Customer Review

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars By the end I lost interest, May 16, 2010
This review is from: Masters of Deception: The Gang That Ruled Cyberspace (Paperback)
Masters of Deception (MOD) by Michelle Slatella and Joshua Quittner tells the tale of the self-proclaimed Masters of Deception, a phone phreaking and proto-computer hacker crew from the early 1990s. This was one of several books on the 1980s-1990s hacker scene that I recently read, but thus far I consider it the weakest. Initially I found it interesting, but as the book progressed I found the characters increasingly boring and shallow. Overall I felt the authors glamorized the lives of kids who expressed their teenage frustrations through digital means. The MOD story may sound novel to some readers, but having lived through the period in the book I can say this is one story of many that could be told.

Other digital outlaws from the same time are far more interesting. It's probably no accident that Kevin Mitnick is still active, or that Cliff Stoll just recorded a Webcast on "cyberwar" at Harvard. Characters from the so-called "Great Hacker War" between LOD and MOD exist mainly in Wikipedia pages or books like this. You can safely skip reading Masters of Deception and instead read one of the other hacker history books I've reviewed recently. If you have a deep interest in peering inside the mind of teenage phone phreaks in New York and Texas, you might like MOD. It is ironic that no book titled Legion of Doom exists!
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