Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Movie Review Operation Takedown: Kevin Mitnick

I had gotten my hands on this movie sometime back, but it wasn't until this weekend that I actually got a chance to see it! And I saw it twice in a row!!!

If you read or have read about cybersecurity, you must have heard of this hacker (turned cracker) Kevin Mitnick. He was known to be the MOST wanted FBI cyber criminal. Now whether he really was a cracker or a hacker (if you understand the difference between the two & give a damn about it, I personally do) is really debatable. Some say he was a hacker whose image was tarnished as a bad guy, cracker, by the New York Times writer John Markoff. I haven't studied this eposide enough, so don't have a personal opinion yet. But there are many books and documentaries towards that end. This movie in particular portrays him as a cracker, which is based on book by same title: Takedown (by Tsutomu Shimomura John Markoff).

Some research revealed book venturing on the Mitnick's side of the world as well. This is a brilliant look at a compelling individual and also the manufacturing of media events and the inept efforts of law enforcement to prepare for the next wave of high-tech crime.
The Fugitive Game: Online with Kevin Mitnick
The Cyberthief and The Samurai
Freedom Downtime: a feature length documentary on Kevin

Takedown is really gripping from start to the end, and all the whole of cast is amazing, my personal favourite is obviously, Kevin Mitnick in the movie.

Mitnick, now, is no more chased by feds, he has his own security consulting firm: Mitnick Security Consulting, LLC.

Now I'll go to a bookstore the first thing this weekend and buy some of these books!

If you have read any of these, please be generous to share your reviews & opinions.

Additional resources for the curious souls:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting post. I feel sorry for Mitnick that he was incarcerated for so long only because of the ignorance and fear of the law enforcement. He did not have sufficient skills as a hacker to do things that law enforcement feared he could. He was extremely good at "social engineering" and I think that was all he was limited to. But, yeah, social engineering is a powerful tool.

Shimomura is almost despicable. If he was even half a security expert that he was claiming he was, he wouldn't have got owned by Mitnick. He should be ashamed of that self-glorifying book of his. Has anyone heard of him doing anything noteworthy ever since?

I think I have been rambling, but both these guys get on my nerves. I thought you would be interested in reading "The Hacker Crackdown" by Bruce Sterling. It is in the public domain and you can download it off the web. It is about "Operation Sundevil". Gives you a much better picture of what hackers were up against and the fear in which hackers lived.

The Hacker Crackdown: Law and Disorder on the Electronic Frontier