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Book Review: Ghost In the Wires

samzenpus posted about 3 years ago | from the read-all-about-it dept.

Security 77

brothke writes "During the 1990's when Kevin Mitnick was on the run, a cadre of people were employed to find him and track him down. Anyone who could have an angle on Mitnick was sought after by the media to provide a sound bite on the world's most dangerous computer hacker. Just one example is John Markoff, who became a star journalist for his work at The New York Times, and a follow-up book and series of articles based on Mitnick. In Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the Worlds Most Wanted Hacker, the first personal account of what really happened; Mitnick says most of the stories around him were the result of the myth of Kevin Mitnick, and nothing more. In the book, he attempts to dispel these myths and set the record straight." Read below for the rest of Ben's review.Some of the myths were that he was responsible for the phone of actress Kristy McNichol to be disconnected, and perhaps the most preposterous of them all, that he could whistle into a telephone and launch missiles from NORAD. The latter myth was responsible for him spending a year in solitary confinement. Mitnick notes that he thinks it was the federal prosecutor who got that idea from the movie WarGames.

But no one really knew Mitnick or what he was about. Left on his own, he would likely have been harmless. All he wanted to do was get into corporate sites, download code, play with the code and then move on to the next target. It is undeniable that Mitnick committed crimes; but it was unreasonable for the FBI to have made him a top priority for capture.

Perhaps the most widely stated myth about him is that he was strictly a social engineer without significant technical experience. While it was his gift of social engineering that facilitated his ability to get a significant amount of information from unsuspecting individuals; in many places in the book, Mitnick details technical Unix exploits that he carried out. The book makes it clear that Mitnick had the deep technical skills necessary to execute on the information he illicitly obtained.

While the book does have a lot of technical details, it mainly is about the human side of Mitnick. Chapter 1 is appropriately titled "Rough Start." He details his early days of growing up in the Los Angeles area.

These formative years as a hyperactive child, growing up with a single mom who had boyfriends that abused him and one who worked in law enforcement that molested him; may have been what led Mitnick to find solace behind a keyboard.

Mitnick writes how his first hack and entry into the world of dumpster diving was to forge bus transfers so he could ride around Los Angeles to occupy his time while his mother was at work.

In numerous places, Mitnick sincerely expresses his contrition for the pain he subjected his mother, grandmother, aunt, wife and others to.

Above and beyond his rough start, Mitnick also notes how he had his share of bad luck. He writes that too many times when he was growing up, including having to deal with various probation officers, unexplained failures in technology anywhere would be attributed to him. When the phone of his probation officers went dead, he was assumed to be the culprit.

The reality is that the world did not know what to make of Mitnick or what to do with him. It is pretty clear from the book and from every other account that Mitnick was never it in for the money. He simply was a hacker whose goal was to gain root, and nothing more. Such a notion was incredulous to law enforcement, and even to Ivan Boesky who Mitnick met in prison. When he briefly sat with Boesky on a prison bench, he writes that when Boesky found out he did it for the hacking thrill, Boesky replied that "you're in prison and you didn't make any money. Isn't that stupid?"

It is worthy to point out that Mitnick's escapades were radically different from that of Frank Abagnale, whom Mitnick is often compared to. In Catch Me If You Can: The True Story of a Real Fake, Abagnale writes that he impersonated an airline pilot, masqueraded as the supervising resident of a hospital, practiced law without a license, passed himself off as a college sociology professor and cashed over $2.5 million in forged checks; all before he was twenty-one. For those myriad offenses, Abagnale served five years in prison, roughly the same amount of time that Mitnick served.

In chapter 31, it details how Mitnick's world turned upside down and the myth of Kevin Mitnick took hold with the now infamous Markoff 1994 New York Times article Cyberspaces Most Wanted: Hacker Eludes F.B.I. Pursuit. Mitnick writes that the article is what put the myth of Kevin Mitnick into overdrive, and would later embarrass the FBI into making the search for him a top priority. It also provided a fictional image that would later influence prosecutors and judges into treating him as a danger to national security.

Mitnick's eventual capture is detailed in chapter 35 — "Game Over." He notes that Assistant US attorney Kent Walker made a secret arrangement to provide Tsutomu Shimomura with confidential trap-and-trace information as well as confidential information from Mitnick's FBI file. This was done so Shimomura could intercept Mitnick's communications without a warrant, under the premise that Shimomura was not assisting the agency, rather he was working for the ISP.

