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This review is from: The Art of Intrusion: The Real Stories Behind the Exploits of Hackers, Intruders and Deceivers (Hardcover)
A very interesting collection of stories if you want to look over the shoulders of people who one day may fancy "0wning you". You can get a fell for what they are capable of. Especially regarding patience, single-mindedness and inventiveness in worrying the locks - physical and virtual - until they break. Or in finding that one passage that non-one thought manageable, discoverable or exploitable. Reads like good heist stories without the steamy and ultra-violent parts. And with well-meaning advice to boot.
Some notions of networking required, but neophythes don't need to fear: the authors don't leave you hanging and try to explain the basics - sometimes not too successfully, but then this *is* a hairy subject. Hard-core network admins will not be surprised by anything in here but will get a view of the 'bigger picture' that lies beyond the suspicious activity seen in the log files.
The stories related in the book have, according to the authors, been well-checked an corroborated as explained in the preface. Technically they are absolutely believable.
So what do you get for your money:
Chapter 1: Buy a video poker machine, reverse-engineer it, find out it's predictable then make big bucks in Vegas.
Chapter 2: Try to break into the gov'nmt while being egged on by real (or fake?) Pakistani terrorists.
Chapter 3: Build your own Internet connection from inside prison while running rings around the wardens. The Shawshank Redemption, a bit differently.
Chapter 4: Break into Boeing while there is a computer forensics class in progress. Bad idea!
Chapter 5: The famous Adrian Lamo in action. The New York Times' network is opened up. The Gray Lady then goes into payback mode.
Chapter 6: Your company wants a penetration test? Think twice, you may get more than you bargained for. (There should be contest for guessing at the Real Names of the companies mentioned. Hmmm?)
Chapter 7: You bank is secure, right? Actually, no!
Chapter 8: Hello, operations? I thought this machine where we had our source code was secure. Now it's on a warez site!
Chapter 9: Hacking for profit: A forgotten console cable around a firewall and 'PC Anywhere' carelessly installed on a mobile computer eventually brings about the targeted companies's undoing.
Chapter 10: Social engineering. Ok, so we have seen this in Mitnick's previous volume.
Chapter 11: Odds and sods (i.e. assorted hacks).
Contrary to what wombatboy1975 says, Mitnick keeps the ego firmly in check (compare this to his erstwhile antagonists, the 'duo terrible' Shimomura/Markoff whose book was made unreadable among others by ego inflation).
The conclusion that you can draw from the stories is that hackers are not unlike a flu virus. If there is a surface protein that one of them can lock unto, one of them might do it tomorrow. Or never. Or maybe just not on your watch.
Work on reducing your systems's cross-section. And good luck.