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Hacking the Hacker by Roger A. Grimes

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5Profile: Kevin Mitnick

When the term “computer hacker” is thrown around, most people think of Kevin Mitnick. Back in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, Kevin Mitnick was the hacker. Mitnick used a combination of social engineering and lower‐level operating system research to pull off all sorts of outrageous stunts, although the overall harm caused by him is debatable, especially when compared to today’s world of APT attacks and ransomware.

He and his exploits have been written about in several books, have been made into a movie, and have generated a peculiar subculture of eccentric hacking stories attributed to him that he never did. The government’s own fear of Mitnick was so bad that he is the only U.S. prisoner not allowed to use a phone while incarcerated and kept in solitary confinement for fear that one word or sound from him could launch a nuclear missile. If you’ve ever seen a movie where the protagonist said one word into a phone and then a whole lot of bad cyber stuff happened, that scene germinated from the paranoia surrounding Mitnick.

I’m including Mitnick early in this book because since those early days of cyber mischief, he has dedicated his life to fighting computer crime, and he is one of the few reformed long‐time blackhats that I completely trust. Today, Mitnick has written several books on computer security (https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=dp_byline_sr_book_1?ie=UTF8&text=Kevin+Mitnick&search‐alias=books&field‐author=Kevin+Mitnick&sort=relevancerank), works with ...

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