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)
Kevin's story is quite fascinating (and a little scary!). I very much enjoyed hearing the details of how he accomplished so many break-ins, and the wide variety of places that he was able to get information out of. However, I was expecting half of the book to be about pre-arrest illegal activity and the other half about post-jail *legal* hacking. It turns out to be approx 95% about pre-arrest hacking and just a brief mention at the end about his recent legitimate so-called ethical hacking. So I was a bit disappointed because I think it would be very interesting to hear about companies that hired him and whether he was able to break in and what they did to shore up their systems, etc. In fact, the preface describes just such an event, but then the rest of the book has no more of that. Maybe he's planning a follow-up book. Sorry this sounds so negative -- overall I thought it was a great book.
I listened to this story at 1.5x speed. It kept my interest. Sometimes these types of books let my mind wander and I end up rewinding. The hacker "Kevin" did not include personal glimpses into his psyche, but the story itself was entertaining and remarkable.
2 sittings is good. Maybe during a road trip.
Its hard to believe that a book centered on computers and computer programming could be a thriller. But it is. The protagonist, Kevin Mitkin, had amazing energy, and what made him tick was hacking into secured networks. His excitement is conveyed well in the book and by the narrator. You can't help in wondering what he is going to do next and how long he can keep going with the pack closing in.
Loving the fact that I am "reading" books again, and a lot of them!
I had never heard of Kevin Mitnick before reading this book, but gave it a chance after seeing the positive ratings it got and listening to the teaser sample, which was so interesting I had to hear more.
The rest of the book didn't disappoint. It was an interesting education and introduction into the world of computer hacking from the viewpoint of someone who was a "pioneer" in the field. Mitnick's story is a great way to understand the sub-culture, especially why people who are basically non-threatening can get caught up in criminal activity. After listening to how easy it was for him to get what he wanted through "social engineering" (aka very skillful lying), it is tempting to use the techniques myself next time I need something from my bank or phone provider. Alas, I am too honest for that, though. :)
I have a friend in the digital security industry who tells me that Mitnick has a bit of a reputation as a media-hog these days, which I can totally believe from the way he writes. From what I can tell, everything is factual, though.
Ray Porter does a good job reading the book, and is very convincing in expressing Kevin's emotions and alternate voices he would use when pretending to be other people. Only complaint is the rather bizarre vocal renderings of certain expletives that I can only assume must appear in the book as long, drawn out words (craaaaaaaaaaaaaaaappp!). Came out a bit strange.
I'm not sure how successful of a movie it could be, because there isn't a clear plot climax to it, but it could still be pretty entertaining to see him socially engineer people on screen.
To understand just how easy social networking really is
The hard life of Kevin, but he endured and did not move to the dark side
Easy to understand
spiked my interest in reading more on the topis
I remember back in the mid to late 80s wishing I could be a "big time" hacker. I dabbled a bit with phreaking, but I was never very good at it. My hero, however, was Kevin Mitnick. I followed as much of his antics as I could during the 90s and I remember when he got caught. This book is a very exciting recounting by the man himself, and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in what it means to hack/crack. Ray Porter does an EXCELLENT job of narrating this book. Get it...you'll love it!
Couldn't stay with it. If it was real time I would have went with it.
Hard to listen about after the fact.
Good reader, wrong story.
None for me.
If it was real time I would have went with it.
Best Non-Fiction audiobook. Top ten percent overall. An amazing, true computer, telephone, and law enforcement system hacker.
Jurassaic Park, the first book I ever started reading over immediately. The premise was very original and the whole book fiction.
Kevin remotely listening in on the White Collar Crime Unit conference call discussing how they had no idea how he was doing what he did, penetrating various systems, with strong safeguards, and what they had to do to trap him.
Mitnick can find you if the Social Security Administration knows you exist.
Ray Porter's narration is perfect! He is Kevin Mitnick. Listening to Audible's "Ghost in the Wires" is like having Kevin Mitnick sitting down with you, telling you his story, one on one. Kevin started as a young kid with a thirst for computer and telephone system knowledge. He did it to learn and have fun, never for money. He was forced into self-defense because the FBI, Police, and Judges were convinced many stories printed in newspapers were true, when they were totally made up and planted. He figured out how to be the seventh caller and win the radio station $1,000 prize legally, and many times! Curious? Listen to the audiobook!
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