'World's No. 1 hacker' tome rocks security world

Plagiarism, racism, and fake Mitnickism alleged

Hacker, hustler, or class clown?

Mitnick also challenged the hacking skills of Evans, whose previous books include Memoirs of A Hi-Tech Hustler and Hi-Tech Hustler Scrap Book 2004-2005.

“What I recall of him, he wasn't too savvy with hacking, but he did understand phone phreaking,” Mitnick continued. Evans's 1998 prosecution “was a typical fraud case. It wasn't hacking or phone freaking, really. He seemed to be a nice guy, a very evangelist type personality. I kind of sized him up kind of like a hustler, a grifter.”

Indeed, in video blogs promoting Ligatt Security to potential shareholders, Evans comes across at some points as a high-pressure salesman and at others as a class clown. In this video from last year discussing a deal involving a property known as spoofem.com he shares this nugget:

“I got the news this morning on my way to work, got here late because I caused an accident when I was reading my email and I saw it and I started screaming and I swerved and then this tractor trailer fell over and hit this bus full nuns and it was just [a] mess, but I took off real quick because I got a fast car. They didn't know it was me, so I'm here doing this video blog. Pray for me."

Be like 'Googles'

In the same video a few minutes later, he compared Ligatt shares to those of Google – which he mistakenly refers to as “Googles” – before the stock hit sky-high prices: “It's just like buying Googles,” he said. “You could have bought Googles years ago. Just imagine if you bought Googles at a penny or less than a penny how trillionaire you'd be today. I'm trying to give you that same vision."

But it's fair to say Evans, who says he's 41 years old, has a temper as well. About a half hour into his interview with The Register, after growing increasingly agitated with the questions, he abruptly stopped the conversation and, through a spokeswoman, refused to continue.

And according to this account from security blogger and podcaster Chris John Riley, someone left a post threatening “to go after you family [sic]” less than 15 minutes after he spoke with Evans on the phone to arrange a taped interview regarding the allegations of plagiarism.

“I will have my friend in your country tracked down [sic] everyone you are friends with and your family and see what you are all about,” the posting stated. The person didn't sign the message, but the IP address used to leave the message belongs to a Bell South customer in the Atlanta area, where Ligatt Security is headquartered.

Evans – who often refers to himself as the "world's No. 1 hacker" and is regularly interviewed by various Fox News anchors and affiliates – has yet to say whether he played any role in posting the comments. He terminated his interview with The Register before the issue could be addressed.

Riley said that nothing during his brief conversation with Evans on Wednesday gave any indication there were any hard feelings. But when the time they had arranged to conduct the podcast came, Evans was a no-show.

Said Riley: “I did log onto Skype and I did wait and nothing ever came around. I thought it was funny. To be honest, I think Greg is more bark than bite.” ®

This story was updated to link to Evans's video on Vimeo. A separate Evans video is here.

Sponsored: 10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity