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The Art of Deception: Controlling the Human Element of Security

Mitnick, Kevin D., and William L. Simon

ISBN 10: 0471237124 / ISBN 13: 9780471237129
Published by Wiley Publishing, 2002
Used Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
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About this Item

First printing, full number line. Inscribed, signed, and dated by the author on the title page: "To: John / Great meeting you. / Kevin Mitnick / 11/6/02." The first book by, according to his third book, "the world's most wanted hacker." He doesn't sign much, maybe because (understandably) he doesn't want his autograph out there. The book is square and unmarked; corners sharp, spine ends bumped. The dust jacket is not price-clipped (original price $27.50); light edgewear at spine ends and corners; Brodart protected. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 007642

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Art of Deception: Controlling the Human ...

Publisher: Wiley Publishing

Publication Date: 2002

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition: Near Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine

Signed: Signed by Author

Edition: First Edition.

About this title

Synopsis:

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.

Review:

The Art of Deception is about gaining someone's trust by lying to them and then abusing that trust for fun and profit. Hackers use the euphemism "social engineering" and hacker-guru Kevin Mitnick examines many example scenarios.

After Mitnick's first dozen examples anyone responsible for organizational security is going to lose the will to live. It's been said before, but people and security are antithetical. Organizations exist to provide a good or service and want helpful, friendly employees to promote the good or service. People are social animals who want to be liked. Controlling the human aspects of security means denying someone something. This circle can't be squared.

Considering Mitnick's reputation as a hacker guru, it's ironic that the last point of attack for hackers using social engineering are computers. Most of the scenarios in The Art of Deception work just as well against computer-free organizations and were probably known to the Phoenicians; technology simply makes it all easier. Phones are faster than letters, after all, and having large organizations means dealing with lots of strangers.

Much of Mitnick's security advice sounds practical until you think about implementation, when you realize that more effective security means reducing organizational efficiency--an impossible trade in competitive business. And anyway, who wants to work in an organization where the rule is "Trust no one"? Mitnick shows how easily security is breached by trust, but without trust people can't live and work together. In the real world, effective organizations have to acknowledge that total security is a chimera--and carry more insurance. --Steve Patient, amazon.co.uk

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