Practical Social Engineering: A Primer for the Ethical Hacker

Practical Social Engineering: A Primer for the Ethical Hacker

by Joe Gray
Practical Social Engineering: A Primer for the Ethical Hacker

Practical Social Engineering: A Primer for the Ethical Hacker

by Joe Gray


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A guide to hacking the human element.

Even the most advanced security teams can do little to defend against an employee clicking a malicious link, opening an email attachment, or revealing sensitive information in a phone call. Practical Social Engineering will help you better understand the techniques behind these social engineering attacks and how to thwart cyber criminals and malicious actors who use them to take advantage of human nature.

Joe Gray, an award-winning expert on social engineering, shares case studies, best practices, open source intelligence (OSINT) tools, and templates for orchestrating and reporting attacks so companies can better protect themselves. He outlines creative techniques to trick users out of their credentials, such as leveraging Python scripts and editing HTML files to clone a legitimate website. Once you’ve succeeded in harvesting information about your targets with advanced OSINT methods, you’ll discover how to defend your own organization from similar threats.

You’ll learn how to:
  • Apply phishing techniques like spoofing, squatting, and standing up your own web server to avoid detection
  • Use OSINT tools like Recon-ng, theHarvester, and Hunter
  • Capture a target’s information from social media
  • Collect and report metrics about the success of your attack
  • Implement technical controls and awareness programs to help defend against social engineering

  • Fast-paced, hands-on, and ethically focused, Practical Social Engineering is a book every pentester can put to use immediately.

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    Product Details

    ISBN-13: 9781718500983
    Publisher: No Starch Press
    Publication date: 06/14/2022
    Pages: 230
    Sales rank: 291,070
    Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

    About the Author

    Joe Gray is a veteran of the U.S. Navy. He is the Founder/Principal Instructor of The OSINTion, the Founder/Principal Investigator of Transparent Intelligence Services, and the inaugural winner of the DerbyCon Social Engineering CTF. A member of the Password Inspection Agency, he also won the TraceLabs OSINT Search Party at DEFCON 28, and recently authored the OSINT and OPSEC tools – DECEPTICON Bot and WikiLeaker.

    Table of Contents


    Part 1: The Basics
    Chapter 1: What is Social Engineering?
    Chapter 2: Ethical Considerations in Social Engineering

    Part 2: Offensive Social Engineering

    Chapter 3: Preparing for an Attack
    Chapter 4: Gathering Business OSINT
    Chapter 5: Social Media and Public Documents
    Chapter 6: Gathering OSINT About People
    Chapter 7: Phishing
    Chapter 8: Cloning a Landing Page
    Chapter 9: Detection, Measurement, and Reporting

    Part 3: Defending Against Social Engineering

    Chapter 10: Proactive Defense Techniques
    Chapter 11: Technical Email Controls
    Chapter 12: Producing Threat Intelligence

    Appendix A: Scoping Worksheet
    Appendix B: Reporting Template
    Appendix C: Information Gathering Worksheet
    Appendix D: Pretexting Samples
    Appendix E: Exercises to Improve Your Social Engineering

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