Preview chapter from
Meinel's Überhacker!: Everything
You Wanted to Know about Social Engineering -- But Were Afraid
In the common people there is no
wisdom, no penetration, no power of judgement. - Cicero writing
in Pro Plantio
I am sending you out as sheep among
wolves. Be wary as serpents and harmless as doves. - Jesus, speaking
in the Bible, Matthew 10:16
It was beautiful and simple, as all
truly great swindles are. - O. Henry, writing in the Octopus
Marooned, in The Gentle Grafter.
The term "social engineering"
first came into widespread use among the Nazis. Their leader,
Adolph Hitler, was quite open about social engineering. While
in prison for trying to violently overthrow the elected government
of Germany, he wrote in Mein Kampf, "The great masses of
the people will more easily fall victim to a big lie than
to a small one," and "The art of leadership
in consolidating the attention of the people against a single
adversary and taking care that nothing will split up that
In this chapter you will learn:
Bonus Sections (not in the print version, this is hot news
on social engineering that we keep up-to-date)
When Hitler was released from prison, he and his followers
proceeded with a campaign of social engineering that covered
up their assassinations and terrorism. Over and over again, courageous
newspaper reporters and politicians told the German public the
true story. Yet the Nazis social engineered their way out of
everything. Whenever it looked like certain reporters or politicians
were getting the truth out, they turned up dead and the Nazis
social engineered away the suspicious coincidences.
The German public was too easy to snooker. They paid a high
price - World War II -- entire cities obliterated -- total defeat.
Hitler's ploy of "
consolidating the attention of the
people against a single adversary" also led to the murder
of six million Jews. Over all, World War II led to the deaths
of an estimated 100 million people through violence and privation.
And it all started with social engineering
Just as social engineering can be the most powerful weapon
in the affairs of nations, it also is the single most powerful
tool of computer criminals. Now that you know the technical basics
of breaking into computers, you are ready to add this most powerful
of tools to your arsenal.
We begin this chapter with a true story from a man whom I
would never want to engage in battle. Is he an Überhacker?
More on social engineering --->
Who is threatening to sue over our social
engineering tutorial? Read their hilarious
attempts to intimidate Meinel.