This book goes beyond the movie The Net (which was technically flawed) and presents a frightening glimpse of what a determined hacker could do if he was also a psycho killer. The hacker has created a virtually undetectable trap door program that can invade a victim's computer undetected and provide the hacker with a with all key strokes made by the user as well as all data on the user's PC. The hacker than uses the information gleaned to social engineer his way into getting close to his victim.
The hacker also employs tactics that were used by Jonathan Littman and Kevin Mitnick to reroute phone switches so he can break into virtually any call. The hacker also has an array of other nasty Internet tools like encryption and password crackers. What makes the whole thing really scary is that many of the tools are available as shareware on the Internet so it might not be so hard for a "sick" individual to carry out some of the things he does.
A must read for those in the computer security field!
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How do you write a truly gripping thriller about people staring into computer screens? Many have tried, none have succeeded until now. Leave it to Deaver, the most clever plotter on the planet, to do it by simply applying the same rules of suspense to onscreen action as to offscreen. Much of the action in this novel about the hunt for an outlaw hacker turned homicidal maniac does takes place in the real world, but much else plays out in cyberspace as a team of California homicide and computer crime cops chase the infamous "wizard" hacker known as Phate. The odds run against the cops. With his skills, Phate can not only change identities at will (a knack known as "social engineering" in hacking parlance) but can manipulate all computerized records about himself. The cops have a wizard of their own, however: a former online companion of Phate's, a hacker doing time for having allegedly cracked the Department of Defense's encryption program. He's Wyatt Gillette, coveting Pop-Tarts (the hacker's meal of choice) and computers, but also the wife he lost when he went to prison and it's his tortured personality that gives this novel its heart as Wyatt is sprung from prison, but only for as long as it takes to track down Phate. The mad hacker, meanwhile, no longer able to discern between the virtual and the real, has adapted a notorious online role-playing game to the world of flesh and blood, with innocent humans as his prey. As he twists suspense and tension to ...