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32 Reviews
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4 star:
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3 star:
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2 star:
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hacking made frighteningly easy
Story by story, Mitnick (once described as the FBI's "most wanted hacker") reveals some tricks-of-the-trade. Fair enough. But if you are expecting technical details about defeating system login controls or busting through firewalls, you will be disappointed. Mitnick's favorite hacking tools are the telephone, plus the experience and nerve to deceive unsuspecting members...
Published on 20 Oct 2003 by Dr. G. Hinson

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Outdated, unsurprising
Like many other reviewers here I disliked the "tone" of the book. Granted, it is clearly written for the American market, but because a lot of the "examples" are fictional, it's hard to empathise. What you notice very quickly is that the book is written for the most basic audience. If you don't know what a trojan is or what a root user is, then maybe you'll learn...
Published on 20 Jan 2011 by Alexander Haynes


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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 8 July 2010
By 
Mr. B. M. Fisher "Ben" (Hull, UK) - See all my reviews
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Useful information for both sides of the fence!
When used with common sense and not as a script the information in this book works wonders for getting the information you desire! Obviously a grounding in the 'confidence trickster' mentality is helpful but this really does make it all appear frighteningly simple.

On the other side, this book makes the loop holes blatantly visible to corporations and makes clear that the real weakness is their personal and their lack of training, not really the technology they invest so heavily in and rely so dearly upon.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but terribly smug, 1 Mar 2004
By 
tjvf (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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The Art of Deception gives you a glimpse into the world of the high tech con artists. Suprisingly enough, much of it is not as high tech as you might think. Fortunately, this means that you don't have to have to be a high-tech boffin to defend against them.
Hovering somewhere between the status of every day security manual and hacker's primer, the book sets out a series of (what I guess are fairly standard) con tricks and suggestions as to how to combat them, together with some worked examples. Perhaps more fun than truly educational, you may find yourself a little more wary when you have finished this book - and that can't be a bad thing. What I found most interesting was that, after however many years in a correctional facility, Simon Mitnick still seems to revel somewhat in how easy it is to trick people. Poacher turned game-keeper? Perhaps - but perhaps not entirely reformed. To me, the biggest insight then, is into the mentality of the con artist.
A final note of caution: when friends and relatives see you reading "The Art of Deception", they may want to know why!
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2.0 out of 5 stars Poor Quality Kindle Edition, 26 Aug 2014
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I purchased the Kindle edition which is very poor quality. Lots of transcription errors and poor formatting. This makes it a difficult book to read, thus a low score.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very Outdated, 5 Feb 2011
By 
M. SMITH - See all my reviews
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Released in 2003, I can only imagine it was already hugely out of date. This book has not aged well, the examples remind me that it is not 1997 and peoples attitudes to sensitive information have come along way.

The book sits in this odd void where it spends the first two thirds telling ridiculous short stories which are idealistic and mostly the same. The last part then preaches about how you can fix them.

I have also read the art of intrusion which I enjoyed a lot more. The writing style is poor, each of the examples are very similar and boring. If you do want to read it: skip to the middle and read one or two stories from the second chapter.
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11 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars If he was any good how come he got caught? :), 11 Feb 2003
By 
Peter Fenelon - See all my reviews
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Although the self-congratulatory/self-apolgetic tone of this book grates more then a little (I find Mitnick's attempt to justify himself as a "white hat" a little nauseating) this is at least a useful guide to identifying and exploiting the weakest link in any computer system - people.
An interesting compendium of case histories, theorising and tips on how to obtain and betray trust, although there's very little that's surprising here - human stupidity is the gift that keeps on giving, as far as hackers are concerned.
Useful reading if you can take the tone of it.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Grifters' Handbook, 2 April 2012
By 
John Dexter - See all my reviews
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Kevin Mitnick, it seems, has a tenuous grasp of morality: he argues (p.xii & p.83) that it's OK to steal someone else's property if you're motivated by curiosity and your intentions are benign. I confess that I'm less comfortable with the idea of breaking in to someone's computer system and "snaring copies of files" or "searching emails for passwords" and, I suppose, that's why I think Mitnick's claim to be "a changed person" lacks credibility.

That's not to say that there's nothing to learn from The Art of Deception - far from it - only that the reality is that the book is almost certainly of more use to grifters and conmen rather than "governments, businesses, and individuals" (p.xiii). Throughout, Mitnick provides society's dishonest with templates for deceiving the unwary and his advice for preventing, detecting, and responding to information-security threats never really exceeds a, remain vigilant at all times message. Of course, security awareness among employees and individuals is a good thing, but it hardly needs 352 pages to convey such a message. Given Mitnick's rather childish style, endlessly recycled scenarios, unworkable procedures, and simplistic message, The Art of Deception is probably two-hundred pages too long!

If you really must revel in the gullibility of the masses, I suppose that you might enjoy this book. However, if you're serious about security, try Bruce Schneier's, Schneier On Security or Secrets and Lies.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read, but falls short, 4 May 2007
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Rather too much self-congratulation for my liking, and the fact that the stories are fictional reduces their credibility. Having said that, I can well believe the vulnerability of an organisation in the hands of a skilled con artist.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, well worth the money, 23 Dec 2003
By 
S. Sabir (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This is a great book, loved the style of the writing and the subject matter that mitnick covers, i like the fact he avoids almost all technical peices and concentrates on social engineering.
Would definetly recommend.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Utterly repetitive, 13 Jun 2008
By 
R. P. Sedgwick "Grim Rob" (UK) - See all my reviews
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The first 50 pages were great. Then gradually I began to realise that the whole book is just a repetition of the same theme. All the stories follow the same pattern and you might as well stop reading after the first couple of chapters when the basic techniques have been demonstrated by way of fictional examples, After that virtually nothing new is learnt.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars awful quality, 30 Jan 2012
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Content must be awesome but quality of printing is below poor; this is seriously a badly printed and designed book; event the paper is below average.
Producing for cheap is one thing but if you like reading books on paper, this publisher must be the one thing to avoid. next time, i'll get it on kindle .
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