Mitnick writes that he was never charged with hacking Shimomura, as it would have exposed the gross misconduct of the FBI, who apparently violated Federal wiretapping statues in the rush to track him down.

Overall, Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the Worlds Most Wanted Hacker is a most interesting read. While the book does goes into technical details of how Mitnick carried out his attacks, editor William Simon provides the editorial assistance needed and makes the book extremely readable and enjoying. Much of the books readability is due to Simon, and Mitnick acknowledges this.

When a convicted felon writes a book emotions run high. In some ways, Mitnick's story is that of redemption. He did wrongs, paid his dues and is trying to move forward. Something like that should be admired. Never does Mitnick downplay his guilt or make Dan White-like excuses.

But some people will never let a person like Mitnick let go of the past. In his review of the book, Rich Jaroslovsky, a technology columnist for Bloomberg News shows no sympathy for Mitnick when he pretentiously writes that "genius comes in many forms. Kevin Mitnick has at least two, neither particularly admirable".

The book ends with Mitnick's release from prison and provides the reader with a fascinating story of one of the most recognized information security personalities. Ghost in the Wires is an interesting account of one of the most well-known information security personalities.

Mitnick's years on the run were simply a media circus and the years after his parole he found the terms of his probation so restricted that he could not touch a keyboard. Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the Worlds Most Wanted Hackeris an autobiography long in coming and worth the wait.

Ben Rothke is the author of Computer Security: 20 Things Every Employee Should Know.

You can purchase Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World's Most Wanted Hacker from amazon.com. Slashdot welcomes readers' book reviews -- to see your own review here, read the book review guidelines, then visit the submission page.

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The art of deception (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37221448)

Look forward to reading this. The Art of deception was pretty good

Re:The art of deception (5, Insightful)

jessecurry (820286) | about 3 years ago | (#37221558)

I really got sucked into this one. I saw Mitnick on the Colbert Report, downloaded the sample to my iPad, quickly reached the end of the sample, purchased the full copy, then read until the book was finished. I heard the other side of the story while I was really into computer security, this made getting Mitnick's personal account of events something that really interested me. Reading through this book brought back a lot of memories and proved to be much more enjoyable than I had initially anticipated.

Re:The art of deception (1)

LupusUF (512364) | about 3 years ago | (#37223614)

I did the same thing but on my Kindle. When I heard about the new book, I was interested (since I enjoyed The Art of Deception), and got the sample for my kindle. When I was finished with the sample, I quickly clicked the link to purchase the whole book.

I really enjoyed it. While I'm fairly knowledgeable about computers, I know very little about the phone system. He did go into some technical detail, but I never found it difficult to follow. I think people without a background in computers may find some of the technical details to be a bit much, the rest of the story is enough to keep anyone entertained. I really found his descriptions about social engineering to be fascinating. I thought it was funny that people would tell him that they were not supposed to do something because of this hacker that was causing problems, but then they would go right along and give him the information anyway.

I manage people who have to do money services, and social engineering is still alive and well. People have to go into all kinds of training on what not to do, and how not to get tricked into sending money fraudulently, but people still do it all the time.

Re:The art of deception (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 3 years ago | (#37224942)

I only bought my Kindle 3G for the free 3G internet. I've never, ever, bought any 'content' for it. Where do I get a torrent of this ebook?

Re:The art of deception (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37226248)

The Pirate Bay has a copy.

Re:The art of deception (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37227562)

http://www.demonoid.me/files/details/2714561/001007073516/

Re:The art of deception (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37274322)

call the fbi hotline....

Re:The art of deception (1)

cerberusss (660701) | about 3 years ago | (#37273144)

I can't find the Kindle version on Amazon. Can you provide me with a link?

Good Interview on TWIT Network with Kevin (2)

RapidEye (322253) | about 3 years ago | (#37221550)

Kevin was interviewed by Leo Laport and Tom Merritt this week on their TWIT show, Triangulation: http://twit.tv/tri21 [twit.tv]
It was really fun to listen too. His McDonalds story had me rolling.
Just based on the interview with Leo and Tom, I'm getting this book.

Re:Good Interview on TWIT Network with Kevin (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 3 years ago | (#37222254)

Apple juice...?

I saw him at at a conference in Campus Party Spain last month. His story is quite amazing.

Also scored one of his business cards, best business card ever!

Re:Good Interview on TWIT Network with Kevin (1)

andrewa (18630) | more than 2 years ago | (#37323986)

Wait, what? Was it "Private Investigator" and printed at Kinkos?

Re:Good Interview on TWIT Network with Kevin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37222742)

Same really, gonna try to buy it locally tonight, if I can't find it I'll just buy it online. Just like Leo said, I'd fcking buy the audio book if it was himself reading the book. It's really bad they put him 5 years in jail.

NORAD Missile Launch? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37221552)

He should have stuck to just playing a nice game of chess.

Re:NORAD Missile Launch? (1)

sirdude (578412) | about 3 years ago | (#37221650)

"I was playing chess with my friend and he said, 'Let's make this interesting'. So we stopped playing chess."

attempts to dispel these myths and.... (1)

gatkinso (15975) | about 3 years ago | (#37221560)

...make a lot of money.

Re:attempts to dispel these myths and.... (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37221598)

As opposed to the MakerBot scam artists who just want to give away their rickety, rackety crappity thing? The geek jizz was flying high and fast yesterday when they got 10 million dollars for putting two motors in a box, but this guy writes a book and now money is bad again? Luckily GameboyRMH mopped it all up with his tongue.

Re:attempts to dispel these myths and.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37221818)

As opposed to the MakerBot scam artists who just want to give away their rickety, rackety crappity thing? The geek jizz was flying high and fast yesterday when they got 10 million dollars for putting two motors in a box, but this guy writes a book and now money is bad again? Luckily GameboyRMH mopped it all up with his tongue.

... I take it you bought one?

I bought the Cupcake... and that felt like it was released 2-3 versions too early.

But c'mon, hopefully $10million means they'll be able to afford better equipment so it won't be so disappointing. ... what did this have to do with Kevin Mitnick again? "P... what did you dt

Re:attempts to dispel these myths and.... (1)

deains (1726012) | about 3 years ago | (#37222278)

Well, he's gotta get food on the table somehow. It's not like he hasn't worked for it...

Re:attempts to dispel these myths and.... (1)

Seumas (6865) | about 3 years ago | (#37223036)

Why shouldn't he? That hack, John Markoff, has been making bank off of Mitnick for a couple of decades. How he has a career, still, is fucking beyond me.

Re:attempts to dispel these myths and.... (1)

sjames (1099) | about 3 years ago | (#37223870)

He had to do the time based on an illusory image of him, he might as well make some money setting the record strait. Note, I'm not saying he did nothing wrong, just that he didn't do a much wrong as he was convicted of.

Re:attempts to dispel these myths and.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37243326)

and what is your point?

Still not accurate... (3, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | about 3 years ago | (#37221574)

"All he wanted to do was get into corporate sites, download code, play with the code and then move on to the next target. "

No, all he wanted to do was steal cellphone service and other services. Mitnick was not some grand hacker, he at that time was simply a petty thief that had skills that others did not. He was after the next big score or what would give him something for nothing.

Why does everyone paint him to be some kind of leader for freedom and the Hacking Society. Most of us that were in the scene at that time and before did not have much respect for him.

He is not the Hacker Poster boy. He was treated unfairly in the courts and legal system.

Re:Still not accurate... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37221842)

>He is not the Hacker Poster boy. He was treated unfairly in the courts and legal system.

And there's your answer. When the government treats someone unfairly and that person's crimes amount to theft and not much else, people will notice that person and will treat him with extra respect for the pain he goes through, deserved or not. It's the same way you treat someone with terminal cancer that beat you up in high school a little better than you really want to.

Re:Still not accurate... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37221950)

Jealous.

Re:Still not accurate... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37221994)

Why does everyone paint him to be some kind of leader for freedom and the Hacking Society. Most of us that were in the scene at that time and before did not have much respect for him.

He is not the Hacker Poster boy. He was treated unfairly in the courts and legal system.

The review seems to indicate that Mitnick himself is acknowledging that Kevin Mitnick, Hacker Poster Boy was an overblown media creation.

Form TFS:

But some people will never let a person like Mitnick let go of the past.

Indeed. But not only his past, the media and "the scene's" past.

Re:Still not accurate... (1)

nomadic (141991) | about 3 years ago | (#37221996)

He also (and this is the particularly stupid part) was caught, convicted, imprisoned, and then immediately started doing it again when he got out.

Re:Still not accurate... (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | about 3 years ago | (#37222112)

and then immediately started doing it again when he got out.

Citation needed? The book says that the parole officer thought his disconnected phone was caused by Mitnick, not that he did it.

