Wednesday , April 17 2024
This is the story of a gang of hackers in the pre-dawn of the Internet.

The Masters of Deception: the Gang That Ruled Cyberspace – by Michelle Slatalla & Joshua Quittner

Hello! I’m a new reviewer here at Blogcritics. For my first entry, I’m posting a review I wrote this past spring.

I picked up a copy of The Masters of Deception: the Gang That Ruled Cyberspace in a campus bookstore because I can’t resist browsing the discount table. It was the description on the back of the book that made me decide to buy it.

This is a fascinating journey into the world of international computer networks just before the birth of the Internet. While I do not fully understand the technical aspects of computer hacking in those days (much less now), my lack of knowledge did not hinder my understanding of the tale woven by these two fine authors. Good and evil are drawn with muddy lines, and the boundaries between curiosity and destruction are hard to define. I wavered between sympathy for the hacker protagonists and sympathy for those they hacked. In the end, I felt a little cheated by the sympathetic slant the story took. I think I would have more feeling for those boys if I could have seen how they changed and matured once the whip came down. Paul is the only one I feel could have actually turned himself around and made good, but perhaps the others truly did so.

The book was published nearly ten years ago. Ever since I finished reading it, I have wondered if it is possible to find out what happened to the five after the story ended. Perhaps they really did make good.

About Anna Creech

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