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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

4.2 (3624 )
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4.3 (3228 )
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  •  
    stuartcw Yokosuka, Japan 12-22-11
    stuartcw Yokosuka, Japan 12-22-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A must listen for those interested in IT security"

    Kevin Mitnick's story told in full for the first time. An almost unbelievable story of high tech deception.

    However, I wish they had had Kevin Mitnick read the book himself.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bob lewisville, NC, United States 12-20-11
    Bob lewisville, NC, United States 12-20-11 Member Since 2007
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    "Good story, flawed point of view."

    The story of Kevin Mitnik is a gripping story, with intrigue on several levels. It would would rate five stars in just about any telling, but in this instance, the most interesting aspect of Mr. Mitnik's story works against him. His story is that he never profited from any of his exploits, claiming that everything he did was just a response to the mental challenge. To those of us of a certain age, there is a ring of truth to this claim, albeit stretched by the extreme nature of Mr. Mitnik's hacks. Younger readers, raised on credit card and identity theft, will no doubt find this unbelievable. But wether it is true, or whether his lack of use of anything he ever stole in his criminal career was simply a face saving omission or legal editing around the statute of limitations, it creates a strange sterility in parts of this book as he recounts tale after repetitive tale of social engineering or technical wizardry… all to just getting files he never used. Mitnik cites at times his addiction to hacking, but the story has none of the verisimilitude of an addict's confession. Still, the reason it gets 4 stars is that most of the time his hacks were aimed at a tangible, exciting target: evading his pursuers. Whether you end up believing Mitnik was lying about parts of this book, or are simply mystified by the nature of his addiction, the incredible tale of someone in the right spot to observe the foundation of the information economy, with all its flaws is a very interesting tale indeed. Recommended.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ramachandra Kuwait, Kuwait 12-12-11
    Ramachandra Kuwait, Kuwait 12-12-11 Member Since 2005
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    "A very good book"
    Would you listen to Ghost in the Wires again? Why?

    Yes. Avery interesting and informative book


    What did you like best about this story?

    The simple techniques used by Mitnick for


    What about Ray Porter’s performance did you like?

    It was a great performance and I enjoyed the narration very much.


    Any additional comments?

    After reading this book one wonders how safe our

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dr. Johannesburg, South Africa 12-12-11
    Dr. Johannesburg, South Africa 12-12-11 Member Since 2011
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    "Fascinating stuff"

    It takes many many hours (10000) I have heard to become a skilled hacker. ie to have enough computer knowledge. This combined with Kevin's con man gift of the gab makes Kevin the Roger Federer of hacking! Fascinating read!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim Salisbury, nh, United States 12-06-11
    Jim Salisbury, nh, United States 12-06-11
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    3
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    "Loved it!"

    This book was great, I've listened to it a few times. At times it seems as though Mitnick is trying to still make a case for himself like he's worried the feds are going to come after him again, but it was still excellent. He gets a little too techie for me, regurgitating every god forsaken phone number or code he ever punched in, while repeatedly bragging about his penchant for remembering numbers, (we get it already!!!). I still give 5 stars though, and security IT types out there would do well to read a page (all of the actually) from Mitnick's manual.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pavel Czech Republic 12-02-11
    Pavel Czech Republic 12-02-11 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I listened to this book even after midnight"

    It's a must read for computer geeks and security experts. Interesting how much you can achieve by social engineering.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Glenn Richmond Hill, ON, Canada 11-28-11
    Glenn Richmond Hill, ON, Canada 11-28-11 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Glad I listened to this one"

    This book is an eye opener as to how a hacker thinks, what they are capable of and that a big part of the hack is not even on the computer. His moral code has shifted so much that it sounds like he still does not truly believe that he did anything wrong. While the story was riveting at times it also moved along very slow in others. This was due to going deep into details that only a hacker would care about. An abridged version would be preferable. Overall glad I listened to it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joel Plymouth, MA, United States 11-27-11
    Joel Plymouth, MA, United States 11-27-11 Member Since 2011
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    "Fascinating Read"

    I am a tech guy so I found everything Kevin did very interesting. I could see myself joining the "Free Kevin" movement. Great read!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Russell Phillips 11-26-11 Listener Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great story and excellent narration"

    A fascinating story that kept me enthralled to the end. And what a great job the narrator does.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melanie Amber Kellum Duluth, GA 11-17-11
    Melanie Amber Kellum Duluth, GA 11-17-11 Listener Since 2008

    Amber Miller

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    "Great Book"

    I enjoyed the book and the narrator. I am glad Kevin Mitnick was able to write the truth about his experiences.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 271-280 of 284 results PREVIOUS1272829NEXT
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  • Olivier
    thouare sur loire, France
    2/29/12
    Overall
    "Excellent Text and Excellent Reader"

    This book was fascinating in that it showed that at least 50% of the "hacking" prowesses of Kevin Mitnick were what he calls "social engineering" and what most of us would call using psychology to trick people. No major technical prowess; just understanding how people think. Very enlightening for anyone concerned about IT security.

    In addition the reader of this book is excellent. One feels that it is Kevin Mitnick who is telling us his story directly. The only other time I kept on feeling that it was the author telling me his story rather than someone reading a book was for the Churchill WW2 Memoirs.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. G. Bridgeman-clarke
    Rayleigh, United Kingdom
    8/30/12
    Overall
    "A treat to read and better then a James Bond novel"

    I read Kevin Mitnick's first book about hacking and I was hooked. its a great read, as is this book and it tells you so much about social engineering and how hackers do it. I naively though that they sat at the computer guessing passwords. If you think that then read this book. Its far easier to hack and break into a company's server then you could realise and though I assume that if this guy wasn't guilty he would not have been sent to jail, he tells a really goos storey about manipulating people to get people to give you access to company secrets.

    This is a tale about breaking in, and having to be on the run. There was a film of his encounters which was a flop but to be rank you need to read this to get to the real adventure. Its all here, secrets, FBI, mistrust, betrayal and finding new identities. Great.

    Loved it and hope there are other similar books out there for me to delve into.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • g.l.ward
    Lincoln, United Kingdom
    7/9/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Close but no cigar"
    Would you listen to Ghost in the Wires again? Why?

    Sadly no, even though this book was well written and amazingly actually based on real life events that kept me listening to just one more chapter finished leaving me with no real closure.
    Obviously very clever Kevin Mitnicks crimes eventually come to grow a pointless and as a reader I ended up hoping for him to get caught just for some variety. A very clever man with one hell of a story to tell but I personally only want to hear it once.


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

    Without giving too much away the most memorable moment in Ghost in the wire, was the fugitive tacking the FBI, the way he went around it was genius.


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

    Kevin Mitnick, this is the only choice really as it is only Mitnicks side of the story that is retold.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Firstly sheer disbelief, with what he had the guts to do. As most of the crimes are repetitive a ended the book in frustration.


    Any additional comments?

    Kevin Mitnick gets information from people by basically lying to them. It is called social engineering in the book, social engineering to get information out of people to use to your own advantage. I just wonder if you replaced every reference of social engineering with the word lying if Kevin Mitnick would come across as such a likable person? A good listen but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone without a technical background.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Ross
    Harrogate, United Kingdom
    1/13/13
    Overall
    "The absolute obsession and love of the challenge.."

    The absolute obsession and love of the challenge rather than any financial gain is richly described in this deeply detailed account of Kevin Mitnick's life as one the original hackers and expert social engineers of the 80's. I'm sure others may dispute Kevin's version of events but it is both scary and scandalous how he is portrayed in both the courts and the media. He is no angel but some accusations levelled at him are not only rubbished by Mitnick but also shown to be completely implausible and utterly untrue! His skills as one of the original hackers are amazing and his audacity to social engineer people is breath taking. The sheer joy he gets from taking on a hacking challenge and succeeding is described in rich detail and it makes for an exhilarating, roller coaster listen.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • David
    Loughton, United Kingdom
    12/31/12
    Overall
    "Staggering"

    The life of Kevi Mitnik unfolds like a Jason Bourne story but without people getting killed. Whether or not you approve of hacking you cannot help holding this man in awe in terms of his high intelligence and his incredible audacity. Also, the narration by Ray Porter is superb. Highly recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Charles
    Chippenham, United Kingdom
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "Not just for Geeks and Nerds!"

    Ghost in the wires is a fast paced story of how Kevin Mintnick evades and escapes the police and FBI after being a caught numerous time hacking into various different organisations computer networks.



    I really enjoyed listening to this book. You genuinely feel an attached towards Kevin, and you don't want him to et caught. He is honest with the reader and doesn't embellish being on the run, he tells it how it was, make helps you appreciate the loneliness and isolation that he felt.



    Ghost in the wires is not a book that I would normally choose to read, but I enjoyed every page. For this reason I gave it 5 stars.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Bill
    London, United Kingdom
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "Next time you credit card company phones..."

    Listen to it. Learn about social engineering. Understand why you should be sceptical with phone calls claiming to be from your bank, your credit card company and/or your mobile phone company. All they want is your date of birth, the first line of your address and your post code. Hello Kevin! This book is cool.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • D
    ST NEOTS, United Kingdom
    12/8/12
    Overall
    "A brilliant Audio Book"

    Once I started listening to this Audio Book I couldn't stop and until I got to the end I thought it was actually Kevin Mitnick reading it! This is a brilliant audio book from start to finish and I would highly recommend it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • MR
    Aldershot, United Kingdom
    6/15/12
    Overall
    "Gripping"

    I wasn't sure i would like this, But after the first hour i was hooked. I actually listened to it in about 2-3 days as i could not STOP listening, its such an interesting story and very exciting, I could also tell there is an effort to explain it to people who are not tech smart, which is nice (not that i needed it). Its actually one of the best books i've had the pleasure of listening to.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Lindsay
    St Sampsons, United Kingdom
    10/21/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "unremorseful criminal..."
    Any additional comments?

    I started off enjoying this story, - Kevin's cleverness and undoubted skills make for interesting reading. However he has made a fortune out of lying to people and taking great delight in tricking other people- who trust him. He really enjoys making people look stupid. it is very telling that some of his closest friends also betray him...He never sees this as a personal character flaw - in fact every time his behaviour is challenged he reverts to 'poor old me'. The two most salient factors that absolutely turned me OFF were when he stole the identities of dead babies, without a thought to how this would impact any families involved in those tragic events. Secondly, several time he mentions the tole his life choices have taken on his Mother & Grandmother- he calls on them every time he gets into trouble, but he never thinks to alter his behaviour, change his choices, in fact every time he gets a steady job, he 'just can't help' & 'just to see if I can' and ends up getting fired again. I couldn't wait to see him locked up, but he seems to fall on his feet right to the end. This book made my blood boil, I ended up intensely disliking the author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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