- Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: Back Bay Books (April 24, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780316037723
- ISBN-13: 978-0316037723
- ASIN: 0316037729
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (705 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,523 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World's Most Wanted Hacker Paperback – April 24, 2012
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"Mitnick manages to make breaking computer code sound as action-packed as robbing a bank."―Rachel Syme, National Public Radio
"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
"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
"A gripping story.... Fascinating and filled with insights."―Jesse Singal, Boston Globe
"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
"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
About the Author
Kevin Mitnick, the world's most famous (former) hacker, is now a security consultant. He has been the subject of countless news and magazine articles and has appeared on numerous television and radio programs, offering expert commentary on information security, and he has testified before the United States Senate and written for Harvard Business Review. Mitnick is the author, with William L. Simon, of the bestselling books The Art of Deception and The Art of Intrusion. He lives in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Top Customer Reviews
Ghost in the Wires doesn't reach the level of audacity of Catch Me if You Can - impersonating technicians over the phone doesn't rise to the sheer nerve of a teenager impersonating an airline pilot or a doctor, as Abagnale did, and getting away with it. But Ghost in the Wires goes well beyond the adolescent bragfest of phone hacks that it could have been.
I think this is largely due to the co-writer, William L. Simon. Kevin Mitnick describes in his acknowledgments, how he and Simon argued over how detailed and technical the book should be, and apparently Simon prevailed. There's enough detail to explain how the scams were possible, but not so specific as to send the non-programmer into a hexadecimal stupor.
Another big plus is that many of the hacks depended as much on what Mitnick calls "social engineering" as on specialist knowledge. Unlike the stereotypical computer nerd, Mitnick was as comfortable and proficient at schmoozing people as he was writing code - he could talk his way into places that were restricted and convince people he was entitled to classified information. These were scams anyone can understand.
Mitnick also succeeds at not crossing the line from confident to insufferable, which is another pitfall of true crime tell-alls. Perhaps we can once again thank William Simon for this achievement.
I expected to skim this 400-page book but ended up reading every word.Read more ›
I can't help but enjoy reading about someone who has the adept social engineering of a film noir gumshoe, or the undercover detective, who applied it growing up and getting into trouble. Like Kevin, I knew The Three Days of the Condor. I learned it was a favorite of his, and I clung to this fact which fell through the sieve of newspaper myth. Free Kevin!
Now read Kevin's story, where you'll find enough detail to keep any heart racing. Whether or not you have enough awareness for some of the bits, or rely on the plain language, the story can strike sheer terror in the hearts of those who don't know much of anything about bits and bytes. For those who do, this book contains updated method nomenclature and references to security protocol that it's valuable from that perspective.
Kevin possesses the kind of curiosity to dig and uncover gems of hidden info for esoteric purposes in order to unlock a power only a successful hacker knows about. Social engineering is akin to the confidence game, but different all the same when it involves computer networks. The best hackers are never caught, never known about. Kevin has a different distinction: The first and the grandest adventure story, ever.
You don't need to be a hacker or security professional to appreciate and learn from it. Today, security is serious business and hackers typically have bad or misguided intent.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The story was incredible. I loved the personal evolution Kevin went through as well as the detail he provided about how easy it is to socially engineer people who have no idea how... Read morePublished 6 days ago by RoadH8r
A riveting read into the life of a peculiar man. It was a joy to watch Kevin's mishaps and adventures through the yearsPublished 1 month ago by Jared
Had to read cover to cover... impossible to put down! Fascinating insight into human behaviourPublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
I liked this book. It's a very interesting story, and once again shows how governments can abuse their power on the whims of various government individuals. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
I read this book right to the end, and enjoyed it -- up to a certain point. This book is an example of a curious but common paradox-in-terms genre in publishing: a co-authored... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Curoi
Fascinating story. Especially interesting to learn a lot about phone phreaking. And social engineering.Published 1 month ago by Gary Samad