Welcome to my bookshelf

I am a voracious reader who is constantly found with her nose in a good (although sometimes not so good) book. I felt the need to share my experiences and suggestions, so here it is. Recommendations and comments are most definitely desired.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Gaining Root

Currently Reading: Ghost in the Wires

Pg 125: "People, as I had learned at a very young age, are just too trusting."

Wow!  I am totally blown away and still reeling from Kevin Mitnick's tale of his hacking days and subsequent perusal by federal agencies.  He is amazing!  I am terribly envious of computer savvy folks and it is mind-boggling to read about the things he did.  The weirdest part of his epic story is that most of the hacking he seemed to do took place as he was trying to outsmart the feds and merely escape from their coming after him for the earlier hacks.  He does things that I cannot even fathom.  I loved all the technical details and am still in awe.  See, I am incoherent in my description of this book.  Thank goodness for spell check (something that would be child's play to mess with in Mitnick's case, I'm sure).  The rise of technology's prominence in our lives seems to have opened up so many new ways to discover information about people in addition to simply connecting our lives by mere threads, or wires.  Everything we hold dear can be altered, copied, or discovered by someone who wants it enough.  Is this a good thing?  In general, I say yes.  While Mitnick was basically, and it for sure now, an ethical hacker, there are still those out there out to gain root for evil.  Still, is it worth stopping them all in order to prevent those few, darksiders?

One of the most interesting things about Mitnick's story is that a lot of the "hacking" he did was through social engineering rather than through computer or phone technical details.  He simply called someone up and managed to get what he needed.  How trusting we are!!  Often times, geeks and nerds are labeled as being socially inept, but in order to properly use social engineering, one has to be incredibly astute regarding people.  How to read them as you poke through their brains and attempt to gain the desired knowledge.  Knowing how far and what buttons to push requires a lot of intuition.  Perhaps we are too quick to stereotype in these folks' cases?  You never know, it could be exactly what he wants.

Anyways, read this book.  It is awesome.