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Publishers Weekly, 1997-01-27 An author's note explains that Littman stopped working on this book in midstream to write his popular account of infamous hacker Kevin Mitnick (The Fugitive Game). There's no interruption in flow here, however, as the adventures of seasoned hacker Kevin Poulsen quickly escalate to a captivating pitch. Obsessed with telephones from his adolescence, Poulsen amasses vast knowledge of Pacific Bell's inner workings by breaking and enteringæboth virtually and actually. Wanted for espionage and other crimes, he goes underground in L.A. When the TV show America's Most Wanted decides to broadcast his mugshot to 14 million viewers, Poulsen tells his fellow hackers, "I guess I could knock out Channel Four"; as soon as the program goes on air, no one can call the FBI with leads: all 30 phone lines connected to the show's tip center are dead. Littman combines neat development of technical detail, a neutral gaze on a criminal's motivation and an unfailing sense of adventure. From this expertly woven narrative emerges a wholly absorbing portrait of the obsessive, Robin Hood-inspired hacker culture, as well as the realization that behind every great hacker there's a great story, at least if told by Littman. Photos not seen by PW. (Mar.)
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