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No Tech Hacking: A Guide to Social Engineering, Dumpster Diving, and Shoulder Surfing Paperback – February 21, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-1597492157 ISBN-10: 1597492159 Edition: 1st

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No Tech Hacking: A Guide to Social Engineering, Dumpster Diving, and Shoulder Surfing + Social Engineering: The Art of Human Hacking + The Art of Deception: Controlling the Human Element of Security
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Syngress; 1 edition (February 21, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597492159
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597492157
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #897,168 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Johnny Long is a Christian by grace, a professional hacker by trade, a pirate by blood, a ninja in training, a security researcher and author. He can be found lurking at his website ( He is the founder of Hackers For Charity(, an organization that provides hackers with job experience while leveraging their skills for charities that need those skills.

Kevin Mitnick (Technical Editor) is the most famous computer hacker in the world. Since his first arrest in 1981, at age 17, he has spent nearly half his adult life either in prison or as a fugitive. He has been the subject of three books and his alleged 1982 hack into NORAD inspired the movie War Games. Since his plea-bargain release in 2000, he says he has reformed and is devoting his talents to helping computer security.

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Customer Reviews

This book is a very easy read!
J. Osburn
Learn easy and fast ways to obtain information, and at the same time learn how easy it has been to get yours.
Kelly Alwood
I can't wait to read some more of Johnny Long's books!

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Richard Bejtlich on June 7, 2008
Format: Paperback
No Tech Hacking (NTH) again demonstrates that the fewer the number of authors a Syngress book advertises, the better the book. With security star Johnny Long as the main author, the book adds a section in Ch 5 (Social Engineering) by Techno Security organizer Jack Wiles. The "special contributors" no doubt worked with Johnny to answer his questions, but it's clear that relying on a primary author resulted in a better-than-average Syngress title. (Harlan Carvey's Windows Forensic Analysis is another example of this phenomenon.)

I liked NTH. The book makes a good companion to titles like The Art of Deception and The Art of Intrusion by Kevin Mitnick, and The Art of the Steal by Frank Abagnale. (Mitnick wrote the foreword for NTH.) Johnny Long is a great author who knows how to tell a story in a captivating way. I agree with some of the criticism levied by previous reviewer Chris Gates about the badge story on p 24. If you aren't supposed to display a badge outdoors (true), and you aren't supposed to display it indoors (false), where do you display it? Maybe Johnny meant a badge-wearing employee should have noticed someone photographing her badge?

I dropped one star for two reasons, and could have dropped two stars if I didn't think Johnny Long is a great author otherwise. First, I was very disappointed to see 75 pages of Google Hacking reprinted as Ch 6 of NTH. The 285 page NTH would have been 210 without Ch 6, and definitely would not have merited the price on the back cover. This reprinting tendency is another Syngress problem.

Second, this book should have been published in color. A great deal of the book shows photographs or screen captures taken by the author while conducting penetration tests. The impact would have been much greater in color.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Chris Gates on March 12, 2008
Format: Paperback
Johnny Long has a great knack for taking what should be common sense observations on human vulnerabilities and making them unique, entertaining, and most importantly actionable. The book really seems to be a book to go along with his numerous "No Tech Hacking" talks he has given at several security conferences. If you want an example check out the 2007 Shmoocon Archives: [...]

Here are the chapters:

Dumpster Diving
Shoulder Surfing
Physical Security
Social Engineering with Jack Wiles
Google Hacking
P2P Hacking
People Watching
Vehicle Surveillance
Badge Surveillance

All of the chapters are pretty good, I particularly liked the Physical Security, P2P Hacking, and Kiosks (even though it was a short chapter). Again, a lot of what he talks about is common sense and taken from his talks he gives a security conferences. But it comes from a guy that gets paid to break into buildings for a living so you can trust the advice and situations to be pretty close to reality.

Things I liked about the book:
-The Physical Security section talks about defeating different types of locks and security systems. It was good relevant content with good advice on how to fix it. The Kiosk chapter talks a little bit about breaking out of Kiosks and information you can gather. Using P2P to look for sensitive documents is a good idea as well. Really all the chapters had valuable information in them. In plain words he sums up relevant and dangerous security issues that target the human element of security.
-The large font and lots of pictures make the book a quick read. I also like that there were pictures to go along with all the points he was trying to make.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Dr. G. Hinson on December 6, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Johnny takes us on a cook's tour through the basics of social engineering and a few other non-technical methods of compromising a target organization.

In most aspects, the coverage is distinctly superficial, barely scratching the surface. In the cover blurb, the author claims to be disclosing super-cool secrets but in reality the book falls well short of disclosing anything really novel.

Other common social engineering methods, for example the psychological manipulation techniques often described by Kevin Mitnick, phishing and many other types of frauds and scams perpetrated through a variety of communications media (email, phone, letter, FAX, SMS, even paper notes left on a windshield ...), are barely mentioned. The author doesn't explain the process of non-technical hacking very well, in other words the stages normally involved in identifying, researching and exploiting a target. That a social engineer or intruder would fear detection and would almost certainly have pre-planned a cover story and escape route, for example, is only vaguely hinted at.

As seems to be the way with Syngress books, the print quality is poor. Most of the monochromatic photographic images are dark and indistinct, barely good enough even to make out the fields that have not been deliberately blurred by the author.

The social engineering chapter has a different style to the rest of the book, which is not surprising given that it was written by Jack Wiles (who for some reason is not acknowledged as an author on the cover). Jack's contribution is above average so it's a shame he didn't collaborate with Johnny on the rest. Johnny's parts of the book are straightforward enough and appear accurate as far as they go. The writing style is informal throughout.
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