Focusing on the human factors involved with information security, Mitnick explains why all the firewalls and encryption protocols in the world will never be enough to stop a savvy grifter intent on rifling a corporate database or an irate employee determined to crash a system. With the help of many fascinating true stories of successful attacks on business and government, he illustrates just how susceptible even the most locked-down information systems are to a slick con artist impersonating an IRS agent.
Narrating from the points of view of both the attacker and the victims, he explains why each attack was so successful and how it could have been prevented in an engaging and highly readable style reminiscent of a true-crime novel. And, perhaps most importantly, Mitnick offers advice for preventing these types of social engineering hacks through security protocols, training programs, and manuals that address the human element of security.
©2003 Kevin D. Mitnick; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
I enjoyed a few of the tidbits of information provided in the overly long listen, e.g., you can't alway trust Caller ID, but I was disappointed by the author's tone of the book. I was expecting a more thoughtful analysis of the ways security can be enhanced and how hackers and information thieves work. What I received was a less than insightful book by a man who is obviously still proud of his criminal expoits, regardless of the harm he certainly caused.
The first three or four examples of computer hacking achieved by fooling people into divulging seemingly innocent information were interesting, but the rest of the book is more of the same. I couldn't force myself to listen to more than the first third.
I could only listen to the first couple of hours. This reminded me of a term paper where the student is overly verbose to extend the paper to the required length.
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