Today at work I went and saw a presentation by Kevin Mitnick, formerly known as the most wanted hacker (by the FBI) in the world. He spent time in jail twice, the latter spending five years in prison with a full year of that in solitary confinement. I’m going to assume that you’re familiar with Mitnick and if not, here’s a link to his Wikipedia page.
Mitnick released a book last year entitled Ghost in the Wires. It’s his 3rd book and is about his life story whereas his previous two books were more on the technical side. As part of the terms of his release, he wasn’t allowed to write about his life story for a period of time. That ban finally expired in 2007. Previous books written about him didn’t get all of the stories straight.
Mitnick is a reformed hacker. He now runs a security consulting company and organizations now pay him to break into their computer networks but this time give him permission ahead of time. I have seen some interviews with Mitnick and what he spoke about today is similar to what he talks about elsewhere and is found in his book. Some highlights:
Mitnick is an engaging speaker and he kept me entertained and informed. I have a passing interest in hacking but I never had the technical skills (I’d say mine are maybe a 5 or 6 on a scale of 1 to 10). However, I understand social engineering a lot better, so that part of the presentation hooked me.