About me

Hi, I’m James, and in 2017 I spent 4ish months sliding into important inboxes, pretending I was somebody I wasn’t. You can read more about my time as the “EMAIL PRANKSTER™” here on Wikipedia.

I don’t think it was inevitable, my transition from email pranker to email protector; deal sealed with a high-five, as I’m emailed the AWS keys. “Hackers” in the more conventional coding sense are triaged into the security industry; but social engineering – and specifically email specific social engineering – is less of a go-to; “We need that asap” skill-set, at least outside of Russia and North Korea it is.

The iPhone where the ‘action’ happened – photo taken from a Buzzfeed article.

So armed with a fistful of headlines; and no US VISA (Yet) … I downloaded a task management app, and entered the world of the Silicon Valley start-up. Well, kinda, I was remote.

I then spent almost 3 years working in email threat intelligence; socially engineering scammers, to collect specific information. It was a huge learning curve; but a rewarding one. And I travelled globally, to talk about the insights we were uncovering.

Now it’s 2020, and I have a clear route mapped out. I believe it’s not easy to care about something if you don’t understand it. So I want to share all I have learnt, to empower employees to feel safer online – both at home, and at work.

If you want to present a new and authentic perspective on cyber awareness, let’s chat.

P.S. …I’m far from turning my back on Social Engineering; I have some interesting personal projects I’m working on alongside my awareness work. SE has so much to give, but some things need space to evolve, hence retaining full ownership of the process at this stage.

The White House spear phishing prank breaking on CNN


SINON REBORN feature on the Jimmy Kimmel LIVE Talk Show…

Jimmy Kimmel LIVE did a segment based on my phishing of the White House.

A story from back in May 2019; Covering my thoughts on my first 18 months as an Email Threat Researcher. Read the full article here.


Jumping further back to Sept 2017; this an interview I did with WIRED. You can read the full article here.


A recent interview I did with Cybercrime Magazine.

Cybercrime Magazine · James Linton- Email Prankster On Bank CEOs, The White House, Celebrities, And TV Media Hosts