We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
 >   > 
Ghost in the Wires Audiobook

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

Regular Price:$25.17
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

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

4.4 (6841 )
5 star
 (4013)
4 star
 (1949)
3 star
 (624)
2 star
 (169)
1 star
 (86)
Overall
4.4 (6154 )
5 star
 (3787)
4 star
 (1536)
3 star
 (598)
2 star
 (160)
1 star
 (73)
Story
4.5 (6134 )
5 star
 (3852)
4 star
 (1671)
3 star
 (467)
2 star
 (96)
1 star
 (48)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Brian 05-26-15
    Brian 05-26-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    139
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very bold and candid"
    What made the experience of listening to Ghost in the Wires the most enjoyable?

    It felt like I was sitting in a coffee shop with Kevin Mitnick hearing his story first hand. His casual tone made for a compelling story in a typically dry genre.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    The examples of the social engineering and the preparation required for parts of it was fascinating. Sometimes luck was involved but there is a great amount of skill required.


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

    The myth of Kevin Mitnick was ridiculous, it had little basis and made ridiculous claims.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark 04-18-15
    Mark 04-18-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    42
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    27
    18
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Free Kevin, but chop off his fingers and tongue."
    What did you like best about this story?

    It's a bitter sweet story. As an IT pro, I want to punch this guy in the head. As an IT pro, it's important to give credit to Kevin as he was one of the first to expose the vulnerabilities of technology (new and old). The story itself is interesting from a retrospective view in that Kevin's antics where viewed as magical and mystical. By today's standards, he looks like a common thief, a huge nuisance and a decent CON man.


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

    Ray did an EXCELLENT job. Smooth and articulate.


    Was Ghost in the Wires worth the listening time?

    ...yes, this is important reading for any nerd. Kevin got away with a lot of criminal acts. His perspective (in retrospect) is that the general public was overly paranoid. '...just doing it for fun...' However, what he did was WRONG, unethical, intrusive, criminal and he KNEW it.
    ...but I'm the guy that would love to chop the fingers off of spammers, criminal grade hackers and malware devs.


    Any additional comments?

    Woz wrote the forward for this... he's one of my all time hero's in the biz. Again, bittersweet. If Woz thinks this guy (Kevin) is alright, then... grant mercy on Kevin's nerd soul. On the other hand, was Woz 'Socially Engineered' by Kevin...probably yes?

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Max 11-14-14
    Max 11-14-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    129
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    109
    33
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "couldn't finish it"

    The author is an amazing hacker, particularly of phone systems.... How he developed those skills is not really part of this story - you must just recognize that he is superhuman in these areas and accept each chapter's quick-technical run-by of how he hacked into the DVM in minutes to get the cell number of a guy who cut in him off so he could bitch at him, etc. Fascinating... at first....frightening.... of course.... There is some background to explain the why he developed these skills, but do you really get a feel for how this occurred? no. He's a high school not-interested kid, next thing you know for fun he's hacking into cell systems before most people even had a cell phone - where did this study come from? Why did he not think to apply these skills in a different way... maybe I didn't listen long enough but by chap 25 I was 'whatever, I don't care anymore'. Our lives are more vulnerable than we think to privacy theft of information. And, according to this book, everyone out there that has access to our critical information is an idiot that will hand that info over to anyone just for the asking... this is probably accurate and not a criticism of the book, but it becomes a boring story. I guess I would have found it more interesting to understand the author more - why would someone spend so much of their energy with the challenge of hacking phone companies - where was the drive to get a job where more exciting uses of this knowledge and skill could be used - or just to pay bills, rather than this story of one hack ahead of the FBI on and on, the story of how he finally got caught - or maybe he never did, I gave up by then.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Betty Von Schnuuglestein 10-20-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    74
    23
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Self-promoting Putz in the Wires"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Well, I suppose it was more useful than playing another round of 'Words with Friends'; but you just get this feeling that he is bragging - about stuff that is not so brag-worthy. I did find some of the technical exploits interesting, even though all of his moves are so hopelessly outdated now, at time of reading, that they just come off as a curiosity. But he annoyingly goes on with lines such as: 'You won;t believe what I did..', or 'For the first time in history...' and plenty of 'Oh, I am just somthing else!' Piss off, tubby.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Mitnick needs to stop writing, and/or spinning, his tales so that they come across as if he is this incredible, Wonder-Woman action figure, who is doing us little people a HUGE favor by regaling us with his outlandish tales of daring and bravery...please: pull your head out of your ass, dude.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yeah, whatever...


