Jeremy N. Smith is the author of Breaking and Entering (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019), about an extraordinary female hacker and the birth of the information insecurity age; Epic Measures (HarperCollins, 2015), about the origins and impact of the largest study of human health ever undertaken; and Growing a Garden City, (Skyhorse, 2011), about building community through local food, farms, and gardens. He has written for the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, The Atlantic, and Discover, among many other publications. Born and raised in Evanston, Illinois, he is a graduate of Harvard College and the University of Montana. He lives in Missoula, Montana, with his wife and daughter.
Breaking and Entering: The Extraordinary Story of a Hacker Called “Alien”
This taut, true thriller dives into a dark world that touches us all, as seen through the brilliant, breakneck career of an extraordinary hacker — a woman known only as Alien.
When she arrived at MIT in the 1990s, Alien was quickly drawn to the school’s tradition of high‑risk physical trespassing: the original “hacking.” Within a year, one of her hallmates was dead and two others were arraigned. Alien’s adventures were only just beginning.
After a stint at the storied, secretive Los Alamos National Laboratory, Alien was recruited by a top cybersecurity firm where she deployed her cache of virtual weapon — and the trespassing and social engineering talents she had developed while “hacking” at MIT. The company tested its clients’ security by every means possible — not just coding, but donning disguises and sneaking past guards and secretaries into the C‑suite.
Alien now runs a boutique hacking outfit that caters to some of the world’s biggest and most vulnerable institutions — banks, retailers, government agencies. Her work combines devilish charm, old‑school deception, and next generation spycraft. In Breaking and Entering, cybersecurity finally gets the rich, character‑driven, fast-paced treatment it deserves.
Growing a Garden City2010
Awards and Recognition
- Barnes & Noble Editor’s Recommendation (Epic Measures)
- iBooks Best Books of 2015 (Epic Measures)
- Amazon #1 Best Seller in Medicine (Epic Measures)
- Booklist Top 10 Books on the Environment for 2011 (Growing a Garden City)