Kevin Mitnick was the most elusive computer break-in artist in history. He accessed computers and networks at the world’s biggest companies—and however fast the authorities were, Mitnick was faster, sprinting through phone switches, computer systems, and cellular networks. He spent years skipping through cyberspace, always three steps ahead and labeled unstoppable. But for Kevin, hacking wasn’t just about technological feats—it was an old fashioned confidence game that required guile and deception to trick the unwitting out of valuable information.
Driven by a powerful urge to accomplish the impossible, Mitnick bypassed security systems and blazed into major organizations including Motorola, Sun Microsystems, and Pacific Bell. But as the FBI’s net began to tighten, Kevin went on the run, engaging in an increasingly sophisticated cat-and-mouse game that led through false identities, a host of cities, plenty of close shaves, and to an ultimate showdown with the feds, who would stop at nothing to bring him down.
Ghost in the Wires is a thrilling true story of intrigue, suspense, and unbelievable escape and a portrait of a visionary whose creativity, skills, and persistence forced the authorities to rethink the way they pursued him, inspiring ripples that brought permanent changes in the way people and companies protect their most sensitive information.
©2011 Kevin Mitnick. Foreword 2011 by Steve Wozniak (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“Intriguing, insightful, and extremely educational into the mind of one who truly mastered the art of social engineering with the use of a computer and modern-day technologies. I strongly believe that one can learn a great deal about protecting themselves once they understand how another one perpetrates the crime.” (Frank W. Abagnale, author of Catch Me If You Can)
The bad: Mitnick's ego and lingering resentments sometimes get in the way and the story also gets dry and repetitive at points.
The good: Mitnick's story is legendary, and while I get the feeling he isn't always 100% honest, this is probably the closest we'll ever get to the true story without embellishments and ridiculous rumors. As Mitnick points out several times in his own story, his escapades are remarkable enough without the crazy rumors that grew around his legend over the years.
As a hacker and penetration tester myself, it is refreshing to read a story where second or third-hand accounts of hacking don't result in eye-rolling ridiculousness during the technical parts. I had known bits and pieces of Mitnick's story, but it was interesting to find out that most of his greatest successes were due, at least in part, to his natural skill as a social engineer. The result is a book that is not only entertaining and historic, but highly instructional also. As he states, the approaches he uses to get access to systems works nearly as well today as it did in the day of his exploits.
I don't watch or read anything twice. Doing so may tarnish the great memories I have of books such as this one. I would recommend it to others though, no doubt.
There are some really clever ploys Kevin Mitnick used at various times in his life. Most of my favourite scenes involved him coming up with clever plans or even better, the times when he had to come up with some genius on a moments notice to get out of what looked to be a situation possible to escape from.
I had no idea social engineering is so critical to hacking, nor was I aware how easy it was as long as you're willing to be deceitful.
It can be hard to tear myself away from my computer and go to bed of a night time, but while I was listening to this book, I would go to be up to 2 hours early just to listen to it. The narration is excellent, even funny at times when the narrator does accents and puts his own spin on little spin on things.
That the story stirred such deep emotions in me. I was introduced to the world of hacking.
I hated this book! But I could not stop listening as I learned about the hacking world. My son works for a huge company, when I asked him about Social Engineering he responded "Mom, EVERYONE knows about that." Well, I do now and I am disgusted.
1. I hate liars and Mr. Mitnick never seems ashamed during the book. His attitude was that he did not deserve punishment for his actions. He was in the possession of thousands of credit card numbers and SS#s and that was ok because he never used them. His thrill was in the challenge. That was NOT ok! It is terrifying.
2. He is now making mega bucks traveling the world as a consultant. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
I did give this 4 stars because the story is not fiction, I learned a lot, and I could not stop listening to the book even though my blood pressure was through the roof. Would I refer this book to others? Absolutely.
If this was fiction it would not be half as compelling. It was a good storyline which you wanted to continue listening to.
I'm still new to audiobooks but I loved it. Ray Porter is a great narrator. Very cool story.
I have heard him read a fictional book. I think he's great. He even did voices.
Great book for tech geeks. Really enjoyed learning a little history into hacking. I really recommend.
Hacking isn't a perfect life but the book gave me an understanding of hackers and their ways of thinking. Why do they go there? - It is a science, a challenge and the discovery that drives them and makes us uncomfortable. From the beginning of time, hackers have delved into our lives, figuring out every quirk from the left brain/right brain concept to why my hair is curly.
The narrator's tone are so similar to what you envision Kevin to sound like. He does such a great job of expressing shock, that audacity of youth, etc.
The narrative moves really fast.
Kevin running from the law.
It changed how I do business with relation to security. That wasn't why I got this, but it ended up being the by-product.
This is an awesome book. As a programmer, I was hooked from the very start. As an avid reader I loved the detail and background information. As a technologist, I appreciated the detail. I recommend it highly.
I am a computer geek and have been since well before Kevin started his hacking. I also worked for a couple telephone companies and can honestly say that the terminology used brought back memories.
What makes this so exciting to me is the the thrill of the chase. I couldn't stop listening. Not too many writers can write a book in such a way as to make you want to keep listening.
Fantrastic listen. Great to hear the story direct from the source. Brilliantly written and read.
So good to hear how it was pulled off. Kevin did not hold back on telling the truth.
Brilliant to listen to and recommended to all retired priates / hacker from the day, telecomminication experts, security personel, lovers of social engineering and nerds.
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