    Could you see Ghost in the Wires being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    If so, a convoluted, draggy-movie, starring 'Jack Black': a big, fat mess whom I do not like.


    Any additional comments?

    If it wasn't in the 'Clearance Bin' for $4.99, I would have been quite upset, possibly even stomping my foot in righteous indignation.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gotta Tellya Knoxville, TN 10-03-14
    Gotta Tellya Knoxville, TN 10-03-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    486
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    179
    159
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    25
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Narcissistic criminal writes book"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Other loser hackers.


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

    Nope.


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

    No, but he did a good job here. Just bad material.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Anger, irritation and disgust. I was thrilled when Mitnick finally went to federal prison and his wife wised up and left him. I decided to stop listening at that point, on what I considered to be an up note.


    Any additional comments?

    Mitnick had an addiction to conning people and to trespassing in corporate systems, all for the thrill of it, all to prove how smart he was. His talents were misdirected for many years. I hear Mitnick has reformed and now profits by legal applications of his talents, which is good. But I don't want to read any more of his story. Mitnick overrates himself. I don't want to listen to any more of his narcissistic rant. He was a con man and a criminal and does not deserve admiration.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CHET YARBROUGH LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, United States 07-06-14
    CHET YARBROUGH LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, United States 07-06-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    880
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    948
    518
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    60
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "OBSESSION"

    John Waters is supposed to have said, “Without obsession, life is nothing”. Kevin Mitnick’s assisted autobiography infers that hacking became his life obsession. Kevin Mitnick, in the span of 20 years, was convicted four times for hacking (seeking or exploiting computer system weaknesses).

    “Ghost in the Wires” is a semi-believable story. It is semi-believable because it is told by a convicted liar. It is a story of an extraordinary white-collar criminal that alleges he never financially benefited from spying on people or stealing proprietary software programs from dozens of major corporations and government agencies.

    In Mitnick’s afterword, it appears Mitnick’s life as a criminal made him both famous and financially secure. One wonders, how much more Mitnick could have accomplished without breaking the law. After all, one presumes John Waters meant life is something if you are obsessive–without much doubt, Mitnick is that.

    The underlying truth in Mitnick’s story is that obsession can be good or bad, depending on one’s inclination.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robbie United States 06-30-14
    Robbie United States 06-30-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    152
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fundamentally interesting story, executed poorly"

    The story itself was interesting, and I was sucked in pretty quickly at the beginning. After the first half though, it just plodded along, growing more tedious. I wanted to know how it all got resolved, so I hung in there, but it was hard to listen, as opposed to other books that I can't stop listening to.

    I also lost all favor for the writer/main character as the story went on. At first he was interesting, but I got to the point where I could no longer abide his flagrant disregard for the law. I was rooting for the time where he actually got caught and held accountable.

    There was also a lot of technical writing that lost me, but I am admittedly not THAT computer savvy, so maybe I'm not the target audience.

    Overall it was interesting, but I couldn't get on board with cheering on such an egotistical criminal.

    Sidenote: The narrator did a great job with what he had to work with, but could have had more variety when speaking in voices other than the main character.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Loren Indiana, USA 04-02-14
    Loren Indiana, USA 04-02-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    123
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    57
    46
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Repetitive"

    First, you probably won't like this book unless you are at least a bit of a geek.

    Given that I AM a bit of a geek, I thought that this would be a fascinating story. I was wrong. The first five or ten times you hear of Kevin Mitnick gaining access, either via computer or a physical presence, to someplace where he is not allowed it's interesting. The next five or ten times, it's just more of the same with the names changed.

    If you need to know if this book has an interesting ending, you'll have to read a different review. I gave up after about the tenth or fifteenth break-in.

    Don't hold it against Ray Porter, the narrator. He did a very good job.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caroline Alameda, CA, USA 01-16-14
    Caroline Alameda, CA, USA 01-16-14 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    43
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Kevin Mitnick is a scary guy"
    What disappointed you about Ghost in the Wires?

    I would have given this more stars if it had be properly catagorized as fantasy.

