I want to start off this newsletter with a thank you.  Five years ago when we started our little website, blog, newsletter and podcast we never knew it would turn into what it has today.  Recently, we have had some nice growth and for the last few months you have been enjoying some great newsletters by our resident shrink, Michele Fincher.

Michele comes to us with a diverse and interesting background.  She was an Air Force Academy Professor, field trained therapist and is master at influence.  I will be sharing some stories this year of some of Michele’s exploits on the phone and in person.  Look out for some really great pictures too!

It also, comes as no surprise to you, that social engineering was a huge threat in 2013.  We saw so many companies, universities, hospitals, and banks compromised this past year, and many of those attacks involved social engineering.

This just bolstered our faith that we were on the right path and started to look for more ways to help interested people and companies get educated.  Here are some of the exciting events coming up…

The New Social-Engineer.Org

In Jan. or early Feb. we will be launching an all brand new Social-Engineer.Org website.  We are changing the look and feel from dark and ominous to one that will invite people to want to be educated by us.  The newsletter has already been changed to a new format, which has been well received.  We are altering the podcast to get back to our roots – shorter intros and more meaty content.

But some of the more exciting website changes are involving the area that started all this – the framework.  Michele and I, with a few choice contributors, will be re-writing most if not all of the framework to be more current and usable for research.

Along that line of thought, we are adding a feature to the website that I know you will love.  Have you ever come to SEORG looking for a particular piece of info only to find it is so hard to scroll through all the podcasts, all the newsletters and blogs just to find it?  We are creating a specialized and customized tag system for all content on SEORG.  These tags, like “framing”, “influence”, “manipulation”, “hackers”, etc., will allow you to find all content tagged with those tags, as well as search for your own strings.

And finally, we are opening up comments on all content.  This will allow for the community to help us in shaping and molding how we progress.

The New Book

In case you haven’t heard, I just completed my second book.  It will be published in Feb 2014.  It is titled, “Unmasking the Social Engineer: The Human Side of Security”.  I am very proud of this book as there are a few “firsts” with it.  Dr. Paul Ekman wrote the forward and helped edit the book as well as his right hand, Paul Kelly, as my technical editor.  The book focuses on how we use nonverbal communication in everyday events, but also how it is used by malicious hackers to get us to take actions we shouldn’t take.  Then the book goes into how social engineering penetration testers can use this information too.

What else?

There are tons of new things on the corporate side too, but I promised to not make this a sales pitch so just check out our corporate blog or sign up for the opt-in list to be first to find that out.

We are focused right now, more than ever, to continue educating companies and people about the ever-growing threat of social engineering.  It is getting easier to spoof phones, fake emails and mask our identities. As those things become more prolific we will continue to see a rise in attacks.  To be safe you need to be educated and that is always our goal.

Our changes are motivated by our fans and readers and supporters.  Please, continue to send emails in with your ideas and concepts.