Magic, Hacking and Kevin Mitnick

Is there anything common to Magic and Hacking? Is there a hacker in a magician? Is there a magician in a hacker?

In my personal journey, I adopted Magic first and later got acquainted with Hacking when I met my co-founder and started working on a product to simulate a human hacker. I believe Magic helped me in Security. Somehow deep in my heart I always believed there is a magician in every hacker.

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Magic at first Sight..

The first time I met Kevin Mitnick, arguably the world's most famous hacker, was at San Francisco. He was signing his recently released book "Ghost in the wires". I just stepped up to and said hello, and then engaged in some chit chat. S A genius in the field of Social Engineering, I thought he might also like magic. I asked him if he likes Magic and he mentioned that he practices it! I talked about mentalism and my favourite book by Corinda. He  had read Corinda too! So that's how I first discovered the magician Mitnick :) 


Magic at Vegas..

My next meeting with Mitnick was at Vegas at the Bellagio. We had a party at the Bellagio just overlooking the famous fountain show. We enjoyed the fountain show with a wine and as it ended turned around and surprisingly saw Mitnick behind me. I said Hello to him. I was sure he would not remember me. Again, somehow the topic of magic came up. He showed me some cool palming techniques. He was pretty good at it. I showed him a few of my palming techniques and the French drop. Then we discussed about social engineering and some of our favorite magicians. In fact it turns out many of the celebrity magicians are good friends of Mitnick. So this time, I was more convinced about the magician in Mitnick.

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Magic (Ghost) in the wires....

I picked up the book by Mitnick (Ghost in the wires) from my shelf which he signed at San Francisco and started browsing through the Contents. There it comes again ..."Escape Artist". There is magic in his book, right from the first page. The book is the version of Mitnick about his journey as a hacker. It is a fascinating read. In fact one of the best books and most enjoyable that I read on security. The more I read, the more I got convinced about Mitnick the magician. He talks about his fascination on seeing the first magic show and how people loved getting deceived. He falls in love with getting the power to deceive people and to enthrall them. 


If hacking is magic, then Mitnick is the Houdini !




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