Kevin Mitnick begins The Art of Deception by telling the reader about securities weakest link - people, and throughout the book he continues to labour this point, constantly reminding us that no matter how well computers are protected against potential hackers, it will 99% of the time be the employees who give away passwords, codes and other secret, and important information to people who will quite simply just have to ask for it.
The book is very easy to read, it isn't full of computer jargon, which I personally thought it would be. The stories are told from the point of view of the hacker, an introduction describing each situation is given first, phone conversations are written down, the con is analyzed, and then Mitnick tells us how to avoid situations like that happening by 'preventing the con'.
It is very easy to see when reading this book how the people (note, not the technology) get tricked or persuaded into giving away such vital information, the key is social engineering. These people believe that the hacker is someone within the organisation who should have access to this information anyway so no harm will come from giving it away, but how can they tell simply from one phone call?
All in all, this book is an education in information security, it tells us that having firewalls, anti-virus software and other security equipment installed will help to protect your information system, but this alone will not be enough, the updates are a very important element in securing your information, and without these, your system will be even more vulnerable from attack by outsiders. Employees, without being educated in information security, can let you down, simply by being too trusting and not knowing who they are giving the information away to!