- Hardcover: 270 pages
- Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (March 4, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0764569597
- ISBN-13: 978-0764569593
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 117 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #613,684 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Art of Intrusion: The Real Stories Behind the Exploits of Hackers, Intruders and Deceivers 1st Edition
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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.
"...a valuable investment..." (AccountingWeb UK,30th August 2005)
“…he retells stories provided by his other hackersof how they managed, often with pitiful ease, to break supposedlysecure companies all over the world.” (Director, May2005)
“…a compilation of real hacking stories told toMitnick by fellow hackers…” (VNUnet.com, March2005)
It would be difficult to find an author with more credibilitythan Mitnick to write about the art of hacking. In 1995, he wasarrested for illegal computer snooping, convicted and held withoutbail for two years before being released in 2002. He clearlyinspires unusual fear in the authorities and unusual dedication inthe legions of computer security dabblers, legal and otherwise.Renowned for his use of "social engineering," the art of trickingpeople into revealing secure information such as passwords, Mitnick(The Art of Deception) introduces readers to a fascinatingarray of pseudonymous hackers. One group of friends bilks Las Vegascasinos out of more than a million dollars by mastering thepatterns inherent in slot machines; another fellow, less fortunate,gets mixed up with a presumed al-Qaeda–style terrorist; and aprison convict leverages his computer skills to communicate withthe outside world, unbeknownst to his keepers. Mitnick's handlingof these engrossing tales is exemplary, for which credit presumablygoes to his coauthor, writing pro Simon. Given the complexity (somewould say obscurity) of the material, the authors avoid the pitfallof drowning readers in minutiae. Uniformly readable, thestories—some are quite exciting—will impart familiarlessons to security pros while introducing lay readers to anenthralling field of inquiry. Agent, David Fugate. (Mar.)(Publishers Weekly, February 14, 2005)
Infamous criminal hacker turned computer security consultantMitnick offers an expert sequel to his best-selling The Art ofDeception, this time supplying real-life rather than fictionalizedstories of contemporary hackers sneaking into corporate serversworldwide. Each chapter begins with a computer crime story thatreads like a suspense novel; it is a little unnerving to learn howone's bank account is vulnerable to digital thieves or how hackerswith an interest in gambling can rake in thousands of dollars injust minutes at a compromised slot machine. The hack revealed,Mitnick then walks readers step by step through a preventionmethod. Much like Deception, this book illustrates that hackingtechniques can penetrate corporate and government systems protectedby state-of-the-art security.
Mitnick's engaging writing style combines intrigue, entertainment,and education. As with Deception, information technologyprofessionals can learn how to detect and prevent securitybreaches, while informed readers can sit back and enjoy the storiesof 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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Each chapter is a different case study. And as I read each case, I underlined the technical details used in the story. It wasn't just all about "social engineering (manipulating people into helping you gain access to a network)." There were software techniques (C++ and Visual Basic) and "command line" utilities such as "traceroute." There were references to "ports," such as 53, 25, and 80, and "zone transfers." Another referenced something called "Nmap," and a "Cisco device." Servers and routers were discussed along with "RADIUS" and a "demilitarized zone" and "Transfer Control Protocol." And that's only a sampling of the computer networking stuff. There is also a whole bunch of good junk about telephone networks: switches, PBX and all that jazz - the playground of those pesky phreakers. I mention these things because although you do not necessarily have to be a techno-geek to understand this book, you would be miles ahead of you at least knew a little about communication networks. Put it this way, if you're totally clueless, you probably won't like this book. On the other hand, if you're a novice like me, you'll probably love it. I did.
As a footnote, my favorite was the chapter about how a small group of people actually hacked into the Las Vegas slot machines. And they made money! After I read that story I was hooked and couldn't put the book down.
The book is overall a quick and easy read, and the stories are written with the feel of a crime novel- full of gripping, can't-wait-to-see-what-happens intrigue. The stories cover casinos, prisons, aircraft companies, newspaper companies, banks, medical companies, and so on- indeed, no-one is safe from hacking, no matter how thick and strong of an electronic barrier you may build. Penetration tests and social engineering are also discussed (though not as much as Mitnick's other book The Art of Deception), which I found to be the most enthralling part of the book. Some hacks may take months or years to pull off, but others can happen by a variety of means in as little as a few days. I can't help but be impressed at the capabilities of motivated people with a little bit of technical know-how, whether they are acting maliciously or not.
I found the book to be both entertaining and technically helpful, and I would recommend it to anyone who uses a computer. This book is not a how-to guide for hacking, so if that is what you are after, I suggest looking elsewhere. The stories presented what happened in the hacks, but not how to do it.
I had been hoping for a collection of cons and clever schemes like those in Catch Me If You Can, Topkapi, American Roulette. Instead, The Art of Intrusion has one good con, a few stories of hacking vending machines and websites, and a lot of "advice" for people tasked with computer security. As in The Art of Deception, Kevin Mitnick's previous book with William Simon, the advice consists mostly of common sense tips such as don't give your password to the guy on the phone who says he's the repairman.
This may be a good book for people who are responsible for computer security where they work. There is plenty of technical advice about back door attacks and firewalls, and scads of code for those who those who want the details. But Mitnick emphasizes social engineering as a greater risk to your computer security and I believe him. It's a lot easier to just ask someone for the password or for access to the system than it is to invade from the outside. And most people don't expect a hacker to be the friendly voice on the phone who says he's Don from the home office and chats you up before casually asking for the entry code.
Anyway, if you are looking for a good book about cons, I'd recommend The Eudamonic Pie by Thomas Bass, American Roulette by Richard Marcus, or Catch Me If You Can by Frank Abnagale.