Book Review – The Art of Deception/Intrusion

At first glance, these books being Kevin Mitnick’s first books published a few years after prison look to be chalk full of knowledge. It has been a few years since I’ve read both of these books (I’ve yet to read his newer books). These books are comparable to the various maxims found in The Art of War — in the sense that, nobody actually remembers the book in detail but recalls key phrases or themes & recites those.

The reason why I say that is, at the time of writing this review, I’m struggling to remember these books as far as actual substance. At the time when I was younger, I was enamored with content & the things I found in this book weren’t necessarily ground-breaking. I enjoyed some of the stories in Art of Deception more than Intrusion — I’ve always had a fascination with social engineering, how people pull things off, being deceptive without any hints of weakness, and so on.

Overall, I feel there’s no harm in reading these books together as a pair. But don’t be surprised if you feel there’s a lot of overlap or familiar concepts. The books are done by the same authors/editors along with having similar page counts. The ends of the book provide a gold mine of ‘cheat-sheets’ if you will, in book form, that are useful for practitioners (attackers & defenders!)

For example, in the end of Art of Deception, there are several pages that cover how to categorize information, detecting attacks against your company, common company nomenclature (I guess this is for someone who has never been in a business setting; or isn’t familiar with what we do?) so the individual can gain an understanding of what the names are of some common, everyday things are that they interact with (e.g. “what is caller ID”, “why do we shred documents”, “don’t overshare”, OPSEC”, etc).

I don’t really have much else to add to this review, just that I had to finish it as it was bugging me, sitting here incomplete. I’ll add more at a later date, but I am hoping that Mitnick’s newer books are an improvement.