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Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World's Most Wanted Hacker Hardcover – August 15, 2011
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Praise for Ghost in the Wires
"Ghost in the Wires reads like a contemporary über-geeky thriller.... 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."―J.D. Biersdorfer, New York Times Book Review
"Mr. Mitnick portrays himself as worth rooting for, a savvy master rodent in a cat-and-mouse game, grinning past his whiskers as he stole the cheese from under the nose of the helpless fat cats."―Steven Levy, Wall Street Journal
"A gripping story.... Fascinating and filled with insights."―Jesse Singal, Boston Globe
"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
"Years ago, I helped put Kevin Mitnick in jail. I now see this made about as much sense as arresting Dean Martin for public drunkenness. Neither of them could stop themselves. Neither was doing any real harm. And, in both cases, watching them struggle with their obsessions was hugely entertaining. Kevin's book is certainly that. Terse and snappy, it reads like Raymond Chandler and provides detailed insight into a time in computer history that already seems quaint. Kevin Mitnick was and is a true Internet pioneer."―John Perry Barlow, cofounder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation
"Reads like those of Frank Abagnale Jr. and Steven Jay Russell. But Mitnick's has a high-tech twist."―Booklist (starred review)
"It's the piquant human element that really animates this rollicking memoir of high-tech skullduggery....Mitnick's hacking narratives are lucid to neophytes and catnip to people who love code, but the book's heart is his 'social engineering' - his preternatural ability to schmooze and manipulate.....[a] nonstop caper."―Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Kevin Mitnick, the world's most famous (former) computer hacker, has been the subject of countless news and magazine articles, the idol of thousands of would-be hackers, and a one-time "most wanted" criminal of cyberspace, on the run from the bewildered Feds. Now a security consultant, he has spoken to audiences at conventions around the world, been on dozens of major national TV and radio shows, and even testified in front of Congress. He is the author of The Art of Deception and The Art of Intrusion.
Co-author William Simon is a bestselling co-author of numerous books, including iCon (the biography of Steve Jobs) and Kevin Mitnick's previous two 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, The Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, Time, Newsweek, and many other publications.
Top customer reviews
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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?)
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.
Kevin Mitnick is easy to relate to if you are a computer person, like hacking/ hacks, fun projects, and knowing forbidden knowledge. Was interesting to learn that he lived in Denver in a area that I did around the same time! Great book, sort of like reading a thriller/mystery except it was real events.
Much better than some of the other "I was a teen age hacker" books out there. Hopefully he keeps writing. I really enjoyed learning basic security and privacy tips, just a fun read overall.