I have always been fascinated by the concept of hackers. (I here refer to hackers in the malignant connotation of the word.) To me, the whole idea of pure knowledge and cleverness being able to outsmart an entire corporation is incredibly intriguing.
Admittedly, there are so many ways one can hack into a system that even if thousands of ways are protected, only one way is needed to get in. So hacking can almost be easier than protecting the system in the first place.
But the idea of lone computer genius is very appealing. Fascinating. Sometimes morally dubitable. But eye-catching anyway, regardless of the ethics of it all.
Kevin Mitnick seems personable. I wonder if he used a ghost writer for his book, or if he comes across that natural by himself.
It's cases where I know I'm too interested and admiring of the talent involved where I know I can't make a moral judgment by myself. So, it's probably wrong. Probably bad. But I am so drawn to brilliance, so often like moth to a flame, that I find his story too interesting to judge.
To the professors - why did you intentionally list his story before the TakeDown excerpt? It biased us - at least me - in his favor.