From Publishers Weekly
Despite some tedious, self-indulgent subplots, this is an engaging account of the electronic battle between cybersleuth Shimomura and cyberthief Mitnick, which ended last February with the FBI's arrest of Mitnick in Raleigh, N.C. The two men are not dissimilar: they're both in their early 30s, technologically brilliant and personally arrogant. Born in Japan, Shimomura was a computer consultant at Princeton at 14 and a postdoctoral researcher at Los Alamos at 19, although he never finished high school or college. Mitnick, who also has little advanced formal education, has been in and out of prison for computer hacking. Shimomura seems to have made Mitnick's apprehension a personal mission after the hacker invaded his computer on Christmas Day 1994. Coauthored in the first person with New York Times reporter Markoff, the story grows in excitement as Shimomura, a computer-security analyst at the government-funded San Diego Supercomputer Center, traces Mitnick's electronic incursions and confers with Internet service providers Netcom and The Well. The book raises vexing questions. Why was Shimomura allowed to virtually commandeer the FBI's investigation? How does the Justice Department determine the varying dollar values of files Mitnick is charged with stealing when he has never attempted to profit monetarily? This is an engrossing tale of high-tech derring-do, but Markoff and Shimomura are such interested parties that readers should turn to Jonathan Littman's The Fugitive Game (reviewed below) for a more disinterested account. 100,000 first printing; $150 ad/promo; film rights to Miramax; foreign rights sold to 13 countries, among them England, Brazil, Japan and Poland.
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