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The Art of Invisibility: The World's Most Famous Hacker Teaches You How to Be Safe in the Age of Big Brother and Big Data Hardcover – February 14, 2017
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Praise for The Art of Invisibility
"How would it feel to find out that your neighbor and friend has secretly observed you in your own home for years? The place that should be most private to you was not, and the intruder's devices themselves weren't something you'd ever have thought to look for. This kind of behavior is the opposite of giving normal people freedom and security, of valuing and respecting them as humans--and it's happening more and more. The answer to peeping eyes and cyber theft is to move society toward greater cyber-security and it all starts with essential education about being private and invisible in our daily lives. Kevin's book is the must read in this new world."―Steve Wozniak, cofounder, Apple Inc.
"The FBI's most-wanted hacker."―Wired
"Who better than Mitnick -- internationally wanted hacker turned Fortune 500 security consultant -- to teach you how to keep your data safe from spear phishing, computer worms, and Fancy Bears?"―Esquire
"Offers a sobering reminder of how our raw data -- from email, cars, home Wi-Fi networks and so on -- makes us vulnerable."―Amy Webb, New York Times Book Review
"Mitnick's new book aims to help everyone -- from the everyday internet users to the hardcore paranoid -- do a better job of keeping personal information private."―Laura Hautala, CNET
Praise for The Art of Deception
"The most famous computer hacker in the world. A tour de force."―Publishers Weekly
"The world's most famous computer hacker and cybercult hero...has written a blueprint for system security based on his own experiences. Required reading for IT professionals, this book is highly recommended for public, academic, and corporate libraries."―Library Journal
Praise for Ghost in the Wires
"Intriguing, insightful and extremely educational into the mind of one who truly mastered the art of social engineering with the use of a computer and modern day technologies. I strongly believe that one can learn a great deal about protecting themselves once they understand how another one perpetrates the crime."―Frank W. Abagnale, author of Catch Me if You Can
About the Author
Kevin Mitnick has been the subject of countless profiles published and broadcast throughout the world. Mitnick's leading penetration-testing team is highly respected and sought after for its security services by the world's top corporations and governments. The company he founded, Mitnick Security Consulting LLC, has clients that include dozens from the Fortune 500 and many nations across the globe. Mitnick is the bestselling author of Ghost in the Wires, The Art of Intrusion, and The Art of Deception. He lives in Las Vegas and travels the world as the top keynote speaker on cybersecurity.
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Top Customer Reviews
Mitnick tells the story of how the famous John McAfee, on the lam, was found supposedly by coordinates listed in the meta data of a photo posted online. The authors snicker, "Take it from me: if you’re trying to get off the grid and totally disappear, you don’t want to start a blog."
Some of the pointers are pretty basic, such as using strong passwords, and being careful to setup your home Wifi using the latest security protocols. A large chunk of the book relates to securing wireless internet access. "Public Wi-Fi wasn’t created with online banking or e-commerce in mind. It is merely convenient, and it’s also incredibly insecure."
More advanced suggestions are for those who feel they need extreme online privacy. These tactics include things such as using "burner" phones, paid for with cash, and using encryption tools to hide the data on our laptop.
Law enforcement has come a long way in tracking down fugitives. The authors explain how authorities use devices to mimic cellular base stations, and "designed to intercept voice and text messages." Using another tactic, the FBI has successfully tracked criminals by getting the cell tower data, and correlating their cell phone records.
I was surprised to learn of certain recent laws regarding data preservation. In the event of a legal investigation, you must preserve your entire browser history. You can be arrested--and people have been, for clearing the history.
The really meaty parts of the book provide extreme tactics to remain anonymous on the internet. Mitnick advises creating a complete new persona, "one that is completely unrelated to you. . . When you’re not being anonymous, you must also rigorously defend the separation of your life from that anonymous identity."
The first thing to do in making yourself anonymous is to get a cheap standalone laptop--used only for your anonymous persona. "Don't ever use the anonymous laptop at home or work. Ever."
Here are a few more tips for becoming anonymous:
* When you travel, don't bring electronics that store sensitive information with you.
