About me

Hi, I’m James Linton, and in 2017 I spent 5 months social engineering Fortune 500 CEOs. Oh, and the White House.

You can read more about my time as the notorious “EMAIL PRANKSTER” here on Wikipedia.

I don’t think it was inevitable; going from email prankster (with zero knowledge of threats) to email protector; deal sealed with a high-five and a wink, as I’m emailed the AWS keys.

But fate was on my side; so armed with a fistful of headlines; no US VISA (Yet) … I downloaded a task management app (OK so maybe I downloaded more than one), and I entered the world of the Silicon Valley start-up!

Well, kinda. I was working remotely; and this was before it was fashionable.

2017: It was crazy seeing how far the ripples of phishing the White House in went.
Jimmy Kimmel did a whole 5 minute intro to his show where he and his team spear phished a colleague.

2018: The Silicon Valley years

I spent 3 years working in email threat intelligence; socially engineering cyber criminals to collect intelligence, which was fed into law enforcement and financial institutions. As we dived deeply into previously undocumented aspects of cyber criminals networks, I got to travel globally, presenting 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 what I have learnt, to teach employees to see the danger areas, just as I’ve learnt to do.

If you want to present an authentic and pragmatic perspective on cyber awareness, with zero spin, let’s chat: hello@james-linton.com

P.S. I’m far from turning my back on ‘Social Engineering’; I have some cool personal projects I’m working on, alongside my awareness work. SE has so much to give, but some things need space to evolve at their own pace.



2017: My Exclusive on CNN

2019: An interview I did with the wonderful Jenny Radcliffe

A story from 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.