Re:Still not accurate... (1)

nomadic (141991) | about 3 years ago | (#37222216)

Didn't he admit it in a court proceeding? He's pretty much bound by that admission, as much as he'd like to recant.

Re:Still not accurate... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37302838)

that is cruel and silly

Re:Still not accurate... (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | about 3 years ago | (#37222164)

Maybe a lot of people can empathize with the desire to steal free cell phone service. I know I hate paying those sons of bitches.

Re:Still not accurate... (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 3 years ago | (#37222320)

Most of us that were in the scene at that time and before did not have much respect for him.

His early exploits weren't much but some of the stuff he did when he was on the run from the FBI were quite impressive. eg. He had a setup that linked through the local cellphone towers that warned him when an FBI-owned cellphone came into his cell. No big deal for a cellphone company to do, but a private citizen...?

Re:Still not accurate... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37231612)

No not that impressive. and we had that even in the 80's for landline. If you ever were a hacker you would know this. Lumpy is correct. He is looked up to by those that know nothing about hacking. Just like how a guy that soups up his car is looked up to by people that know nothing about cars. It does not make the man Lloyd Lingenfelter.

Re:Still not accurate... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37243638)

so who is the hacker poster boy?

Re:Still not accurate... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37274400)

about as accurate as accurate can be.....

Ironic (4, Interesting)

tekrat (242117) | about 3 years ago | (#37221670)

Ironic that when *normal* people didn't have a computer, hackers were evil geniuses who could whistle into a telephone and launch nuclear missiles. Mitnik was FBI priority number one for a while.

But now, if a spammer breaks into your PC, zombies it and uses that to do whatever he wants (maybe even launch missles), the FBI hangs up on you if you try and register a complaint.

Now that *everyone* has a computer, computer crimes are no longer treated as a serious thing.

So lemme get this straight: Mitnik was a danger because the rest of the world was IGNORANT.

I have to wonder what the masses did the first guy who brought home fire.

Re:Ironic (3, Funny)

element-o.p. (939033) | about 3 years ago | (#37221952)

I have to wonder what the masses did the first guy who brought home fire.

Burned him at the stake?

Re:Ironic (1)

PeanutButterBreath (1224570) | about 3 years ago | (#37222014)

I have to wonder what the masses did the first guy who brought home fire.

You won't hazard even one guess?

Re:Ironic (2)

Translation Error (1176675) | about 3 years ago | (#37222086)

I have to wonder what the masses did the first guy who brought home fire.

I'd have to guess that they bound him to a rock and had a giant eagle eat his liver.

Re:Ironic (1)

drerwk (695572) | about 3 years ago | (#37223468)

I have to wonder what the masses did the first guy who brought home fire.

I'd have to guess that they bound him to a rock and had a giant eagle eat his liver.

The gods did that, not the masses.

Re:Ironic (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | about 3 years ago | (#37224000)

Only because the gods got there first

Re:Ironic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37228016)

Whatever dude.

  Patent pending: A chain reaction process in which celulose, ethanols and sugars undergo an exothermic reaction, producing carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and dihidrogen monoxide and feed energy back into the process to react more carbon thus ensuring the business cycle and expelling waste heat from this reaction to benefit customers seeking a heat source other than the sun.

Reality check (1)

westlake (615356) | about 3 years ago | (#37222212)

Now that *everyone* has a computer, computer crimes are no longer treated as a serious thing.

This is nonsense.

Computer Crime & Intellectual Property Section [cybercrime.gov]

Sentencing for Oliveras is scheduled Oct. 28, 2011, at 9:00 a.m. EDT. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $1,541,349 on the wire fraud charge, and two years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the identity theft charge.

BROOKLYN MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO ONLINE IDENTITY THEFT INVOLVING MORE THAN $700,000 IN REPORTED FRAUD [justice.gov] [August 10]

Re:Reality check (2)

Hatta (162192) | about 3 years ago | (#37222334)

How many of those have to do with unauthorized access? Of those, how many of the victims are individuals rather than corporations?

The case you cite is just credit card fraud. No unauthorized access on his part. Most of these cases are related to copyright infringement. In fact, I can find only two cases of computer intrusion on that list. One is the round of of Anonymous they did a while back. Another is a disgruntled employee. 100% of the victims in these cases were businesses.

Now consider what happens when a business hacks an individual. The best example is the Sony root kit. Nobody went to jail for that.

