Book Review: Social Engineer by Ian Sutherland

Title/ Social Engineer / Author/ Ian Sutherland / Publisher/ Brookmans Books / Publishing Date/ August 2014 / Length/81 Pages /
Genre/ Tech Fiction
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22873121Brody Taylor is the “Social Engineer.” Though to be honest, I had never heard that term before, it fits the situation nicely. He can be described as most the characters from the TV show Leverage rolled into one very clever person (without the thieving bonus for the most part) His job is to penetrate high security systems any way he can. Though an excellent computer hacker, he finds most often people are easier to hack to find a back way in. In this particular story he finds himself running a penetration test at pharmaceutical company, besieged by animal rights protesters, and under a warning that its secrets are in danger of being stolen by Chinese computer hackers. His job is find the holes in the system before sensitive information falls into the wrong hands,

I thoroughly enjoyed the reveal as he gives the results of his work to company executives. Most of this story was just plain fun. However, the cover of this book asks the question, “Would you trust a computer hacker?” Unfortunately my answer to that question highlights my biggest issue with this superbly written short story. The catalyst for this adventure leaves me flat. I would have to agree with Mel that Brody went about it all wrong, because yes, yes I would. In an increasingly digital world where hackers in the shadows are spilling information about everything from Hollywood sexting and ingredients of fast food items to eyes only government information, there has to be a first line of defense and it stands to reason that those people are going to be hackers at heart.

I was glad to see that this is not a single story, as with most excellent short stories, for me it just wasn’t enough. I hope in subsequent novels Brody doesn’t feel he needs to engineer his reality quite so much. I am looking forward to reading more about him.

This Bookworm awards “Social Engineer” 4 Tomes
4 stars

Goodreads Summary: A pharmaceutical company under cyberattack from China. The chemical formula for their Alzheimer’s drug at stake.

Can elite hacker Brody Taylor fortify their cyber-defences before it’s too late. And can a hacker ever be trusted?

Hired by a global pharmaceutical company to test their digital defences, elite hacker, Brody Taylor, applies his computer mastery and repertoire of audacious confidence tricks to penetrate their most secure systems.

Can Brody obtain the secret chemical formula for their latest drug?
Are his motivations as pure as they first appear?
Could his new girlfriend somehow be influencing Brody’s actions?

Accurately depicting real-world, modern-day computer hacking techniques, SOCIAL ENGINEER is a standalone novella that introduces Brody Taylor and the Deep Web Thriller series.

Author Info:
Ian Sutherland is a crime thriller author. Leveraging his career in the IT industry, Ian’s stories underscore the threats we face from cybercrime as it becomes all too prevalent in our day-to-day lives


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