnick does a great job in this book of giving the security professional insight into the social engineering techniques used to take advantage of either weakness or ignorance in a particular target. I've found this book as useful as any in my library.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Yawn. Lots of repitition., March 13 2004
By 
I am a Kevin Mitnick fan. However, I had to book this book down halfway though. I felt that it kept repeating itself. This would be a good book for non technical management to understand the kind of things that happen. If your an IT professional or a security professional you will be bored out of your mind reading this book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Art of deception.... by boring your reader, March 10 2004
By 
Since my first book on hackers (Cuckoo's Egg: Tracking a Spy Through the Maze of Computer Espionage by Clifford Stoll) and reading about Mitnick in the early 90s, I was expecting a fantastic book outlining how he managed to do so much while on the run.
Unortunately, the writing style is quite repetitive and boring. Don't get me wrong - the substance is there, and there is plenty to be learned from Mitnick's 'fictional stories' that illustrate the concept of social engineering. However, as I said, the style leaves a lot to be desired, and after reading the firsy half of the book, I struggled motivating myself to grab the book and finish reading it.
I recommend it only if you do not understand how social engineering works and don't mind putting up with a professional social engineering with amateur writing skills.
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5.0 out of 5 stars the Social Engineer., Feb. 20 2004
This book is both educational, and entertaining. Mitnick is the authority on the subject. And even though the techniques in this book used in the scenarios might seem dated, they still still get the point across, that the 'Human Element', is one of the greatest security holes. In this day and age network administrators feel that they have an edge against hackers with firewalls, and proxies, and what not...but when somebody wants to really get in, and they have the skill of somebody like Mitnick, then trouble is at hand. Though when reading the book, most people will probably get the feeling that Kevin Mitnick is just skimming the surface, or giving us the shortened version of each scenario. Even so this is great reading, and a great addition to anybody interested in corporate security, 'dumster diving' type of techniques, or hacker/anti-hacker techniques. Definite must reading for anybody that would train employees about security, and privacy/sensitvity of material and documents. Truly the art of being sneaky is a gift to Mitnick, alongside his hacking skills. One of the greatest lessons learned in this book is the fact that most people are just not paranoid enough, information that you think isn't sensitive, or important, could just be the key to any hacker's plan. If you want to get into Company X, then don't through the front door, go through the sewer lines....
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3.0 out of 5 stars The Art of Deception...and then some, Feb. 12 2004
The human factor is truly security's weakest link according to Kevin Mitnick, famed hacker, now turn security consultant.
Mitnick, based on his illustrious experiences, writes about social engineering; the human factors involved with information security. The book goes into multiple ways of showing social engineering in practice, such as convincing an employee to reveal his computer username and password or tricking someone to download spyware.
The book is definitely an eye-opener, bringing awareness of such devious, unorthodox tactics and attacks that users, net administrators and companies are commonly uneducated about. For counteractive measures, Mitnick goes on to recommend the establishment of training and awareness programs in addition to security policy guidelines.
But an interesting note surrounding the publication of this book was "the lost chapter". Much of the preface section never made the final cut but happened to mysteriously turn up on the Internet.
It revealed a lot more of Mitnick, with him recounting his life as a hacker and fugitive, about incidents whereby he was wrongly accused and his later arrest and incarceration where he was denied his constitutional rights...and John Markoff of the New York Times who couldn't get his facts straight.
At the end of this "lost chapter", it's safe to say you'd have some sympathy towards the legendary Mitnick, a hero in his own right. But then you'd have to give it a second thought, wouldn't you? After all, the book is about deception. ;-)

[+] Many methods of social engineering, an eye-opener.

[-] The scenario examples are fictionalized. He doesn't regale us with his actual stories.
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The Art of Deception: Controlling the Human Element of Security
The Art of Deception: Controlling the Human Element of Security by William L. Simon (Paperback - Oct. 17 2003)
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