Breaking and Entering: The Extraordinary Story of a Hacker Called

Breaking and Entering: The Extraordinary Story of a Hacker Called "Alien"

by Jeremy N. Smith


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This taut, true thriller dives into a dark world that touches us all, as seen through the brilliant, breakneck career of an extraordinary hackera woman known only as Alien.

When she arrived at MIT in the 1990s, Alien was quickly drawn to the school’s tradition of high‑risk physical trespassing: the original “hacking.” Within a year, one of her hallmates was dead and two others were arraigned. Alien’s adventures were only just beginning.

After a stint at the storied, secretive Los Alamos National Laboratory, Alien was recruited by a top cybersecurity firm where she deployed her cache of virtual weapons—and the trespassing and social engineering talents she had developed while “hacking” at MIT. The company tested its clients’ security by every means possible—not just coding, but donning disguises and sneaking past guards and secretaries into the C‑suite.

Alien now runs a boutique hacking outfit that caters to some of the world’s biggest and most vulnerable institutions—banks, retailers, government agencies. Her work combines devilish charm, old‑school deception, and next generation spycraft. In Breaking and Entering, cybersecurity finally gets the rich, character‑driven, fast-paced treatment it deserves. 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780544903210
Publisher: HMH Books
Publication date: 01/08/2019
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 1,203,111
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

JEREMY N. SMITH writes regularly for the New York Times, the Atlantic, and Discover, and he and his work have been featured by CNN, NPR News, and Wired, among other outlets. Born and raised in Evanston, Illinois, he is a graduate of Harvard College and the University of Montana.

Table of Contents

Author's Note viii

Preface: The Hacker Next Door ix

Part I Course 19 1

1 Inside Out 3

2 The Coffeehouse Club 20

3 Earth to Alien 42

4 A Death in the Family 56

Part II In Security 65

5 Up All Night 67

6 I Spy 83

7 Wild Wild Web 101

8 A Hackable Heart Transplant 120

Part III Agents and Jedis 139

9 Capture the Flag 141

10 Check, Please 156

11 Up in the Air 180

12 Europe on Five Hacks a Day 202

Part IV Owner's Manual 219

13 The Bartender 221

14 The Best Around 241

15 Phoning Home 264

Epilogue: Fast Forward 287

Acknowledgments 291

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