Austin Computer Book Club

Excerpt: The Art of Invisibility

Our next meeting is fast approaching: we’ll be discussing Kevin Mitnick’s The Art of Invisibility on Wednesday, June 21. To give you a sample, here’s an excerpt from Wired, “Famed Hacker Kevin Mitnick Shows You How to Go Invisible Online”:

Even if you delete an email the moment you read it on your computer or mobile phone, that doesn’t necessarily erase the content. There’s still a copy of it somewhere. Web mail is cloud-based, so in order to be able to access it from any device anywhere, at any time, there have to be redundant copies. If you use Gmail, for example, a copy of every email sent and received through your Gmail account is retained on various servers worldwide at Google. This is also true if you use email systems provided by Yahoo, Apple, AT&T, Comcast, Microsoft, or even your workplace. Any emails you send can also be inspected, at any time, by the hosting company. Allegedly this is to filter out malware, but the reality is that third parties can and do access our emails for other, more sinister and self-serving, reasons.

While most of us may tolerate having our emails scanned for malware, and perhaps some of us tolerate scanning for advertising purposes, the idea of third parties reading our correspondence and acting on specific contents found within specific emails is downright disturbing.

The least you can do is make it much harder for them to do so.

Read the whole excerpt here, then grab a copy (here’s where you can find one; there’s even an audiobook version) and join us on the 21st!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *