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Ghost in the Wires Audiobook

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

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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

4.4 (6661 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jay Vancouver, BC, Canada 07-21-13
    Jay Vancouver, BC, Canada 07-21-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Self Indulgent"

    He breaks the law “for fun”… and then he complains about the injustice of his consequences. He's a bright guy, but clearly doesn't understand the definition of irony.

    The guy is a whiny little kid. Egotistical and VERY self-indulgent, I got through this book quickly only because I wanted to move on to something less stupid.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joshua 06-24-13
    Joshua 06-24-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting Story, but Unsympathetic Character"
    What did you like best about Ghost in the Wires? What did you like least?

    It's an interesting story with some genuinely fascinating details, but it is hurt by the total denial Mitnick is in. He complains bitterly about any little thing which the authorities do which he thinks is "unfair", but gleefully describes every hack and illegal activity which he engages in. It's clear that many of the stories he tells are probably reprocessed through his view of it which I doubt is entirely accurate. If a sympathetic main character is important to you, skip this one.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dan BIRMINGHAM, AL, United States 01-19-13
    Dan BIRMINGHAM, AL, United States 01-19-13 Member Since 2012

    Tell us about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Hard to grasp."
    If you could sum up Ghost in the Wires in three words, what would they be?

    Watch your security.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Kevin Mitnick and William L. Simon ? Why or why not?

    No.


    What three words best describe Ray Porter’s performance?

    OK with material.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No. Too mind numbing.


    Any additional comments?

    A real eye opener. People can see whatever we are doing. Internet, cameras, etc. A little creepy and eye opening. I was amazed/fascinated/frightened at the minds that get and use the electronic mediums to their advantage. A new World!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrés 10-02-12
    Andrés 10-02-12 Member Since 2014

    Andres

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    "Interesting, but not gripping"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    The story about Kevin Mitnick is definitely interesting. And it's absolutely amazing (and scary!) to know how easy it is for someone with the right social skills (not even computer skills) to obtain confidential personal information from others. However, as interesting as it may be, I didn't find the story as gripping as other audiobooks. I guess I just didn't connect with the character. And the fact the author keeps reminding you every 15 minutes how brilliant and awesome he is, makes it hard to do so.

    The other part I find disturbing with the book is that, even though the author was illegally accessing information and hacking into numerous systems, he doesn't seem to think there's anything wrong with it. He points out that he never profitted from his hacking (apart from probably racking up thousands of dollars in phone bills using other people's numbers), but that still does not make it right. He turned his hacking around into a consulting business, and his story into a speaking career, and you have to give him credit for that. But he didn't give me the impression he realized what he did was wrong. He just found a way to get (legally) paid for it!


    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beth Woodman 09-28-12
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    "Too long in places...."

    For someone who enjoys reading technical materials, this book would be great. For someone who reads to relax and get away from technical materials - the story is very interesting - but you can skip all but the first few chapters and the last 2 chapters.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen 01-15-12
    Stephen 01-15-12
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    "Mitnick is completely unlikeableSo"
    Any additional comments?

    There are two main problems with this book:

    - it needed a thorough edit which would have trimmed the length of the book by at least a third ... citing just one example, long strings of code interrupt the flow of the story and except for highly technical readers, are an irritation. The story is lost in this emphemera.

    - Mitnick is 98% unlikeable - the thing that I most dislike is his dishonesty, and I feel listeners are being taken for a ride. Clever clogs Mitnick likes to dress his manipulation, deceit, guile and lying to people under the guise of the term

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erik Palo Alto, CA, United States 09-30-11
    Erik Palo Alto, CA, United States 09-30-11 Member Since 2001
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    "To much ego, to little story"

    I enjoyed the first few hours, but it went gradually downhill.

    It was fascinating to see how Kevin "social engineered" his was into anything, with almost no effort.

    But the writers ego, arrogance, and petulance eventually wore me down.

    He tends to write as if he is a superior intellect, because could break into computer systems and steal software, but he doesn't acknowledge that he could have never created such useful software in the first place.

    An I lost count of the times that he complained that something wasn't "fair". Maybe a dozen times? He would break hundreds of laws, get caught and charged with a few of them, and then complain that a prosecutor was also accusing him of something he didn't do.

    I am glad he turned his life around. (If he really did.) But I found his tone annoying, and I found him unlikable.

    The narration was good, though.

    41 of 54 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca Brittain 09-27-11 Listener Since 2009
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    "Stunning lack of self-reflection"

    Completely interesting listen, but with a unique blend of respect and contempt for the protagonist.

    Clearly a very bright guy, he makes his case very convincingly that hacking is, for him, a matter of personal challenge and problem solving, and not to exploit in any major way the systems he hacks. However he demonstrates an astonishing lack of understanding regarding how he has put people out and caused trouble. There is very little remorse for the incidental casualties of his game. While I can sympathize with the complaints of the police not playing by the rules, it is a curious argument coming from someone who spent his life breaking them.

    33 of 43 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dawn Goodnight 10-06-13
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    "The Arrogance is Too Much"
    What disappointed you about Ghost in the Wires?

    The point of view of the author was so self righteous and arrogant that I couldn't finish the story. The guy was such a victim of his circumstances, but couldn't be more smug.


    Has Ghost in the Wires turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Ray Porter?

    Maybe


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

    No


    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carl 09-15-12
    Carl 09-15-12 Member Since 2013
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    "Wasn't for me"

    Didn't care at all for this. The author's arrogance was insufferable and annoying. I didn't past 2 1/2 hours before I couldn't take it any more. Thought I would like it better based on the reviews and subject.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Charly Webster
    London
    5/25/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I enjoyed it, very informational"

    You could tell that this was written by somebody with a passion for the topic. The level of detail that the book goes into when explaining the exploits for me was a only slight negative. I didn't feel the need to know what all of the numbers were for the different dial up modems or exchange, this information would be good starting but it continued all the way through.

    It was interesting to find out about his life and adventures, I just wish that more content after his final release as it felt like the ending was rushed.

    Overall amazing book, I would highly recommend it to all readers/listeners and I will be looking into some of his others (The art of deception).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Captain Haddock
    England UK
    3/28/16
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    Performance
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    "A must for all nerds"
    What made the experience of listening to Ghost in the Wires the most enjoyable?

    I am a Technology Consultant, so the finer points of the book made a lot of sense to me, and this realism made me want to actually get stuck into the book. He discusses his activities, makes no beans about it being illegal, and no excuses for what he did.


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

    When the FBI are about to arrest him (I can tell you this without spoiling the book, as it is common knowledge he got arrested), keeps you on a knife edge.


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

    Ray reads the book well, I've heard a number of audiobooks he has narrated, and he is without doubt one of Audibles best ones. Good inflection, emotion and fluency.


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

    It made me laugh, got me interested in the detail.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • David Stokes
    Ireland
    1/30/16
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    "an amazing book"

    I'm so glad I read/listened to this book.. for years I assumed the move Track Down was written about Kevin with him supporting it. this book shows me it wasn't and provides a much better and amazing story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hendon
    12/8/15
    Overall
    "amazing book, gripping funny n seriously"

    Enjoyed it from start to finish, listened to it 2or3 times now, looking forward to more similar books now

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • john
    12/4/15
    Overall
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    "interesting insight into the passive hacking world"

    shows the establishments struggled to understand the skills that were available. they should have embraced Kevin Mitniks skills not chased him

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Johan
    11/28/15
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    Performance
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    "Very interesting"

    As experienced myself it is very easy to get what is needed due to people trusting too easily. Was unable to leave this book alone and thoroughly enjoyed listening to it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Donal M.
    10/6/15
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    "A really interesting read"

    I really enjoyed this book which was superbly read. It's truly an amazing story that can be described as thrilling.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Isaac
    7/24/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Gripping and tense read"
    What did you like most about Ghost in the Wires?

    The pace in the book was unrelenting - I never felt starved for more tales of Kevin's exploits, and each story was just as thrilling and unbelievable as the last!


    What did you like best about this story?

    Kevin's descriptions of the social engineering hacks he used to gain entry to the companies he phoned absolutely amazed me - the audacity he showed, and the gullibility of his victims, were quite astounding.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    There are several tense moments towards the end of the book where Kevin is forced to flee around America, only to be found again by the FBI, no matter where he takes refuge. These scenes are nail-bitingly intense, as Kevin struggles to make more false documents in time to move again, sometimes with the FBI hot on his trail as he manufactures them!


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Ghost in the Wires is quite a long book, so I wasn't tempted to listen to it all at once; however, the chapters are relatively short so it was always easy to find a place to stop listening, and to find my place once I wanted to start again.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Srjane
    7/8/15
    Overall
    Performance
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    "Fascinating"

    Although I didn't understand the technical bits (and there are lots of those). I got the gist. What I found most interesting was the role that gullible humans play in Kevin's story - not least kevin himself some times. Reassuring too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dan mitchell
    6/1/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Awesome"

    A real unexpected find. Well written and a fascinating read that had me hooked from the start, my techie side embraced the story from start to finish and left me wanting more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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