What is Social Engineering?

What Is Social Engineering?

Social Engineering (SE) is a blend of science, psychology and art. While it is amazing
and complex, it is also very simple.

We define it as,  “Any act that influences a person to take an action that may or may not be in their best interest.” We have defined it in very broad and general terms because we feel that social engineering is not always negative, but encompasses how we communicate with our parent, therapists, children, spouses and others.

Since SE is not always negative it merits a closer look at how it is used both for the good and  the bad. Our research shows that the exact same principles that are used to get a raise or communicate with your spouse or children are often used by malicious scammers and social engineers to part you and your company from data, information, money and more.

Just a few years ago, we decided to start writing a course on social engineering and how it is used by penetration testers and security enthusiasts. That process gave birth to the “Social-Engineering Framework”.  That framework became the centerpiece for this website and branched off into the podcast, newsletter, two books and now a company that helps corporations learn how to combat and mitigate the effects of malicious social engineering.

To accomplish this task, we have built a team of professional social engineers, psychologists, researchers, scientists and security enthusiasts. We have then worked with, interviewed and learned from some of the greatest and brightest scientific minds in the world to bring you a resource that will dive deep into the art, science and psychology of the Human Operating System

Meet the Team


Ping Look

Ripper of hearts and destroyer of souls. Enough said.


Daniel Falk

Daniel Falk is a security engineer for fortune 500s and he is the lord of all servers and master of the server-verse for the Social-Engineer Team.


Jim Manley

Old gray guy who designs, builds and secures complex IT infrastructures, works part-time in a distillery, collects and drinks whiskey, rides a bicycle, shoots guns and makes lists. Not necessarily in that order. Lives by the motto “That which doesn't kill you makes a damn good story!"

What Jim really means is... I got here some goodin edumacashuns, and i sounding realluyz smarty.!"



Thomas d'Otreppe “Mister X” is a wifi hacker and the author of Aircrack-ng, a Wi-Fi auditing suite. He has designed Offensive-Security WiFu, a proactive wireless security course, with Mati Aharoni and also contributed to BackTrack Linux. He works as a software developer for Main Nerve.