So the OP was right. The Computer Fraud and Abuse act is only used to put individuals in jail. Crimes by corporations dont' count. Just more evidence that the rule of law means nothing in America.

one of the first guys to use a cable modem (1)

decora (1710862) | about 3 years ago | (#37223708)

actually got in criminal legal trouble for it. its been a long ass time since i read the story, but im guessing slashdot probably covered it.

Re:Ironic (1)

walkerp1 (523460) | about 3 years ago | (#37223982)

As any fan of Emerson and Herbert can quote for you: fear always springs from ignorance, and fear is the mind killer.

The guy that brought home fire. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37269200)

I have to wonder what the masses did the first guy who brought home fire.

Way, WAY worse than five years in prison. [wikipedia.org]

that's how these days every hacker is autistic (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 3 years ago | (#37221682)

"you're in prison and you didn't make any money.", just doing it for.. eh, lulz, gets the autistic card nowadays.

anyhow, I feel for the guy, just getting your computers taken as a teenager sucks enough(for some stupid shit, not the most stupid but anyways, didn't get charged - 2.5 half years later got my stuff back, the hd didn't work after that so it was goodbye to some hobby coding sources). also the approach taken against mitnick just took the assumption that they couldn't secure their systems and therefore that anyone could whistle into a phone and make missiles fly, it's absurd to keep missiles even loaded in such case.

and "good guys" work without warrants in computer security when they would need them all the time, you know, your local fatso bofh's - the type of persons who don't even think they need warrants because they can peek in without one.

I call bullshit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37221796)

How could he possibly dispel the myth that he's just a social engineer with no technical skill..

Oh thats right, he could use his social engineering skills to sucker people into believing him.
If someone goes through all the effort to try to convince you they're not a fraud, it's usually
because they're a fraud.

And lets face it, he's had plenty of time to cobble together a believable set of stories to
back up his rewriting of history.

Re:I call bullshit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37221986)

and u base you comment on what?

Re:I call bullshit. (2)

Joce640k (829181) | about 3 years ago | (#37222346)

I saw him in person last month. He's got skills...

He uses social engineering to get hold of the cellphone firmware source code then leet skillz to disassemble phones and reprogram them to hack the networks (whose protocols he's just reverse engineered).

Crap. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37221810)

I don't see anything about the Drupal chapter. Does this book contain information on configuring Drupal? Plz advise.

Re:Crap. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37222058)

what kind of question is that?

Re:Crap. (1)

afabbro (33948) | about 3 years ago | (#37224898)

I don't see anything about the Drupal chapter. Does this book contain information on configuring Drupal? Plz advise.

Best. Packt. Joke. Ever.

This is why the news media.. (2)

Paracelcus (151056) | about 3 years ago | (#37221828)

Ain't worth a damn and politicians are (for the most part) the reason for everything that goes wrong in America!

How a headline hungry, yellow journalistic, irresponsible press can take some petty crook with questionable technical credentials and make a science-fiction supervillan out of him, and the politically ambitious law enforcement officials who want to paint themselves as the superheros of the story at the expense of some ineffectual schlub, (make a toy of him/an example) a behavior that typifies oppressive regimes throughout the world.

a few years after the Markoff debacle (1)

decora (1710862) | about 3 years ago | (#37223688)

we found James Risen doing a similar stunt against Wen Ho Lee... Lee was not in prison though , , he wound up suing the newspapers and the government, and winning.

Re:This is why the news media.. (1)

wwphx (225607) | about 3 years ago | (#37229024)

10-15 years ago, I was working for a police department doing database/network admin work, I went to an FBI meeting on hacking. The agent was covering the history of hacking and started talking about the Cap'n Crunch whistles and the 2600 Hz tone. He commented that he didn't know if it was Hertz or Mega-Hertz, I spoke up and said Hertz, not Mega-Hertz. He then semi-jokingly accused me of being a hacker. The twit didn't know the difference between a tone in the audio range and something that might be in the microwave range. I'm a ham radio operator and used to sell audio equipment, I think this guy was probably an accountant who took one course in hacking and was the local "expert".

I wasn't impressed with the rest of his presentation and was happy to leave. But I did get an afternoon off from work, so I guess that was OK.

Hackers (1)

bwnunnally (1744458) | about 3 years ago | (#37221862)

Zero Cool? ... yo this is Zero Cool! lol

Re:Hackers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37222172)

what does that mean????

