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10th December 2020
East SIG Report November 2020
11th December 2020

Tim McQueen

Breaking & Entering

The extraordinary story of a hacker called ‘Alien’

Jeremy N Smith

Scribe 2019, 292 Pages.

Here’s a book on computing that can make one feel old. Smith outlines the career of ‘Alien’; a username selected when she started at MIT in 1998. Her early hacking consisted of invading ‘off limits’ areas of the MIT campus. After the death of a boyfriend from a drug overdose Alien slowly became interested in computer hacking. She combined her computing skills with her breaking and entering talents to find security problems in banks, hospitals and defence organisations. Alien eventually ran her own successful company.

This is quite an entertaining read. Smith covers the methodology of ‘white hat’ hacking without disclosing details.