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3.0 out of 5 starsShort and basic, but interesting.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 29 August 2014
If you're familiar with NLP then various parts of this will be familiar, although there are more asides about experiences subverting company security policies. The book is also pretty short, and this is exacerbated by the number of pictures showing different expressions and moderately large text size making it feel even shorter. This won't make you an expert in social engineering by any means, but does outline a number of other materials for further study, and aims to cover some basics of non-verbal communication. I'd have liked to have seen more about strategies which have proved successful, as well as more on pitfalls and failures, because the latter can be very informative.
This is an interesting enough book but the title isn't anything to do with the contents. I thought that it would be about how to prevent getting caught by scammers...but it's almost about how to 'be' a scammer. By the end of the book I was completely confused... Lots of info on body language Lots of info on how the author had got into companies and downloaded virus' into their systems by various 'please help me tactics'...I just couldn't work out what the author did for a living or who the book was aimed at. I like the photos, they were good but he kept flitting between advising on 'How-to-crack-into-firms' and how to smile and look confident..... Confused:(
I have many books on this subject. One never stops learning and therefore I am always keen to discover additional information. Alas, this book is not one that is going to enhance my knowledge in any way. As with any subject, what one gets out of a book is subject not only to the book itself but also what we already know and therefore this book might be of some use to someone who has not studied the subject before - but I really can't see any 'seasoned hand' finding anything new in it. Novices will find the format easy to digest, however. If I had to sum up this book in but a few sentences I would say that the biggest error by the author was trying to condense a mass of knowledge into such a 'small' book. It might work as an adjunct to his seminars but as a stand-alone piece of work it leaves a lot to be desired.
I have hopefully learned a few things from this. It is quite short but it is to the point. And isn’t as needlessly padded as most business books tend to be. However the coverage of many topics did seem a little shallow. I did think that sometimes the author was too confident of his opinions and didn’t really consider differing points of view or even offer much supporting evidence. I would rate this at three and a half stars if I could.
As the author points out several times in the text, the information and research that went into this book isn't new. This doesn't mean that the book doesn't add anything new to the discussion, but simply that a lot of the first half of the book will be review for you if you're already familiar with the research of people like Dr. Paul Ekman and Joseph Navarro. If you haven't already studied body language, nonverbal communication and micro expressions, then this book will be an excellent introduction for you.
The second half of the book moves into the domain of social engineering, discussing how to use the methods described earlier to perform penetration tests and spot social engineers and con artists before they're able to do real damage. This part of the book is what makes Christopher Hadnagy's work valuable to people in law enforcement and the Intelligence Community.
In the end, Chris's book will leave you hungry for more information and eager to practice the skills that the book discusses. The book also provides you with several excellent resources for those people interested in continuing to learn about social engineering, body language and micro expressions.
On many occasions we do not understand what we see right before our eyes. Having the tools to better understand... can, in many cases, save the day. This small book is a must for those who want to enhance their lives. I salute the work of Christopher Hadnagy.
This book was OK. I did learn about people's body language and some about SI. I can't help to say that there was in my opinion too much promotion for the Dr. he speaks of in this book. Christopher tried really hard to make himself synonymous with the man. The entire book looks completely aimed at doing just that. It's like "Hey look at me and 'Dr SoSo', we're e a Team"
Wasn't impressed. Felt like I was a teacher and was reading a high school level essay. It also seemed like more of a shout out to the real pioneers of this study and it was just a summary of basic and even common sense material. Just hear from the horses mouth and read dr. Paul eckmans work.
I'm very familiar with the author's passion for Social Engineering and all aspects related to it, due to being an avid listener of the Social Engineering podcast. Of course having enjoyed his previous book, I picked this one up right away… well I couldn’t put it down. The main take away i got from the book was realizing this is not just for social engineers, there are a great many practical aspects of non-verbals that apply to daily life; from being more aware of detecting the emotions of loved ones, to noticing the non-verbal tells of those in your professional life... and of course, learning how to become a better human hacker. The illustrations / photos were great, something you can't get from just a written or verbal description. My only complaint is some items were so interesting, I wish they were gone into with more details. The references to the research and sources were well documented, something many similar books lack. Also, for those new to social engineering / influence there are quite a few reviews of the basics yet done in such a way as to be concise and not bore those already familiar... personally I found those items valuable as a quick refresher. Again, great book and really the only one I know of that concentrate on the of non-verbals as applied to social engineering. This is an essential read for the penetration tester / security professional that goes on engagements with human interaction.