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Hacker Writes Book, Minus His Escapades

July 01, 2002|Associated Press

Barred by the terms of his probation from messing with computers, ex-convict hacker Kevin Mitnick has turned to writing about them, baring the tricks of his former trade in a forthcoming book.

An advance copy of the book, "The Art of Deception," describes more than a dozen scenarios in which computer network administrators are duped into divulging passwords, encryption keys and other coveted security details.

But it's all fiction. Or so said Mitnick.

Those seeking Mitnick's version of his lawless escapades will have to wait. Personal details are carefully expunged from the book, which uses fictitious names of hackers, victims and companies.

"It's not the Kevin Mitnick story," said Mitnick, 38, of Thousand Oaks, who served five years in federal prison for stealing software and altering data at Motorola, Novell, Nokia, Sun Microsystems and USC. He was released in January 2000 and is on three years' probation.

"This book isn't about my cases, it's creating fiction stories with the same techniques I've used and others have used," he said.

Mitnick said his message is aimed at computer security professionals, to help them stop people like him. But he also said his tricks would make good fodder for the dishonest.

"The information can be used for good or bad," he said.

Mitnick is best known for leading the FBI on a three-year manhunt that ended in 1995 when agents collared him in an apartment in Raleigh, N.C. with the help of a top academic security expert.

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