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Kevin Mitnick is well known to those in the security field; he is notorious for the efforts that he made to find ways around security systems, sometimes by hacking, but often by social engineering. I was a bit ambivalent about buying the book; did I want to "reward" someone that had been responsible for a number of security breaches.
However, I am glad that I did; the book highlights the methods used to gain illegal access to sites, systems and processes. These can be used by the astute security professional to understand how hackers think and to than be able to consider their options for improving their own security.
Security is not a destination, it is a journey. No matter how good a job you do, someone will find a way to get around the most hardened of processes. It is necessary to constantly question if the specific process that you have introduced are working and if they are doing the job that you think they should. Books like this reveal just how important it is to be able to take that outsider's view to ensure that you do not become one of the victims.
It's a very readable book and I feel that it should be read by anyone involved at any level in the field of IT security.
I wasn't really sure what I was getting myself in for getting this book, but I have to say that I really enjoyed it.
Kevin was what the movie's Hackers 1/2 was based on and this really does take you through his early life and how easy it was back then to get details of passwords and accounts etc. But also teaches of ways to counter also.
Overall I really enjoyed the book and often mention it in conversation about how social engineering can be used.