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The Art of Intrusion: The Real Stories Behind the Exploits of Hackers, Intruders and Deceivers

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ISBN-13: 978-0471782667
ISBN-10: 0471782661
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Frequently Bought Together

The Art of Intrusion: The Real Stories Behind the Exploits of Hackers, Intruders and Deceivers + The Art of Deception: Controlling the Human Element of Security + Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World's Most Wanted Hacker
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

It would be difficult to find an author with more credibility than Mitnick to write about the art of hacking. In 1995, he was arrested for illegal computer snooping, convicted and held without bail for two years before being released in 2002. He clearly inspires unusual fear in the authorities and unusual dedication in the legions of computer security dabblers, legal and otherwise. Renowned for his use of "social engineering," the art of tricking people into revealing secure information such as passwords, Mitnick (The Art of Deception) introduces readers to a fascinating array of pseudonymous hackers. One group of friends bilks Las Vegas casinos out of more than a million dollars by mastering the patterns inherent in slot machines; another fellow, less fortunate, gets mixed up with a presumed al-Qaeda–style terrorist; and a prison convict leverages his computer skills to communicate with the outside world, unbeknownst to his keepers. Mitnick's handling of these engrossing tales is exemplary, for which credit presumably goes to his coauthor, writing pro Simon. Given the complexity (some would say obscurity) of the material, the authors avoid the pitfall of drowning readers in minutiae. Uniformly readable, the stories—some are quite exciting—will impart familiar lessons to security pros while introducing lay readers to an enthralling field of inquiry.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

" ... a compilation of real hacking stories told to Mitnick by fellow hackers... " ("VNUnet.com, March 2005) It would be difficult to find an author with more credibility than Mitnick to write about the art of hacking. In 1995, he was arrested for illegal computer snooping, convicted and held without bail for two years before being released in 2002. He clearly inspires unusual fear in the authorities and unusual dedication in the legions of computer security dabblers, legal and otherwise. Renowned for his use of "social engineering," the art of tricking people into revealing secure information such as passwords, Mitnick ("The Art of Deception) introduces readers to a fascinating array of pseudonymous hackers. One group of friends bilks Las Vegas casinos out of more than a million dollars by mastering the patterns inherent in slot machines; another fellow, less fortunate, gets mixed up with a presumed al-Qaeda- style terrorist; and a prison convict leverages his computer skills to communicate with the outside world, unbeknownst to his keepers. Mitnick's handling of these engrossing tales is exemplary, for which credit presumably goes to his coauthor, writing pro Simon. Given the complexity (some would say obscurity) of the material, the authors avoid the pitfall of drowning readers in minutiae. Uniformly readable, the stories-- some are quite exciting-- will impart familiar lessons to security pros while introducing lay readers to an enthralling field of inquiry. "Agent, David Fugate. (Mar.) ("Publishers Weekly, February 14, 2005) Infamous criminal hacker turned computer security consultant Mitnick offers an expert sequel to his best-sellingThe Art of Deception, this time supplying real-life rather than fictionalized stories of contemporary hackers sneaking into corporate servers worldwide. Each chapter begins with a computer crime story that reads like a suspense novel; it is a little unnerving to learn how one's bank account is vulnerable to digital thieves or how hackers with an interest in gambling can rake in thousands of dollars in just minutes at a compromised slot machine. The hack revealed, Mitnick then walks readers step by step through a prevention method. Much like Deception, this book illustrates that hacking techniques can penetrate corporate and government systems protected by state-of-the-art security. Mitnick's engaging writing style combines intrigue, entertainment, and education. As with Deception, information technology professionals can learn how to detect and prevent security breaches, while informed readers can sit back and enjoy the stories of cybercrime. Recommended for most public and academic libraries. --Joe Accardi, William Rainey Harper Coll. Lib., Palatine, IL ("Library Journal, January 15, 2005)

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley (December 27, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471782661
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471782667
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,733 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Eric Barna on March 24, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Love him or hate him Kevin Mitnick is the most celebrated hacker of our time. The Art of Intrusion gives the public and security practitioners a rare glimpse into the minds of hackers and their dedication in accomplishing their work.

