I am a 30 year old over-the-road truck driver. I listen to A LOT of audiobooks!
This was a pretty good book. I enjoyed listening to it, but at times the author got a bit technical and i could feel my eyes glassing over. The narration was decent, the story line was good. I was surprised by how many things the author was able to do in his life, and how little trouble he actually got in to, all things considered.
OCD over books, listening to 1 a day; ANY genre, fact & fiction. Influenced by Audible reviewers so I keep mine unbiased - FRONT to BLACK!
This is a well-written book about a sociopath and his virtually unstoppable crime spree. If he'd been a poor black kid in Compton rather than an upper middle class Jewish boy in Sherman Oaks, he would be serving life without parole under the "3 Strikes" sentencing guidelines for repeat offenders even if his last crime had been shoplifting milk to feed his hungry baby. I liked this book in spite of Kevin Mitnick's self-righteous and unrepentant attitude. He just didn't get that what he was doing was against the law. For some reason, he felt that as long as his hacking wasn't for profit - just for fun and the challenge - it was alright to repeatedly invade the privacy of other citizens and corporations. He started out at age 12 by over-riding the school bus punch card system. By 17, he was a full-fledged "phone phreaker", obtaining non-published phone numbers and addresses through what he calls "social engineering", which is no different than what child molesters and sexual predators like Ted Bundy employ to psychologically get victims to trust and believe in them. Most of his really outrageous offenses occurred in his 30s when he went through a great deal of preparation and care to remain out of jail. He even created software to enable him to circumvent law enforcement measures and in-house security of the companies he was assaulting. This book is less of a "Catch Me If You Can" story than it is an indictment of agencies like the Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, California Attorney General's office, and various other local and federal agencies which were slow and cavalier in creating legislation to stop computer hacking on the massive scale perpetrated by Mitnick and his cronies, both domestic and international. During the same period that Mitnick hacked or illegally charmed his way into every computer database from Pacific Bell and UCLA to the Social Security Administration and the Department of Motor Vehicles, politicians took only a few years to pass legislation making possession of 1 rock of crack worthy of 10 years in prison while a kilo of powder coke might get you 2 years or a suspended sentence. Why? Because crack was the drug destroying the black communities while only whites could afford the more pricey and less attainable powder. Simultaneously, Mitnick was wreaking havoc in the technology world and getting away with it because there were no real laws in place to stop him. He had FBI agents, informants, stake out teams, and helicopters chasing him for YEARS but nothing was ever done while he blew through the computer networks of California for more than a decade before moving on to Denver and Raleigh, NC with a spate of stolen identity papers made possible from his hacking skills. What was particularly disturbing is that his estranged mother and father, his grandmother, and other family members co-signed on his criminal activities by subsidizing him with money, transportation, accommodations, etc. Never, not once, did his mother or grandmother - his primary "partners in crime" - force Mitnick to see the error in his ways. They turned him into a classic DSM-IV sociopath. Over and over in the book he claims to feel soooooooo bad about all the mess he was putting his mother and grandmother through yet his alleged remorse never stopped him. He even had his Granny drive him to Kinko's so he could pick up some ill-gotten documents needed for a hacking scheme. When he noticed that he might be walking into a police trap, he ducked out, leaving her sitting outside for 3 hours! Afterwards she and his mother facilitated his escape out of Los Angeles. He was finally "caught" in 1999 and served just 4 years. Then he came out and wrote books about his exploits, capitalizing on his legend among other hackers, "phreaks", nerdy outcasts. He now runs several successful security companies where, at one of them, he has the title of "CHO", i.e. "Chief Hacking Officer". Yep, that's America for you! A promising and immensely talented black NFL quarterback serves about the same time in prison for illegal dog-fighting at a house he owned in his home town, 700 miles away from his physical residence in another state. He loses his NFL contract and has to file bankruptcy, losing everything. But Mitnick is writing books, appearing at speaking engagements around the world, and guests on television talk shows while bringing in bank 💵 with his own businesses. What's up with that "Son of Sam" law? My review is based on the quality of the book not its content. Nor am I an advocate of Kevin Mitnick's criminal behavior or his obvious sociopathy. I have no respect for him as a human being. In fact I would never have paid money for this book had I known he was "thisclose" to being Scott Peterson. But, that aside, the book is pretty good. I just wish it was fictional. 👎
Great topic, very interesting subject matter.
Great flow, narrative was excellent.
Very good reader, ive only listened to about a dozen or so audio books so i dont have alot of experience with alot of readers.
How to Tick Off the Phone Company
Very cool story, one of the most compelling and exciting biographies I have ever read or heard! I've read biographies of Harry Houdini and Julius Caesar to Charles Barkley and Larry Bird and this one ranks right at the top.
I read nothing that is popular.
Listening to Kevin Mitnick's in "Ghost in the Wires" was interesting, but if felt like too much of an anarchist cookbook on phone hacking. Mitnick was very good at social engineering to get the information that he needed to hack into phone systems, like Pacific Bell. The print version of his book was published just a few years ago and the information felt very dated. It felt like he should had told his story sooner to be relevant with the times.
I enjoy technology and always wanted to read his story in depth and Kevin Mitnick is an egoistic sociopath, but how many times do we need to hear him confess that he didn't hacked for monetary gains?
He is not really a hacker. He just used social engineering at its simplistic form by manipulating people at getting the information that he wanted.
Reading this book was like listening to a rock star or an athlete, telling their sexual escapades on how many groupies that they slept with and never been caught.
Kevin Mitnick just goes on and on how great he is and never admits his faults. We never know why he decided to hack, other than being challenged.
Steampunk/sci-fi/IT nerd with a penchant for humor and atheism. History texts get equal time with webcomics.
I think the print version may be better, with technical charts, and logs and numbers, being able to see the information may be better.
Its similar to the other books Mitnick wrote, with perhaps more tech detail.
Kevin was the only character, its told in the first person. However, the exclamations became repetitive and slightly annoying. Any time the feds or police got close I knew exactly the next sound I would hear.
Great that I finally got through the story, but wish I'd had time to read it.
This is a must-listen. The story is more gripping than a novel, and the narrator does a truly great job.
intelligent, suspenseful, positive
I have never read anything else like it. I'm not a huge fan of technology or hackers, but after seeing the author on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, I wanted to give this book a try.
How he gets caught is really interesting.
"The story of the world's most infamous hacker, and how he overcame."
Don't let the subject matter fool you. This is absolutely intriguing.
Definitely, there is so many details that I would like to hear it again.
To learn that hacking can be done through acting.
Besides the fact he is THE BEST narrator at Audible there is nothing else to say
You will be tricked when you less expect
One of the best, if not the best audio book ever!
How he explained everything step by step.
Very good voice!
It was but not possible since it was 14 hours long. Was able to listen to it over the span of a week at work.
A must buy!