Re:Hackers (1)

SomePgmr (2021234) | about 3 years ago | (#37223462)

It was a character from the movie "Hackers", contemporary with the overblown "Free Kevin" craziness.

Kevin Mitnik's Business Card (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37222108)

Re:Kevin Mitnik's Business Card (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 3 years ago | (#37222818)

I've got one!

oh lordy (1)

nomadic (141991) | about 3 years ago | (#37222236)

"But some people will never let a person like Mitnick let go of the past. In his review of the book, Rich Jaroslovsky, a technology columnist for Bloomberg News shows no sympathy for Mitnick when he pretentiously writes that "genius comes in many forms. Kevin Mitnick has at least two, neither particularly admirable".

Oh give me a break. Even by slashdot standards this doesn't make sense. He's writing a book about his past. He's trying to make money from his past. A REVIEWER of that book should not take a look at that past when reviewing that book?

Re:oh lordy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37240854)

I think the point was that the bloomberg reviewer was very harsh in his words....

Re:oh lordy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37302736)

your point is pointless

Rehabilitation (2)

MarkvW (1037596) | about 3 years ago | (#37222500)

Mitnick presents to me as an excellent case of a person who has rehabilitated himself.

I'm real happy for him.

Re:Rehabilitation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37222854)

i 2nd that!

Re:Rehabilitation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37240954)

yes that it the case.
i think the bloomberg reviewer was overly harsh and kept harping on his past,w/o thinking of rehabilitation.

Re:Rehabilitation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37274570)

so true!!! his is the ultimate story of redemtion.

Mitnick Archives (1)

greghodg (1453715) | about 3 years ago | (#37222582)

For those of you who missed this in the 90's, there is some great stuff on Tsutomu's site. The voicemails are pretty funny, even if most of them are fake, and you can replay Mitnick's telnet sessions to Tsutomu's machines in real time. http://takedown.com/evidence/index.html [takedown.com]

I wonder if some Store would have the guts to ... (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | about 3 years ago | (#37222900)

bundle this book and 9780440222057 as a set (assuming that the publisher has them to sell)

We could call it the Fox News Bundle!

pair it with "Takedown" (1)

Sebastopol (189276) | about 3 years ago | (#37223360)

...written by the guy that nabbed him. "Takedown" was exciting, but a little bit of ego fluff. I read it a decade ago, and perhaps should read it in tandem with Mitnik's side of the story.

Re:pair it with "Takedown" (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 3 years ago | (#37224966)

Better yet, publish it as one of those back-to-back books that you flip one way or the other to have the matched front covers.

Re:pair it with "Takedown" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37302776)

>>>:::a little bit of ego fluff. I

a little bit of ego fluff is an UNDERSTATEMENT...

it was huge ego, and some of the facts are wrong.

the really dangerous hackers work on wall street (1)

decora (1710862) | about 3 years ago | (#37223662)

they wrote things like Gaussian Copula Function code, CDO simulations, and models of mortgage securities for ratings agencies.

these were at the heart of what enabled the massive fraud of the CDO game during the bubble years of the early 2000s. Ratings agencies built shoddy models, and investment banks 'reverse engineered' and 'gamed' those models. They also payed the ratings-agencies managers to skew the results.

Out of it all came massive piles of bad mortgage debt, advertised and sold as good debt. This enabled more and more bad loans to be made, driving up housing prices for everyone, and creating an industry of 'house flipping' and 'cash out mortgage refinancing', all based on nothing more than the mathematical abstractions built by these hackers inside these investment banks and hedge funds and ratings agencies.

that is why unemployment is 10%, why the debt ceiling debate existed, why the european union may collapse, why the Euro may cease to exist, why China and Russia might move away from the Dollar as a reserve currency, etc etc etc. It is why trillions of dollars of taxpayer money disappeared into the basements and palaces of the hyper-rich, the investment bank officers and hedge fund managers who skimmed it all off as bonuses (for 'future projected revenues') and disappeared into the nethers.

this is why honest people working for the SEC were fired by the dozens while the corrupt and the conflicted continued to look the other way, so that they could then go work for these banks and hedge funds years down the line.

That is what these 'hackers' did. To all of us.

Mitnick is a threat? Mitnick is to be looked down on? What planet do you live on? What century do you live in?

Re:the really dangerous hackers work on wall stree (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37274194)

wow.....soo correct

Mitniks hard drive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37227812)

Was his hard drive ever returned, or is that in the book?

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