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Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World's Most Wanted Hacker Kindle Edition
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''Mitnick's sense of humor is evident as he recounts his adventures . . . For those interested in computer history, Ghost in the Wires is a nostalgia trip to the quaint old days before hacking (and hackers) turned so malicious and financially motivated.'' --New York Times
''It's the piquant human element that really animates this rollicking memoir of high-tech skullduggery . . . The considerable charm of this nonstop caper saga lies in seeing the giant, faceless bureaucracies that rule and regulate us unmasked as assemblages of hapless people dancing to a plucky con man's tune.'' --Publishers Weekly
''A lucid, brightly written tale for both techies and lay readers.'' --Kirkus Reviews --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
About the Author
WILLIAM L. SIMON is a bestselling coauthor of numerous books, including iCon, the biography of Steve Jobs, and Kevin Mitnick's two previous books. He has also written for USA Today and the Washington Post and been interviewed on CNBC, CNN, NPR and by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, Time, Newsweek, and many other publications. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B0047Y0F0K
- Publisher : Little, Brown and Company; 1st edition (August 15, 2011)
- Publication date : August 15, 2011
- Language : English
- File size : 2716 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 433 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #113,538 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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I've read several of the negative comments written about this book, and I don't understand why these people read the book in the first place. They talk about not being able to sympathize, they judge Mitnick for taking advantage of people, they hate Mitnick for the way he exploited his mother and grandmother, they talk bad because they can't understand what drove Mitnick to continue to break into systems, they are irritated because of his cocky attitude. In my opinion, those reviews are more emotional than objective.
In common with the people who wrote negative reviews, I too felt bad for his mother, grandmother, friends, him, and everyone he ever used for his criminal activities. I too felt that he had plenty of opportunities to stop and get away clean. I too rolled my eyes when I read about how much smarter he was than everyone else, especially towards the end b/c it'd been ongoing throughout the book. But it's Kevin Mitnick - the social engineer hacker king - Interaction w/ people and mind-screwing most of them is expected, as is the manipulation of relationships in his favor!
My 5 stars because:
I like (auto)biographies, I am an IT professional, I enjoy narratives - this book was a perfect read for me. I could hardly put it down. It only took me a couple of weeks to read (light reading in evenings and heavier on weekends).
I was hooked from the beginning - opening word by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. The book contains a few jaw-dropping moments as Mitnick explains how he infiltrated organizations and systems. It was engaging from cover to cover - reading of how he evaded capture, how he ran counter surveillance on the FBI, how he changed identities, and a whole lot more.
You'll enjoy this book if you:
- are an IT professional
- prefer reading crime-drama novels, autobiographies, or fugitive/on-the-run type novels
- can handle a subject without hating the subjects (can you appreciate genius in a person regardless of how they use their ability?)
If you're an ethical hacker and have some experience under your belt, you'll love this book!
Take a glimpse into the past and experience Kevin Mitnick's story on how he got started, his successes, betrayals, lessons learned, and just the journey this man went through... during an age of extreme obliviousness to information technology and what a brilliant man Kevin Mitnik is, and one with ethics even in his "on the run" period of his life.
So good, I bought all three of his other books.
Highly recommend you click the order button right now!
The most surprising part of the story is how little of Mitnick’s exploits were due to what we traditionally think of as computer hacking, and how much was due to social engineering. Mitnick learned to be a master manipulator, and in this book he explains to you how he convinced cops to turn over records, trusted employees to send files to people they just met, and just about anyone to do anything over the phone. If you want to better protect yourself from social engineering, this book is a great primer. It really makes you think about how quick we are to trust someone with a bit of confidence when they know a couple details we assume they would only know if the confidence were warranted.
Mitnick manages to make himself relatable. By including personal details, descriptions of family life, and imagery of his surroundings, he comes across as a regular guy. He compares his hacking activities to an addiction. I can almost buy that. He was getting notoriety, solving interesting puzzles, and probably feeling the same kind of rush that cleptomaniacs feel. It sounds like it could easily become a compulsion if you’re good at it and don’t have a certain moral wavelength turned on.
And I say that last sentence carefully. Because Mitnick (as far as I know and he claims in the book) never did anything especially damaging compared to some of the other well known hackers. He says he wasn’t in it for money or to do harm, but instead to satiate his curiosity. A significant portion of the book concentrates on this fact, and how the media played up his story to make him sound a lot more evil than he deserved. And that apparently affected his prosecution by the government. John Markoff, a well known New York Times reporter at the time, is singled out for particularly incredulous stories.
Yet, my biggest criticism with the book, would be Mitnick’s lack of sympathy for his victims. He spends a lot of time emphasizing how little damage he did, and almost no time apologizing for the damage that he did do. Sure, he may not have sold the source code he stole for a profit. And sure, the people he tricked mostly just had their time wasted. He didn’t actively try to ruin anybody’s life. Yet, mitigating his “work” inevitably cost companies and individual a lot of time. Employee time is money. It probably cost taxpayers millions of dollars investigating, trying him, and catching him. His exploits made people feel unsafe and caused them emotional distress. And he doesn’t seem very sorry. For that reason, I found him especially difficult to root for during the early chapters. Even his “pranks” as a teenager sometimes seemed mean spirited if I were to be on the receiving end of the frustration they caused.
In the end, though, Mitnick won me over. I found his relationship with his mother and grandmother endearing. I think the way he turned his life around after getting out of prison the last time is remarkable. It seems he’s done a lot of good the last twenty years. He’s an example of why people deserve a second chance, and his book is an interesting examination of social engineering and the media-legal system complex.
This book follows Kevin from the time he was around 8, learning to pick locks. I laughed and thought, "at 8 I was playing with Barbies, what a waste of my time." Kevin Mitnick writes in a way that most people can understand and explains every term. Heck he explains how he did everything he accomplished. Ghost in the Wires is a fascinating book. If I had three full free days, I'd have it finished by now. I can't put it down.
Top reviews from other countries
However this book blows away the misinformation and media hype surrounding the story and is told in a thrilling and sometime humorous way.
From the start of the book it grabs the reader and won`t let go. Both fast paced and informative, it takes the reader from Kevin`s beginnings as a fan of magic tricks and magicians, to Ham radio and of course telephones and networks. If you've heard of Kevin Mitnick i guarantee you have not heard the truth. This book clears up the myths (He can whistle into a telephone and launch a nuclear missile from NORAD) and explains that not all hackers are in it for the money.
Buy,beg,borrow this book.......Then check your computer security.
My book of the year 5/5
Thank you Kevin and good luck in the future
The Art of Intrusion: The Real Stories Behind the Exploits of Hackers, Intruders and Deceivers
The Art of Deception: Controlling the Human Element of Security