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Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World’s Most Wanted Hacker | [Kevin Mitnick, William L. Simon]

Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World’s Most Wanted Hacker

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.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential - Ghost in the Wires is a thrilling story of hair's-breadth escapes, brazen sociopathy, and ultimately redemption. What's more, it's all true. Ray Porter expertly narrates the stranger than fiction autobiography of Kevin Mitnick as he recounts how he went from gaming the LA bus system for free rides to gaining unauthorized access to the most secure corporate computer systems in the world, all the while playing cat and mouse with the FBI. —Michael

Publisher's Summary

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.

What the Critics Say

“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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (4583 )
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4.4 (4072 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Stanley FAYETTEVILLE, AR, United States 08-31-12
    Stanley FAYETTEVILLE, AR, United States 08-31-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Much better than expected"

    I wasn't sure that this book was going to have a very good story to it, but I was very wrong. Yes, there was a decent amount of technical-hacker lingo, which I love, but the story was really well written. I was on the edge of my seat at times when the Feds were closing in. I had so much fun listening to this book and I was very sad when it was over. This was such a "Catch Me if You Can" kind of story, loved it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda 08-27-12
    Linda 08-27-12
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    "self-indulgent, narcissitic whine"
    What disappointed you about Ghost in the Wires?

    What should have been an interesting look at the world of hacking turned out to be a self-serving, self-indulgent, narcissitic whine. After nine chapters I couln't stomach listening to another word. The performance added to my perception of the author being self consumed. Yuk.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James KNOXVILLE, TN, United States 08-27-12
    James KNOXVILLE, TN, United States 08-27-12 Member Since 2015
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    "Solid information and fun - highly recomend"
    Where does Ghost in the Wires rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Very high


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    Data, on point, great for a business owner, great for corporate executive.


    What about Ray Porter’s performance did you like?

    5 star plus


    If you could give Ghost in the Wires a new subtitle, what would it be?

    Protecting data ranks with protecting the cash


    Any additional comments?

    Highly recomend

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Juarez Austin, Texas, United States 08-27-12
    Juarez Austin, Texas, United States 08-27-12 Member Since 2015
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    "I couldn't stop listening"
    What made the experience of listening to Ghost in the Wires the most enjoyable?

    Great read for those who are not from the IT area, even better if you are. The history is so incredible that you feel you're listening one great spy thriller and not a biography.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Mitnick resembles the character of the White Collar TV series, Neil Cafrey. You will like him and cheer for him even when he is comiting wrong doings


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie Carrier Mills, IL, United States 08-27-12
    Julie Carrier Mills, IL, United States 08-27-12

    Ima Bee

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    "Egotistical idiot he is."
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Less me me me me me me me me and i i i i i i i i i i i i


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Something better than this, I hope !


    What didn’t you like about Ray Porter’s performance?

    Annoying


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Ghost in the Wires?

    All of them.


    Any additional comments?

    Kevin Mitncik you are no Steve Jobs. Also, If I hear the term "social engineering" one more time I'm going to scream !

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J ROCHESTER, MN, United States 08-24-12
    J ROCHESTER, MN, United States 08-24-12 Member Since 2007
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    "One of the best narrated books I have ever heard"

    The story is well written, but the narrator really makes it. Whether or not the portrayal is accurate, the character is so vividly communicated, you could think he is telling it in an expository manner, rather than reading it. I found some the the technical details a little hard to follow, but engrossing. I also found the "social engineering" side of hacking fascinating. You don't have to be computer savvy to enjoy the book, a mild interest in technology will do.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel A. Martin St. Louis, MO, USA 08-23-12
    Daniel A. Martin St. Louis, MO, USA 08-23-12 Member Since 2013
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    "Awesome listen, especially if you are a geek"

    This is definitely one of the best books I've read or listened to. It's extremely riveting from cover to cover. The things Mitnick was able to do are astounding, and very compelling to hear from a first hand account. The book reads almost like an action novel, full of FBI cat and mouse games.

    The vocal performance is outstanding. It's often easy to forget that Ray Porter isn't Kevin Mitnick, for he seems to be telling the store first hand, with a personal investment in the events as they happen. If you pay close attention, it is clear he is not completely familiar with geek culture (he spells out NOC, N - O - C instead of saying it like knock; he pronounces Leo Laporte's last name as Lah-poor-tay), for the vast majority of the book you wouldn't know it.

    I enjoyed nearly every minute of this book, and I found it hard to put down. I grew up with an IBM 8088 PC and a 1200 baud modem that I used for war dialing and BBSing. If you have a similar background, this book will be an amazing eye opener. I think less technical readers may find parts of the book tedious, but will still enjoy it. For geeks, this book should definitely be high on your reading list.

    I agree with some reviews that Kevin doesn't sound very remorseful. Particularly during his last trial, he spends much time covering what he didn't do that the Feds think he did, but avoids pointing out that he did do plenty wrong that the Feds don't know about. But who cares? I don't need an author to be remorseful to enjoy their story. I'm not sure whether Kevin is a good person, but I am sure his life story is extremely interesting to listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jon Burnsville, MN, United States 08-23-12
    Jon Burnsville, MN, United States 08-23-12 Member Since 2009
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    "A Very Smart Hacker!"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Kevin's technical and detailed descriptions of his hacking process lends credibility to his knowledge and social engineering skills, however, for us non-techno types, it becomes a little dry. It's scary to think about how easy it is for true hackers to gain access to our personal information.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric Los Angeles, CA, United States 08-22-12
    Eric Los Angeles, CA, United States 08-22-12 Member Since 2015
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    "A Little Tech-Wonky, But Overall A Good Listen"
    What did you love best about Ghost in the Wires?

    The cat-and-mouse game between Kevin Mitnick and the Feds


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Well, there's only one character in the book -- Mitnick. All others are mere ornaments.


    Which character – as performed by Ray Porter – was your favorite?

    This book is heavy on technical wonk. You have to really be into hacking to fully understand this book and share the author's excitement, as well as mind-numbing technical explanations.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    His first imprisonment in solitary confinement in the Federal Correctional Center in Los Angeles was grim. While there, his out-foxing of his captors to make contraband phone calls with hands were shackled behind his back was impressive.


    Any additional comments?

    The central thesis of the book is that Mitnick never harmed anyone or profited from his antics. That's not quite true. Innocent people got billed and paid for his bootleg phone calls.

    I was surprised at how much of his hacking (he calls it "human engineering") was low-tech and non-electronic. He primarily phoned people at corporations, impersonated another employee, and conned them into disclosing confidential phone numbers and passwords.

    By the end of the book I was rooting for the Feds. We can't have guys like this running around and running amok penetrating our confidential information and thieving identities. The next hacker might not be so benign.

    Mitnick now claims to be on the Good Guys' side, consulting with corporations and government (no doubt for handsome fees).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter 08-21-12
    Peter 08-21-12
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    "Interesting insight into the world of hacking"
    What made the experience of listening to Ghost in the Wires the most enjoyable?

    An interesting insight into hacking and an exciting true story.


    Any additional comments?

    Sometimes a bit repetitive and technical, but overall a good listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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