Sunday, May 16, 2010

Review of Masters of Deception Posted

Amazon.com just posted my three star review of Masters of Deception by Michelle Slatella and Joshua Quittner. From the review:

Masters of Deception (MOD) by Michelle Slatella and Joshua Quittner tells the tale of the self-proclaimed Masters of Deception, a phone phreaking and proto-computer hacker crew from the early 1990s. This was one of several books on the 1980s-1990s hacker scene that I recently read, but thus far I consider it the weakest. Initially I found it interesting, but as the book progressed I found the characters increasingly boring and shallow. Overall I felt the authors glamorized the lives of kids who expressed their teenage frustrations through digital means. The MOD story may sound novel to some readers, but having lived through the period in the book I can say this is one story of many that could be told.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hello Richard,

I have a non-technical question for you, and it is almost my curiosity.

I´m very interested to learn your methodology to read and develop your knowledge, since I´m seeing that you read a lot of books monthly.

What are your tips about this matter?

thank you!

Best Regards.

Anonymous said...

Hi Richard,

Thanks for the tip about Cliff Stoll's cyberwar webcast at the Berkman Center. Hadn't seen that.

Interesting take on the book, but I disagree with your statement that "Characters from the so-called "Great Hacker War" between LOD and MOD exist mainly in Wikipedia pages or books like this." They may not be media-whoring on conference circuit, but several have had successful technology and security careers. I'm interested to see what else is on your "1980s-1990s hacker scene" booklist. I'd assume even if you're not going to review them, you're familiar with or have read Littman's two books, the books on Mitnick, and The Cuckoo's Egg. Here are a couple more obscure ones:

-Beating the System (Boycott/Hamilton)
-Approaching Zero (Mungo)
-At Large (Mann)

None are that remarkable 15-20 years after publication, but the first two are noteworthy if only for a UK/Europe perspective.

Richard Bejtlich said...

Anonymous:

http://taosecurity.blogspot.com/2007/01/reading-tips.html

gih said...

Followed it. Thanks for sharing.