Sunday, April 16, 2017

The Art of Invisibility: The World's Most Famous Hacker Teaches You How to Be Safe in the Age of Big Brother and Big Data By Kevin Mitnick

I always enjoy reading Kevin's books.  He is very interesting.  Ghost in the Wire was my favorite though.

This book covers how to stay anonymous on the Internet.  Although I think the steps here will be outdated within the year, it is a good review of how to stay anonymous and with it, secure.

Mitnick discusses how Tor works and how to get connected.  He also discusses encryption of your files, mail and hard drives.  He discusses the laws in some countries and how they can compel you to unlock your devices.  One of the examples is that when you land from traveling abroad, ensure that you reboot your phone and NOT enter you (hopeful 6 digit) iPhone pass code.  This will make it impossible for them to use your fingerprint to unlock the device.  That could be weather or not you are conscientious.  Also do the same with the laptop.

He also talks about traveling and staying in a hotel.  If at all possible get some FedEx boxes to store your laptop in.  You can purchase some tamper resistant labels for ~ $14.00 at Amazon.  Use the stickers after sealing the FedEx box with your equipment and place a tamper resistant label on it.  (Note: Do not leave new labels in your bag or in the room).

All-in-All this book is great.  If you like InfoSec, than you will probably like this book.  Warning:  It is written for more novice users, so don't be expecting heavy, heavy tech.

Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (February 14, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316380504
ISBN-13: 978-0316380508
Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1 x 9.5 inches

Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It By Marc Goodman

The book started off OK however the book is riddled with inaccuracies and the author takes many liberties.

First of all, as I stated, the book starts off good. It does give good information about big data collection and points out a lot of useful information however as he jumps into the “” he starts to treat it as an actual organization rather that saying something like “bad actors”. Also he made a comment about Ross William Ulbricht AKA “Dread Pirate Roberts”, the founder of Silk Road saying he was a big time libertarian. This must have been from WikiPedia as any self respecting libertarian will tell you that we live by the NAP lifestyle meaning None Aggression Principle. I happen to be libertarian so I can tell you that based on first hand knowledge.

Additionally, he references Scott Levine (sniper mail) as a “hacker”. I happened to have served as an expert witness on this case and can tell you that he was charged with conspiracy and money laundering which had nothing directly to do with “hacking”. He had some employees that “hacked” into Axiom; and not really because they had a file on the root of the FTP directory where everyone had access named passw.txt that contained all the username and hashed passwords. The passwords were the same as the username. They used a cracking tool to crack the first 3-4 passwords and saw the pattern. Anyhow, Scott owned the company and had gotten money from it, and that is what the FBI wanted. The money man. Gave they a deal and they rolled on Scott saying he ordered them to. There was more than enough evidence that his employees were trying to take the information they took and were trying to go on their own. Here is a link to an article from NBC News.

The book was hard to finish because the author starts getting repetitive and boring. Honestly there is more about crimes of the past than there is “Future Crimes”

File Size: 2100 KB
Print Length: 610 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0804171459
Publisher: Anchor; Reprint edition (February 24, 2015)
Publication Date: February 24, 2015
Sold by: Random House LLC
Language: English

Ruthless: My Son David Miscavige, and Me by Ron Miscavige

Yes, another Scientology book.  It seems that I find myself being pulled into this subject matter.  Sadly, this book mirrors that of others regarding the negative practices of the "church".  I tend to research religions, theories and philosophies and like to pick and choose pieces of each without needing to join a cult, convert my religion or join a group.  I believe David Miscavige has ruined it for me.  I think there is real insights into the mind with some of these teachings but it is overshadowed by the corruption and slave type lifestyle. I do not think the LRH was a god or anything like that, quite frankly without knowing him, he sounds more like a con artist, but people swear by some of the teachings.

This book is written by the father of David Miscavige, the Chairman of the Board of the church of Scientology.  It is difficult to read how these families are affected due to this belief system and the rules and edicts force by the leader(s).  The concept of parents and kids is eroded into nothing more than procreation.  That love and family bond is only visible as long as there is a Scientologist component to it.  Families have been completely "disconnected" for ever from each other because one of the members of the family decided to leave the church.

This book covers the life of Ron Miscavige and his early relationship with his son.  You get a clear picture of the love he felt/feels for his son.  The book give you great insight into David's early years and his subsequent Napoleonic complex, his rise to the top and the corruption through the eyes of his father.

I think it takes a special kind of person to go into the Sea Organization knowing what is in store for them.  It is truly like being in the Military but never leaving bootcamp.  The sleep deprivation, the disconnection from family and friends, meager lifestyle and overall unhappiness.  Ron spent 26 years as part of the "Sea Org'".

After reading this book and Ron Miscavige's grand Daughter, Jenna Miscavige, it is obvious the David Miscavige has some value for family albeit tiny.  He did communicate with them to some degree.  I believe that "absolute power corrupts absolutely" ~Lord Acton.  I believe that David Miscavige is corrupt because of the power he perceives to have.

The book is not long, but does a good job keeping you engaged.  I could not put it down.  I know to others this may not be interesting, but to me Scientology and Abraham Lincoln are probably my favorite material to read.

** SPOILER ** At the end of the book, Ron is talking to his son through the pages of the book and tells him "David, I forgive you".  Very touching and sad.

Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1St Edition edition (May 3, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1250096936
ISBN-13: 978-1250096937
Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.9 x 9.5 inches