This book is highly entertaining for everyone, security practitioner or not. I've never hacked my way into a video poker machine, but Kevin Mitnick and William Simon made me feel as if I had been there with a wearable computer in my shoe tapping out the codes that would let me beat the casino. Mitnick and Simon do a great job of breaking down technology in terms everyone can understand.

Chapters 1-5 take you along with hackers as they beat the casinos in Vegas, hack for terrorists, create a network out of nothing in a Texas prison and break into the New York Times.

Chapter 6 takes a slight detour to discuss penetration testing, used to legitimately test vulnerabilities at companies. This was a very insightful chapter for me and some of the techniques will be helpful to me. Some companies will never know (and sometimes don't want to know) how vulnerable they are. It is always better to find out your vulnerabilities from the "white hats" instead of finding out about vulnerabilities from the "black hats". One is a fixed cost the other isn't.

Chapters 7 through 9 take you back into the world of the hackers as they hack into banks, steal intellectual property and hack a prison transport company.

Chapter 10 describes social engineering attacks and countermeasures. If you want to learn about social engineering, what better source the Kevin Mitnick, the world's most notorious social engineer.
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78 of 92 people found the following review helpful By Richard Bejtlich on March 23, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Over two years ago I read and reviewed 'The Art of Deception,' also by Mitnick and Simon. I thought that book was 'original, entertaining, [and] scary.' Those same adjectives apply to 'The Art of Intrusion' (TAOI). While I also add 'disappointing' and 'disturbing' to the description of TAOI, sections of the new book make it an absolute must-read. If you want to understand the consequences of systematic, long-term compromise of your enterprise, you must read and heed the lessons of TAOI.

This book may provide the closest look inside an intruder's mind the security community has yet seen. There is simply no substitute for understanding the methodology, goals, and determination of a skilled intruder. Chapter 8 brings the world of the enemy to life, describing separate incidents where crackers stole intellectual property from enterprise networks. These intruders were patient and methodical, taking months to locate, acquire, and transfer their prey. I have encountered this sort of adversary as a real security consultant (explanation follows), but never read supposed first-hand accounts from the enemy's point of view. Chapter 8 alone makes the book worth purchasing.

Why is the book 'disappointing' and 'disturbing' then? I was repeatedly disgusted to read about so-called 'security consultants' who are 'published authors on security topics' (p. 168), who describe themselves as 'white-hats' but acknowledge defacing sites 'where security was so shoddy someone needed to be taught a lesson (p. 143), and who are 'respected security professionals by day and become a black-hat hacker by night, honing the skills that pay their mortgage by hacking into the most resilient software companies on the planet' (p. 166).
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Cyberdude on June 28, 2005
Format: Hardcover
These are all tales from the crypt - known exploits in some shape or form. The book simply "personalizes" them a bit more and adds a bit of color.

Continuing to use his legacy, Kevin Mitnick continues to give us his best Rod Serling tour of the dark side of the internet. He goes out of his way in the introduction to thank William Simon who did a good job increasing the readability. Although there are some technical parts, they're not excruciatingly unbearable and Simon does a good job eliminating much technical jargon.

The question is though who to recommend this book to? The seasoned pros know it all, the novices are too busy exploring on their own.

It's probably best suited as supplemental reading for a course on enterprise security management and I would include it in my class since the vignettes make interesting case studies and as a professor I could easily springboard into many a security concept above and beyond the basics of the chapter.

Mitnick, being the consummate social engineer, couldn't help but include a section on this topic and you can see how comfortable he is with this. It flows naturally.

A concern overall is whether this is really a tongue in cheek guide for the "on the fringe" hacker, and rather than looking in deep dark chat rooms can find all they need here to launch the next latest and greatest exploit. There are no moral lessons or lecturing so one can only wonder whether the it's true that the best camouflage is broad daylight since he who laughs last, laughs best.
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