Social Engineer

Social Engineer - Ian  Sutherland Brody 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.