The end of Kevin

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So many hours in the gym later (believe it people) I have got to the end of the Kevin Mitnickaudio book.

English: Kevin Mitnick Deutsch: Kevin Mitnick ...

English: Kevin Mitnick Deutsch: Kevin Mitnick Русский: Кевин Митник (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do I feel much more sympathetic to him? No, not really.

Yes, he was treated badly at various times. And he spent a lot of time in prison awaiting trial. And the US penal system is a disgrace (though he doesn’t seem to say much about this). But he also kept on breaking the law in the full knowledge of the likely outcome.

He probably should have had medical treatment rather than be slung into a prison, but then he’s hardly the only one that applies to. (He’s clean these days but his behaviour – such as keeping the hours of a teenager – does suggest a deeper physiological problem is at the heart of this: he just wouldn’t grow up.

The book is a salutary reminder that the biggest security weakness of any IT system is the people using it. Mitnick says nothing to suggest he was a particularly skilled programmer – but he was a world expert in manipulating people.