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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.

Critic Reviews

“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 Ratings

Overall

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Story

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Hacking For The Pure Challenge - A Bygone Era

Any additional comments?

The story and the way if was told kept me listening. It was quite an adventure and made me often laugh, This book reflects a bygone culture. I think if any egghead young person gets restless enough to be driven to crack codes nowadays, they'll likely turn to a computer game. The pondering and curiosity that drove innovative computer freaks back in the day has been muted quite a bit.

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Probably my favorite Audible book so far

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

No, but he's an excellent reader and I will look for more books performed by him in the future.

Any additional comments?

Great book, great reading.

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This was a great book

Where does Ghost in the Wires rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of the best books I've listened to on Audible. The story and was fascinating and Ray Porter was excellent. This would have to be must listen for anyone with any sort of tech interest.

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An interesting listen, a bit technical

This was a pretty good book. I enjoyed listening to it, but at times the author got a bit technical and i could feel my eyes glassing over. The narration was decent, the story line was good. I was surprised by how many things the author was able to do in his life, and how little trouble he actually got in to, all things considered.

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  • curtis
  • Placerville, CA, United States
  • 11-28-13

Very Interesting and thought provoking!

What did you love best about Ghost in the Wires?

Great topic, very interesting subject matter.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

Great flow, narrative was excellent.

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

Very good reader, ive only listened to about a dozen or so audio books so i dont have alot of experience with alot of readers.

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

How to Tick Off the Phone Company

Any additional comments?

Very cool story, one of the most compelling and exciting biographies I have ever read or heard! I've read biographies of Harry Houdini and Julius Caesar to Charles Barkley and Larry Bird and this one ranks right at the top.

  • Overall
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hoh hum

Any additional comments?

Kevin Mitnick presents himself as a hacker addict who was only doing black hat for the challenge. He goes into great detail about all the ways he duped and betrayed people, but only just for the challenge. He waxes appreciatively of the people who helped him while under the pretense that he was a fellow worker, or an authority figure. He seems quite indignant that law enforcement wanted to throw the book at him despite his repeated opportunities to put on a white hat. Now he is making the big bucks on this book, speaking engagements and consulting. Not much of any real excitement in the book but lots of details about how clever he was and is. I am not a hacker, but I have worked as a programmer and find it nice to create things. Mitnick enjoys penetrating other people's creations, and that is all well and good, but I don't see the point in reading a book about it. Now that I have done, all that's left for me to do is to write this silly review.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • barc2003
  • Glendale, AZ, United States
  • 11-16-13

Fascinating

I found this book totally fascinating. If you are under the age of 40 a lot of the things mentioned in this book, like rotary phones, brief case cell phones & pagers, maybe foreign to you. However it is an amazing story of one of the first hackers, Kevin Mitnick.

Kevin starts as a teenager, messing with the speaker at a local drive through by saying wild things to the customers. From there he progresses to what was then called Phone Freaking, using social engineering to get the information he wanted to get the information. It's all a huge game to him, just how far can he get before someone says "hey, wait minute...".

Mitnick spend over 30 years social engineering his way to hack into some of the largest companies in the US. Never doing anything malicious, just having fun to see if he can. He also spends 30 years running from the FBI until he is finally caught.

If you are even a little bit of a geek, you'll enjoy this book.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Diane
  • Point Cook, Australia
  • 11-14-13

interesting but awful!

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

I thought the story was interesting, however the delivery was appalling. Too make it higher star rating the protagonist needed to learn something. He needed to learn a life lesson which was just in his reach but never quite got there. I found his explainations galling and flat!

Would you ever listen to anything by Kevin Mitnick and William L. Simon again?

No!

What three words best describe Ray Porter’s performance?

He's obviously able to read well

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The reflections on how far technology has come is interesting. Social manipulation which has more to do with being a sociopath than computer whizz was interesting but over explained.

Any additional comments?

I really detested the authors lack of insight into his behaviour and his ability to redeem himself as a nice guy. He couldn't even be trusted to make a phone call. Stealing is stealing!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Wow! What a tale! Nicely nerve wracking!

Would you consider the audio edition of Ghost in the Wires to be better than the print version?

Haven't read the print version.

Which scene was your favorite?

I found all of the social engineering scenes intriguing. Creepy, crazy, but cool in a "can't believe it" way.

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

That people can be manipulated because of ego issues more easily than I'd have thought.

Any additional comments?

This audio books was a tad redundant in places but well worth purchasing.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • sean
  • Carthage, NY, United States
  • 11-01-13

Filling in the details of a great story

Would you consider the audio edition of Ghost in the Wires to be better than the print version?

I think the print version may be better, with technical charts, and logs and numbers, being able to see the information may be better.

What other book might you compare Ghost in the Wires to and why?

Its similar to the other books Mitnick wrote, with perhaps more tech detail.

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

Kevin was the only character, its told in the first person. However, the exclamations became repetitive and slightly annoying. Any time the feds or police got close I knew exactly the next sound I would hear.

Any additional comments?

Great that I finally got through the story, but wish I'd had time to read it.