Fugitive Game

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Kevin David Mitnick was cyberspace's most wanted hacker. Mitnick could launch missiles or cripple the world's financial markets with a single phone call - or so went the myth. The FBI, phone companies, bounty hunters, even fellow hackers pursued him over the Internet and through cellular airways. But while Mitnick's alleged crimes have been widely publicized, his story has never been told. Now Jonathan Littman takes us into the mind of a serial hacker. Drawing on over fifty hours of telephone conversations with ...
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Overview

Kevin David Mitnick was cyberspace's most wanted hacker. Mitnick could launch missiles or cripple the world's financial markets with a single phone call - or so went the myth. The FBI, phone companies, bounty hunters, even fellow hackers pursued him over the Internet and through cellular airways. But while Mitnick's alleged crimes have been widely publicized, his story has never been told. Now Jonathan Littman takes us into the mind of a serial hacker. Drawing on over fifty hours of telephone conversations with Mitnick on the run, Littman reveals Mitnick's double life; his narrow escapes; his new identities, complete with college degrees of his choosing; his hacking techniques and mastery of "social engineering"; his obsession with revenge.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Although Littman is dealing with the same events that Tsutomu Shimomura and John Markoff chronicle in Takedown (reviewed above), he remains a disinterested reporter who broadens the scope of the inquiry. He offers a convincing perspective on Kevin Mitnick's alleged computer crimes, developed from interviews, research and talks with the then-fugitive suspect. In Takedown, the reader watches Shimomura watch Mitnick hack into Littman's e-mail; here we're made privy to Mitnick's many phone calls to the California freelance journalist and author of Once Upon a Time in Computerland. The personnel may be the same in both books, but Littman suggests that Shimomura is a government agent and that his computer had been penetrated before Mitnick's break-in, a hit that caused the National Security Agency to ``freak out,'' at least as related to Littman by Markoff. Among other charges made here: Shimomura's complicity in developing a program to illegally scan cellular phones; the impropriety of Markoff's presence at the Mitnick stakeout, which Shimomura claims was approved by a U.S. attorney, who denies it. And there is Littman's stunning contention that an unidentified Israeli whose online conversation with Mitnick is transcribed in Takedown may, in fact, be the hacker who launched the attack on Shimomura's computer. Another point on which the books differ involves the North Carolina search warrants. Takedown ends with Mitnick's arrest, but we learn here from Littman that the government accepted a plea bargain from Mitnick that could release him with time served, or within eight months. Other charges are pending. Photos not seen by PW. 75,000 first printing; BOMC alternate; foreign rights to Japan and Brazil. (Jan.)
Library Journal
Computer security expert Shimomura gained instant celebrity with his highly publicized capture of Kevin Mitnick, a notorious computer hacker who allegedly plundered the Internet at will, stealing files and information from computer systems throughout the world. Markoff, a new breed of cyberspace journalist, was the sole reporter present when Mitnick was arrested, invited by Shimomura to cover the bust. Markoff's account of this story first appeared on the front page of the New York Times on February 16, 1995, the day after the bust. Markoff and Shimomura were friends, and Markoff's previous book, Cyberpunk (LJ 6/1/91), devoted a third of its content to the nefarious Mitnick. Takedown is a riveting account of the investigation and capture of a skilled hacker by a brilliant cybersleuth. Littman, an investigative reporter, has also written a compelling narrative of the Mitnick case. In contrast to Takedown, Littman captures Mitnick's side of the story. He focuses on Mitnick's motives and ambitions, drawing on personal conversations and correspondence with the world-class hacker while he was still a fugitive. Littman alleges questionable motives on the part of Shimomura and Markoff as they tread the murky water of journalistic ethics surrounding book advances, movie deals, talk-show appearances, and speaking fees. He exposes a conflict of interest raised by the financial rewards Shimomura and Markoff received by cooperating with the FBI, and asserts that the ensuing publicity over Internet security and the need for tougher laws distracted us from the real issue of a constitutional right to privacy on the information superhighway. Most libraries should have both The Fugitive Game and Takedown. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 9/15/95.]-Joe Accardi, Northeastern Illlinois Univ. Lib., Chicago
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316528580
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication date: 1/28/1996
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 6.39 (w) x 9.49 (h) x 1.23 (d)

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