The Art of Deception

  • by Kevin Mitnick
  • Narrated by Nick Sullivan
  • 13 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The world's most infamous hacker offers an insider's view of the low-tech threats to high-tech security. Kevin Mitnick's exploits as a cyber-desperado and fugitive form one of the most exhaustive FBI manhunts in history and have spawned dozens of articles, books, films, and documentaries. Since his release from federal prison, in 1998, Mitnick has turned his life around and established himself as one of the most sought-after computer security experts worldwide. Now, in The Art of Deception, the world's most notorious hacker gives new meaning to the old adage, "It takes a thief to catch a thief." 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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

interesting but repetitive...

I was expecting more from this book but I have a background in IT Security and maybe that clouded my judgement. The target audience is not the InfoSec community but middle management.

The books contained many simplistic examples, with a few teases of information around potential social engineering resources (mainly US examples) but started to get very repetitive offering only high level solutions (e.g. have a security policy).

My advice - Once you've read the first few chapters you can put this book down and get on with your life. The book serves a purpose to highlight to the clueless how easily you can be convinced to part with information but I would imagine it would start to feel like a broken record to most readers.
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- Mr. S. Riley

Interesting Read

If you are going to read something, the pick the other title, Ghost in the Wires. That is absolutely excellent where as this by comparison is a sanitised version. The first half of the book is quite interesting with lots of examples of social engineers in action, but you are left thinking that they are all engineered stories. I did spot a few that were listed in Ghost in the Wires, but others seem manufactured to make a point. The second half of the book is largely missable. Had it been a book, I don't think I'd have got past the 75% mark as its a list of policies designed for operations and security teams to sure up their systems. Yes there's a place for it, and perhaps when this book was written it was groundbreaking stuff, but the narration is so monotone its hard going. I bought this one based solely on how good Ghost in the Wires is. My advice, read that one, it has all this and more.
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- Trevor

Book Details

  • Release Date: 28-07-2009
  • Publisher: Audible Studios