The Art of Deception : Controlling the Human Element of Security, Paperback Book

The Art of Deception : Controlling the Human Element of Security Paperback

3.5 out of 5 (4 ratings)


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.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 368 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Inc
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Privacy & data protection
  • ISBN: 9780764542800

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Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews.

Review by

Great information that is never really outdated. I've passed this one around to all of my IS co-workers. A good way to try and think like a bad guy to educate users about how to handle situations and to know who they're dealing with.

Review by

Hand a copy to all IT staff, then another copy to all general staff. This book shows that fooling people is far easier than fooling computer systems.

Review by

This is a great collection of stories that illustrates the biggest security hole in every organization: the people.

Review by

I had high hopes for this book: I've followed Mitnick's story for over a decade and have thoroughly enjoyed many of the books written about him and his exploits. I expected The Art of Deception to be no exception. Except it was.The Art of Deception is more of a IT professional's handbook for preventing social engineering attacks on a corporation. There are two problems with this:1) It's absolutely not, in any way, a book for casual readers looking to understand and discover some insights on the psychology of deception in a technical environment. If that's what you want, look elsewhere.2) If an IT security professional working for any company needs a book this big to understand how to protect about social engineering... well they are in serious need of a career counselor and should consider a new profession.*There's one more problem with the book: it's far too long, the stories are endlessly repetitive, and, well, everything else. Avoid.*OK, that may be hyperbolic. But hear this, IT security professionals: buy this book, read the first chapter, then close it. Everything you need to know is in the first chapter.

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