I really enjoyed this book. The narration was superb; I had to keep reminding myself it wasn't the author because it was so authentic. I could feel the narrator's anger, fear, and frustration at certain points in the story, making it even more believable.
I see where many reviewers didn't like the book because they thought the author was arrogant. I see it more as confident than arrogant; he is smart and he knows his stuff. And while he portrays himself as a victim in places, he takes responsibility in others. I was fascinated by his social engineering successes; prior to reading this, the only time I encountered the term "social engineering" was during mandatory computer security training at work. The examples used there were lame attempts to get access to a company's computer system, and were quite obvious (as in, don't hold the door open for someone you don't know); when I read some of Kevin's tactics, I gained a new appreciation for the term. I kept thinking throughout the book that prior to the computer age, he would not be called a social engineer, but rather, would be referred to as a "con man."
The book was technical enough to get the point across, but not overly technical where you couldn't understand it. It was a bit repetitive in parts, but it was part of the story so it was "necessary repetition." Also, I was bored by some of the replicas of the emails; I didn't need to know every character in an email or every character of code. But those parts were not an integral part of the book and did not detract from my enjoyment of it.
I have to say, Kevin became my hero when someone cut him off in traffic and his response was to hack in the DMV system, get the guy's cell phone number, and then call him to ream his butt out! Come on, who has not ever wanted to do that? That was sweet! I wish I could bring Kevin along on my commute to and from work - I encounter plenty of candidates for this type of hacking project every day!!!!!
Overall, the book was past faced, it read like a fictionalized thriller, and was well narrated. The opening scene hooked me, and my interest was piqued throughout the whole story.
Technology nut, along with a sports and thriller nut.
I love all audio books over the print versions really. I listen as I drive and can't do that with a book.
Being in the telecom field for over 20 years, many items in the book really hit home. I realize the security trianing I recieve today is all about the social engineering angle. Very fun listen for me.
I am not sure if Ray has done any other books I have listened to but he done a great job.
Working in many central offices over the past 2 decades, I understand Kevin's facination with how it all works.
Faced with mindless duty, when an audio book player slips into a rear pocket and mini buds pop into ears, old is made new again.
John Waters is supposed to have said, “Without obsession, life is nothing”. Kevin Mitnick’s assisted autobiography infers that hacking became his life obsession. Kevin Mitnick, in the span of 20 years, was convicted four times for hacking (seeking or exploiting computer system weaknesses).
“Ghost in the Wires” is a semi-believable story. It is semi-believable because it is told by a convicted liar. It is a story of an extraordinary white-collar criminal that alleges he never financially benefited from spying on people or stealing proprietary software programs from dozens of major corporations and government agencies.
In Mitnick’s afterword, it appears Mitnick’s life as a criminal made him both famous and financially secure. One wonders, how much more Mitnick could have accomplished without breaking the law. After all, one presumes John Waters meant life is something if you are obsessive–without much doubt, Mitnick is that.
The underlying truth in Mitnick’s story is that obsession can be good or bad, depending on one’s inclination.
The story itself was interesting, and I was sucked in pretty quickly at the beginning. After the first half though, it just plodded along, growing more tedious. I wanted to know how it all got resolved, so I hung in there, but it was hard to listen, as opposed to other books that I can't stop listening to.
I also lost all favor for the writer/main character as the story went on. At first he was interesting, but I got to the point where I could no longer abide his flagrant disregard for the law. I was rooting for the time where he actually got caught and held accountable.
There was also a lot of technical writing that lost me, but I am admittedly not THAT computer savvy, so maybe I'm not the target audience.
Overall it was interesting, but I couldn't get on board with cheering on such an egotistical criminal.
Sidenote: The narrator did a great job with what he had to work with, but could have had more variety when speaking in voices other than the main character.
Exciting, unbelievable, true
That one person could social engineer so many people and get his hands on so much source code is just unbelievable. Some of the things he did defy belief. And yet, at the same time, he seemed somewhat narcissistic and callous.
I never knew what "phone freakers" were until I read this book.
I think someone who is more interested in hacking will enjoy it better.
Have a different voice narrate
Have a different narrator.
Mitnick deserves much respect for what he can accomplish and can be reviled for his brazen break ins. He claims no damages for the chaos he would wreak upon his marks. He does get what he deserved.
Great book. Great narration.
This book started of strong with an interesting glimpse into a lifestyle I knew nothing about. Very interesting guy with an exciting tale but got repetitive for me about halfway through. If you read half the book you'll be happy you did...the whole thing then no guarantees.
The story and the way if was told kept me listening. It was quite an adventure and made me often laugh, This book reflects a bygone culture. I think if any egghead young person gets restless enough to be driven to crack codes nowadays, they'll likely turn to a computer game. The pondering and curiosity that drove innovative computer freaks back in the day has been muted quite a bit.
No, but he's an excellent reader and I will look for more books performed by him in the future.
Great book, great reading.