Art of the Intrusion – K.D. Mitnick & W.L Simon

The author

Released in January 2000 after completing five years in prison, it has since become one of the brightest experts in computer security. Consultant and cofounder of Defensive Thinking, he has written articles for numerous magazines and newspapers information. His adventures hacker inspired a Hollywood movie, cyberstalking. This book is the second of Kevin David Mitnick (with the collaboration of William L. Simon) after the success of his first book “The art of the deception” (edition CampusPress). In 2002, Kevin Mitnick start a big contest to select the best hacking stories. Kevin Mitnick is probably the most famous hacker in the world and these stories are commented by him.

The summary

In his new book, Mitnick goes one step further, offering hair-raising stories of real-life computer break-ins-and showing how the victims could have prevented them. Mitnick’s reputation within the hacker community gave him a unique credibility with the perpetrators of these crimes, who freely shared their stories with him-and whose exploits Mitnick now reveals in detail for the first time, including:

  • A group of friends who won nearly a million dollars in Las Vegas by reverse-engineering slot machines
  • Two teenagers who were persuaded by terrorists to hack into the Lockheed Martin computer systems
  • Two convicts who joined forces to become hackers inside a Texas prison
  • A “Robin Hood” hacker who penetrated the computer systems of many prominent companies-andthen told them how he gained access

With riveting “you are there” descriptions of real computer break-ins, indispensable tips on countermeasures security professionals need to implement now, and Mitnick’s own acerbic commentary on the crimes he describes, this book is sure to reach a wide audience-and attract the attention of both law enforcement agencies and the media.

My personal appreciation

This book is accessible to all people who have an interest with the hacking. Some stories are more technique but it is not a technical book about the hacking. As enthusiast of hacking and IT engineer, I will sometimes prefered more details on some attack. I enjoyed the diversity of stories selected by Kevin Mitnick because each of them allow to show a particular aspect of hacking. Some intrusions are amazing and depend only on physical parameters that never could have been suspected of being a security risk. For example, a very memorable moment is when a hacker manages to make a physical intrusion into a secure area by bypassing a secure door which can be opened with magnetic card . We tell ourselves: He has found a magnetic card or an authorized person or he has hacked the card or the card reader. No… The door in question had enough space between it and the ground to drag an inflatable balloon that is filled with hydrogen in order to make it rise into the air and trigger the opening of the door from the inside … Another good point of this book is that at the end of each story, a review of the attack is made. In first time an analyze of the attack is made and after that, a counter-measure is explained to avoid this attack. Personally I recommend this book to all people who are fascinated by the hacking but not for those who research a technical book about the subject.

ISBN : 2-7440-1953-4

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