    Kevin Mitnick takes no responsibility for his actions. He even blames his childhood obesity on someone else. He may not have taken credit cards and but he had access to the data which violated people's sense of security. Using his logic, it's ok to break into you house as long as he didn't take anything.

    He claims he hasn't benefitted from hacking. What do you call hacking into the phone system so he can win money? He has also adjusted people's pone bills, utility, etc and changed the amount due to thousands of dollars.

    His blatent disrespect of his terms of parole is offensive. He claimed only the FCC could take away his ham license. That may be true, but by getting out on parole you sign a contract agreeing to abide by the terms of the release.

    He's amazed the guards in the prison wouldn't let him see their badge numbers? I wouldn't be surprised if my next gas bill was $1,000,00 after writing this review.

    I think Kevin Mitnick is an arrogant sociopath


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A customer New York 09-28-13
    A customer New York 09-28-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    16
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Minick is a jerk"
    Any additional comments?

    I know I'm in the minority but I couldn't get through this one. I knew a little bit about Mitnick and thought I'd find him to be interesting, funny, engaging etc. I found him to be none of those things. To me, he's so unlikeable that I was quickly rooting against him. I wanted him to get caught.

    I think I could have stayed with it if he were unlikeable in an interesting way but there's nothing about him that I find interesting. He's very intelligent, possibly with sociopathic tendencies. Selfish. Manipulative. Immature. But not interesting.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • 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.

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Pete Lachaise
    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
  • 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
  • bhak
    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Mariann V.
    7/31/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "FUN"

    FUN. :) If you can enjoy the story despite the fact what "social engineering" really is about and despite Mitnick's seemingly high ego*, this book really is funny. I mean it - the guy was helplessly "adrenal dependent" and while at first it seems kinda stupid (to step into the same trap twice, or many more, actually :)), then I soon realized that he jus couldn't help himself and his way of explaining things made his pitfalls rather funny than anything else. He was just a seriously tech addicted adrenal junkie with some compulsive obsessions (may be still is, in a different, more productive way :)) which led him into troubles, like addictions usually do. If the reader understands that, it's easier to sympathize with his predicaments. And, because it all turned out good by today, it's not a sad kind of "addiction story" either. One could learn a few things about unusual (or is it unusual nowadays?) addiction behaviours besides the obvious information security topics.

    What bugs me, is the fact that "social engineering" is just a nice definition for systematic lying/using people's behavioural weaknesses. But then again, does it matter what kind of definition is used? That particular term is just a shorter combination of words for saying what it is.. so, (we should) get used to it - the definition doesn't chance the essence of it, although it sounds more sophisticated and, sadly, more innocent (compared to straight forward "lying" or gentle "manipulating bugs in the human hardware"), which so might get the idea more appealing to some people. BUT - this isn't about the author or his book, it is about a definition, which's etymology is unclear for me, but probably not invented by Mitnick and came into "play" a little later(?).

    I enjoyed author's ability to make fun of himself and the nerdish thriller like storyline. Suggested reading for anyone who has interest in tech and information security and not suggested if you aren't into rather specific descriptions of the technical details (which is what the book is about and might be educating listening about that bit of history of hacking and "social engineering").

    * - Didn't bother me, because _seemingly_ - I personally think it's his nerdish obsessive style and challenge chasing that some mistake for ego; his confidence wasn't too high either, if you pay attention, rather he was driven by his addiction and adrenal thirst than by ego, and those egocentric remarks are for fun, imo.

    Narrator is great, totally nailed it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Howard
    London, UK
    4/9/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "MIxed reaction to this"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Started by quite enjoying this, the middle section became a bit tedious with repeated phone stories, then got back into it at the end. I have worked in IT for 20 years.The guy is, quite frankly, a bit of a d!ck. I felt no sympathy for him whatsoever. Some of the text has a few toe curling cliches and the way he treats his family, who quite honestly are complicit in harbouring him, bailing him out multiple times is dreadful. He expresses no remorse on the basis that he wasn't doing any harm, despite breaking numerous laws. He's deluded.


    Would you recommend Ghost in the Wires to your friends? Why or why not?

    Only to people in IT probably.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Ray Porter?

    I actually laughed out loud at a few points at his dead pan delivery of some of the more emotional moments regarding relationships and so forth.


    Was Ghost in the Wires worth the listening time?

    On balance, just about, particularly if you are interested in the subject area.


    1 of 1 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
  • David
    Kempston
    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

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.