The other day I decided to do some light reading, so I illegally downloaded a pdf of this book. I had heard about it previously somewhere and it seemed interesting in a forbidden kind of way. I was drawn to it like a moth to a flame. I thought it might have something to do with the Alexander Acting Technique which I have read about extensively and find inexhaustibly interesting but it has NOTHING to do with the Alexander Technique. Although in a way it is based around the same concept- acting.

Although it looks like pure evil in text form its more about manipulating the self than manipulating others. The central idea, the gist of all of the science and technical terminology being that if you are able to make yourself into such a persona as to illicit a positive reaction from whomever you interact with, in gaining their trust you may proceed to obtain sensitive information. Apparently a good read for an FBI agent.

What can I say I skimmed it.

More interesting than personal information is the idea that you can potentially have control over the responses/thoughts/feelings/opinions of another human being given the right training. I’m guessing this is a mandatory textbook for politicians, too. I read a little deeper into a few chapters and came to the conclusion that if you have the patience, willpower and skill to master some of these techniques, as well as the resolve and guts to practise them until you get good enough to see results, you deserve them. Read it for yourself if you have time- becoming a professional with this requires some serious work. It’s way over my head, sadly, and I know what that says about me. I’m much too impatient and not mentally resilient enough. Still an interesting read for those so inclined.

Some chapter headers to give you a better idea:


Chapter 1: A Look into the World of Social Engineering

Why This Book Is So Valuable

Overview of Social Engineering

 Chapter 2: Information Gathering

Gathering Information

Communication Modeling

The Power of Communication Models

 Chapter 3: Elicitation

What Is Elicitation?

The Goals of Elicitation

Mastering Elicitation

Chapter 4: Pretexting: How to Become Anyone

What Is Pretexting?

The Principles and Planning Stages of Pretexting

Successful Pretexting

Chapter 5: Mind Tricks: Psychological Principles Used in Social


Modes of Thinking


Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP)

Interview and Interrogation

Building Instant Rapport

The Human Buffer Overflow

Chapter 6: Influence: The Power of Persuasion

The Five Fundamentals of Influence and Persuasion

Influence Tactics

Altering Reality: Framing

Manipulation: Controlling Your Target

Manipulation in Social Engineering

Chapter 7: The Tools of the Social Engineer

Physical Tools

Online Information-Gathering Tools

Chapter 8: Case Studies: Dissecting the Social Engineer

Chapter 9: Prevention and Mitigation

Learning to Identify Social Engineering Attacks

Creating a Personal Security Awareness Culture

Being Aware of the Value of the Information You Are Being

Asked For

Keeping Software Updated

Developing Scripts

Learning from Social Engineering Audits

Concluding Remarks