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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 (4478 )
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4.4 (3975 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Michael Sherman Oaks, CA, United States 08-07-12
    Michael Sherman Oaks, CA, United States 08-07-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Great Book"
    Where does Ghost in the Wires rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    one of the best


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    From the Steve Wozniak introduction on, it is a great read


    What about Ray Porter’s performance did you like?

    strong performance


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Catch Me If You Can on steroids


    Any additional comments?

    really enjoyed the whole book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fen Masterton, New Zealand 08-06-12
    Fen Masterton, New Zealand 08-06-12 Member Since 2013
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    18
    3
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    Story
    "A bit unbelievable in places"

    I bought this on a whim, but I understand it's a biography. Now I'm no hacker, but I was around computers from the Apple II in the late 70s and some of the story didn't ring true to me. An example being at one point the author pulled the modem cable out of the computer he was using and then disconnected from the Internet - how exactly was it possible to stay connected to the Internet after the modem cable was pulled out, and wouldn't 'the most famous hacker in the world' know how things like that work?

    There were also continuity errors. In a biography. What do these things tell you? They tell me it was, at least in part, made up.

    There's nothing wrog with made up books per se of course, but it's slightly different when it's presented as true - or maybe it's dramatised and I missed that.

    Regardless it's not a bad listen, the performance is great and it hums along at a fair pace. I was ready for it to end before it finished however. Bottom line is that it passed the drive to and from work for a week or so and got me through until my next monthly credit arrived, so for what I paid I'm happy enough.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 08-06-12
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    "Overall, I enjoyed it"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Ghost in the Wires to be better than the print version?

    have not read the print version


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    no comment


    What about Ray Porter’s performance did you like?

    Yes


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

    Integrity in the Fog of the grey zone


    Any additional comments?

    Social engineering exploits provide valuable insights into the state of being human within our antiquated social & political structures & the dynamics they drive us into.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelley Rowlett, TX, United States 08-06-12
    Kelley Rowlett, TX, United States 08-06-12 Member Since 2012
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    2
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    "Very enlightening! Good naration."
    Would you listen to Ghost in the Wires again? Why?

    Probably not unless I wanted to take up his 'craft'. The book was entertaining, but I rarely read non-fiction twice.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    His mother and grandmother, with their willingness to love and protect him no matter what.


    What about Ray Porter’s performance did you like?

    He sounded like he was telling a story, not trying to read a book. It wasn't a 'stage voice' performance.


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

    Once again, every time his mother or grandmother can back into the picture, you could feel the strong bond between the three of them.


    Any additional comments?

    It's just amazing what a person can do if they're passionate about it, whether it's right or wrong!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dave Chardon, OH, United States 08-03-12
    Dave Chardon, OH, United States 08-03-12 Member Since 2009
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    246
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    "Fascinating look at the story behind the hype."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Kevin's story come across as truthful. Its often unflattering but it really is a fascinating look at the story that made headlines.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Xin Li Austin, TX United States 08-01-12
    Xin Li Austin, TX United States 08-01-12
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    "Absolutely riveting, as good as any spy novel"

    This book chronicles the life and adventures of the most infamous hacker of the 1990s, Kevin Mitnick. Told from a first person perspective, the story begins with a young Mitnick who manages to take free bus rides by punching his own bus transfer tickets and progresses chronologically through his life and details adventures that get progressively more daring and grander in scope. By the time he becomes a man, he has completely compromised the entire PacBell network, giving him god like powers over the phone system, and allows him to stay one step ahead of the combined forces of the FBI, Secret Service and the US Marshalls for years on end, making law enforcement look like fools time and time again. James Bond could only hope to be so resourceful.

    The book does a masterful job of balancing the human aspects of the story against the eye opening technical details behind Kevin's hacks. As you live through his exploits through his eyes, you can't help but to admire the man, and root for him to prevail over law enforcement. His character is incredibly sympathetic and human. His motivations become your motivations, and you feel as if you are there with him, pulling off these incredible conquests of some of the world's largest companies including PacBell, Nokia, Sun, DEC and Motorola.

    The narrator was fantastic. He does a great job of conveying the emotions of the moment. There is joy and triumph when Kevin finally accomplishes a hack. There is excitement and incredulity when he narrates about the stupidity of some of the folks who get duped by Kevin's social engineering efforts. And there is real fear when Kevin is on the run from the feds. He really puts the listener right into the moment.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Samantha FAIRFIELD, IA, US 07-31-12
    Samantha FAIRFIELD, IA, US 07-31-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Best narrator! Love the story!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Ghost in the Wires to be better than the print version?

    Never read the print version.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Ghost in the Wires?

    So many good moments, especially towards the end.


    What does Ray Porter bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Yes! Amazing!


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    Everything was interesting and entertaining.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Roaring Gap, NC, United States 07-25-12
    John Roaring Gap, NC, United States 07-25-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Outside the box"
    If you could sum up Ghost in the Wires in three words, what would they be?

    Solving a problem


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    What lengths Mitnick would go to find a solution to a problem.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Leaving donuts for the FBI


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Beyond normal.


    Any additional comments?

    This would be a good read for someone stuck in a rut. Help inspire them to look further or elsewhere for solutions.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Don Walla Walla, WA, United States 07-20-12
    Don Walla Walla, WA, United States 07-20-12 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fascinating Read"
    What did you love best about Ghost in the Wires?

    Ray Porter's performance is wonderful and carries the story along where it lags in a few places with all of the technical jargon that the makes it hard for the layman to follow. I give it a 5 over-all because I was so locked in to this book that I could hardly put it down! And...it's a true story!!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Ghost in the Wires?

    I love the way Mitnick always seems to out-think the other guy by planning for contingencies with fail safes I would never think of.


    Have you listened to any of Ray Porter’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No. He was really amazing, though!


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    Nothing online is safe. No matter how secure your password...and, at least half of Mitnick's hacks were done by persuading people to give him stuff they weren't supposed to. The human element.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Corey B. Provo, UT 07-19-12
    Corey B. Provo, UT 07-19-12 Member Since 2015
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    8
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    "Engaging"
    What made the experience of listening to Ghost in the Wires the most enjoyable?

    This story had me on the edge of my seat from the first minute to the last.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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