* Encrypt the confidential data on your laptop.
The authors present a LOT of different ways to make your online persona more invisible. The authors admit, however, that even with all their precautions, it is still tough to be 100% anonymous. The main idea is to make it much more difficult for the intruder. So, put up "so many obstacles that an attacker will give up and move on to another target. . . Being anonymous in today’s digital world requires a lot of work and constant vigilance."
All in all, I found THE ART OF INVISIBILITY to be an interesting, fairly-practical read. It was good to be reminded about the proper setup of networks, and how vulnerable public systems can be. I don't feel the need to go out and buy a "burner" phone anytime soon, but it's good to know.
Advance Review Copy courtesy of the publisher.
Anyway, as a developer and security enthusiast, I've always been interested in the hacking scene. Back then, when Kevin Mitnick and Kevin Poulson were in the news because of their "activities", I was glued to the t.v. I wanted to know everything they did! See, the thing is, I was like them. I craved knowledge. I wanted to explore that hidden and forbidden world of the byte and the baud that consisted of inter-connected mainframes and central stations via phone lines. I dialed into a lot of "boards" (BBSes) and got "forbidden knowledge" of what they used to call "phreaking" (phone hacking) from text files uploaded by phreakers. I thought it was just fun and games and never really did anything with the so-called "power" that I had gleaned from those text files.
Fast forward to today, things are a lot worse, security-wise, with regards to computer security and threats to your private information. Especially since our daily lives are now entertwined with this ubiquitous thing called the internet. Every interaction we perform in our browsers, or internet-enabled applications, leaves information and trails that can be used against us. Our phones, even our automobiles, can be used to track us via GPS. Our credit card purchases can be used to build profiles of us that can be bought and sold to third party customers. Recently, the current U.S. Republican administration repealed a bill that would've prevented ISPs from selling your browsing information to private parties. Nothing you do online is private anymore. Nothing. This isn't like information that Facebook and Google collect on you. The ISP information is every single page that you go to in your browser. Think about this, for a moment: You have a medical condition. It's being treated and no one but your closest family knows about it. Like almost everyone with your condition, you browse online about it and have joined online support groups. Your child also suffers from a condition. They are autistic. Like almost any concerned parent, you look online to learn more about you child's condition and, too, to share your experiences and learn from others in similar situations. Recently, you've applied for a new job through a recruiter. They assure you that you're a perfect fit based on your resume and your phone screening interview with them. They want to pass your resume on to the company now, which you give your consent to do so. Now, the company that will be doing the hiring does something that, in the past, they couldn't have done: They buy your browsing history from your local ISP. They don't need your consent for this. Your browsing data is considered the ISPs property now and can be sold as a commodity that is tied directly to you. Your prospective employer can now see that, based on your browsing history, that you have a medical condition and a child with autism. Which, more than likely, means you will probably miss a lot of work. So, they do what any good business will do: They pass on your resume. You don't even get a chance to interview with them. Your resume gets deep-sixed based soley off your browsing history and nothing else.
Now, with that nightmare scenario fresh in your head, I want you to understand that when I say this book can help you to avoid such a situation, I really mean it. From encrypting your email, to setting up a VPN, to using the anonymous Tor Onion browser and other security methods, this book can help someone that doesn't know anything about internet security by showing them how to secure their private information, their browsing habits, their email, and all online activity. Seriously, in this day and age, it's almost a sin not to be aware of at least the basic dangers out there in "cyberspace". With this book, you can be very sure that if you follow the steps provided, you'll be very secure from most of those threats.
Now I've read his other books, Ghost in the Wires, Art of Intrusion, and I really learned a fair amount reading them. I initially knew almost nothing about phone phreaking when those books came out and I finally read them. Fast foward in time a good deal and I know a good amount more about security, OPSEC, security researching ectect...
As other reviewers have said, this book is a good read, but its alot less technical/advanced than his other reads.....
This is what I will say without ruining the book for you. Just go to the pictures I've included and look at the chapter page, if you think you know everything about everything about these topics, maybe this book isnt for you. It still is an entertaining read though.
Keep it up Mr. Mitnick.