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REVIEW: "The Art of Intrusion", Kevin D. Mitnick/William L. Simon

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  • Rob, grandpa of Ryan, Trevor, Devon & Ha
    BKARTINT.RVW 20050607 The Art of Intrusion , Kevin D. Mitnick/William L. Simon, 2005, 0-7645-6959-7, U$27.50/C$39.99/UK#17.99 %A Kevin D. Mitnick %A
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 27, 2005
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      BKARTINT.RVW 20050607

      "The Art of Intrusion", Kevin D. Mitnick/William L. Simon, 2005,
      0-7645-6959-7, U$27.50/C$39.99/UK#17.99
      %A Kevin D. Mitnick
      %A William L. Simon
      %C 5353 Dundas Street West, 4th Floor, Etobicoke, ON M9B 6H8
      %D 2005
      %G 0-7645-6959-7
      %I John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
      %O U$27.50/C$39.99/UK#17.99 416-236-4433 fax: 416-236-4448
      %O http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0764569597/robsladesinterne
      http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0764569597/robsladesinte-21
      %O http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/ASIN/0764569597/robsladesin03-20
      %O Audience i- Tech 1 Writing 2 (see revfaq.htm for explanation)
      %P 270 p.
      %T "The Art of Intrusion"

      This book is a collection of stories that Kevin Mitnick got blackhats
      and intruders to send him.

      Kevin Mitnick is a speaker and trainer, interested in the betterment
      of all mankind, and persecuted by the government because he dared to
      try to tell the unsuspecting public ... something.

      Thus saith the "Acknowledgements."

      He is also concerned about the number of people who have attempted to
      promote and enrich themselves at the expense of the "Myth of Kevin
      Mitnick." Arguably one of the most assiduous of those is Kevin
      Mitnick.

      Chapter one is a very complex and involved story about cheating
      casinos by accessing and reverse engineering the on-board programming
      on a slot machine, and then using the information obtained about the
      machine's workings to predict likely payout conditions. This data is
      utilized in an intricate scheme involving distractors, convoluted
      shift operations, and special purpose computers built into shoes.
      Despite all of this detail, the only "countermeasures" suggested are
      to use tamper-resistant chips and boards on proprietary devices. Some
      crackers break into government and military computers, in chapter
      two's story. (Possibly at the behest of terrorists, maybe on request
      by an FBI informant. One of the lessons to be learned from this is
      that if you idolize Kevin you won't get caught: but all your friends
      will.) Chapter three gives the story of a couple of guys who learned
      about computers in prison: it's a bit of a relief that, while they
      were breaking rules, they weren't up to no good. (Lots of
      countermeasures are listed for this one, most having very little to do
      with the narrative.) The interesting thing about chapter four is that
      the story is told from both sides of the fence. Chapter five tells
      the story of Adrian Lamo. A couple of penetration test stories are in
      chapter six, neither as interesting as the ones in Winkler's "Spies
      Among Us" (cf. BKSPAMUS.RVW). A couple of foreign intruders provide
      brief anecdotes in chapter seven. Chapter eight describes two
      targeted intrusions, and a bit about crackers and software piracy
      "warez" sites. Some details of scanning a network are given in
      chapter nine. Mitnick basically reprises "The Art of Deception" (cf.
      BKARTDCP.RVW) in chapter ten, with a socially engineered penetration.
      Some miscellaneous stories are in chapter eleven.

      In the preface, Mitnick is keen to let us know that blackhats
      everywhere are dying to get a fraudulent story past the king of social
      engineering, and so they check out every story for confirmatory
      details. Most of the stories can't be confirmed in much detail. They
      sound like good stories, but the particulars are sometimes unlikely.
      In the prison tale, for example, why could the principals get lots of
      network adapters and cabling (as well as sound cards), but have such a
      hard time with modems? If they were able to set up one networked
      computer with remote access, why not another?

      Ultimately, as with the earlier book, the tales develop a tiring
      sameness. Boy meets computer, boy hacks computers, boy either goes to
      jail or loses interest. The reader will probably lose interest much
      more quickly.

      copyright Robert M. Slade, 2005 BKARTINT.RVW 20050607


      ====================== (quote inserted randomly by Pegasus Mailer)
      rslade@... slade@... rslade@...
      Lotteries are a tax on the arithmetically impaired.
      http://victoria.tc.ca/techrev or http://sun.soci.niu.edu/~rslade
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