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Three Interesting Books

Zero Day and Trojan Horse

These two books were written by Mark Russinovich, a famous and very respected programmer. He and Bryce Cogswell founded the famous SysInternals site. In addition writing dozens of very popular Windows adminstration and diagnostic tools, he has also written a number of magazine articles and Windows Administration books. His company, WinInternals was purchased by Microsoft, but continues to run pretty much as it always has.

He has written two high tech thrillers. These books should appeal to the technical minded. He writes competently, drawing good characters, plot and action. But what sets his books apart from others, is that his "terrorist plot foiled by savvy tech guy and beautiful brilliant girl friend" story, is that they are technically sound. Nothing in these books is from the future. It is all plausible using today's technology. You don't need to be a security expert to understand these books, but it is nice to see fun thrillers that are technically accurate.

First book: Zero Day
Second book: Trojan Horse

They are sequential and involve the same characters but the second is not dependent on the first. I enjoyed them both.

Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the world's most wanted hacker.

By Kevin Mitnick and William Simon

Kevin Mitnick is the world's most famous hacker. At 12 he was riding the Los Angeles transit system for free, using his own ticket punch and unused transfer slips he found in the trash. At 16 (in 1979) he broke into the Digital Equipment Corporation network to study the operating system. Not long after that he hacked into phone services so he could make all his mobile phone calls for free. In time he had hacked into dozens of government sites and large companies and was seemingly invincible. All this was done for the challenge of it, rather than to hurt people or make money. He was in hiding from the FBI for about 2.5 years and was eventually caught and served 5 years in prison. He is now a top security expert and even has a tshirt that declares "I'm not a hacker, I'm a security professional"

This is his story. How he did it. It is very fun and interesting, with enough technical details to give you a better understanding of security. This book will show exactly how he did much of his hacking, which wasn't just technical genius, but largely how he convinced people to give him their top secrets willingly. The guy was 80% con man, and only 20% computer hacker. This will probably give you a new perspective on security issues.

Date: December 2012

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