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Book Review: Unmasking the Social Engineer

?John Wiley & Sons, Inc.;

256 pages; $34.99

�I don�t get it,� was my first thought after reading Christopher Hadnagy�s Unmasking the Social Engineer: The Human Element of Security. This book fills a need that doesn�t exist and likely never will. While most find social engineering�any act that influences someone to take an action that may or may not be in his or her best interest, according to the author�a fascinating subject, Hadnagy cannot seem to decide whether he wants to help improve the skills of the criminal social engineer or thwart one.�

After introducing the topics of social engineering and nonverbal communication, Hadnagy analyzes kinesics and body language, then moves to a short and fairly informative examination of the more complex aspects of human brain function and nonverbal facial tells. To get to that substance, the reader must slog through too many pages of dedications and acknowledgments. �

While social engineering is something every security professional should have some knowledge and familiarity with, this is a warmed-over introduction to the fundamentals of reading human body language and the elementary methods of a not-so-good social engineer.�

Reviewer: Eugene F. Ferraro, CPP, CFE, PCI, SPHR is a member of ASIS International and currently sits on the ASIS Standards and Guidelines Commission.