Breaking and Entering: The Extraordinary Story of a Hacker Called “Alien”

This book is an educational, entertaining and terrifying look at the profession of hacking.

“Here is what you probably don’t know,” she continued. “Only about thirty percent of hacks target a specific individual or institution.  Some seventy percent are opportunistic – hackers trying to break into anything they can, and pursuing opportunities behind any open door.  If your information is valuable to you, it’s valuable to someone else.  No one is too ‘boring’ to be hacked, and everything has a price on the hacker black market.”

Hacking did not begin with computers or even telephones.  Alien’s first experience at MIT was with the original high-risk physical trespassing.  The spirit of hacking is to go into forbidden places, break through locked doors and scale acrophobic heights.  And to do it without anyone ever knowing you were there.  Her very personal story shows not only the intellectual level and determination needed to pursue this lifestyle to its limits but also the toll it takes, physically, emotionally and morally.

I love exploring caves, musty basements, abandon building – and the internet.  I like seeing things others don’t see and finding out things others don’t know.  But I do it on a safe, superficial level. There are limits not only to my abilities but to the risks I am willing to take. When I had finished this book, like the author who interviewed Alien in order to write it, I was ready to move off the grid.

Review by staff member Janet T., Reference Librarian


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