- 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 1.1 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 759 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,568 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World's Most Wanted Hacker Paperback – April 24, 2012
|New from||Used from|
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
"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.
Browse award-winning titles. See more
Top customer reviews
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?)
=== The Good Stuff ===
* Mitnick writes very well, and the book moves quickly. I ended up reading it in a single evening, and was actually sad when it came to the end.
* While the book describes some of the technical details of his exploits, anyone with even an inkling of how computers work will have no trouble understanding 95% of what happens in the book. Most of his more interesting exploits seem to be of the "social engineering" variety, namely talking people into doing him "favors" which compromise their own security.
* Mitnick is reasonable, for the most part, about his exploits. He admits to his exploits, and at least claims remorse for the trouble his hacking caused for his family.
* The book includes his attempts to flee law enforcement, including fleeing to different states and attempting to set up new identities for himself. It was quite interesting to hear the things that he found easy versus the things that caused him difficulties in his attempts to establish his new credentials.
=== The Not-So-Good Stuff ===
* By definition, Mitnick is the only source for much of the material in this book. It is therefore difficult to judge just how accurate a picture of his exploits he presents, and I got the feeling he carefully screened which parts of his biography he included. I am an engineer, and much of his discussion at least passed the "sniff" test for being at least plausible.
* The end of the book becomes somewhat self-serving. Mitnick claims to not understand why large companies would put very high values on some of the intellectual property he "just borrowed". I thought he was just being naive, until you realize that he now makes an excellent income because those companies are willing to pay him money to protect those very same assets. Clearly he has some understanding of their value.
=== Summary ===
I enjoyed the book, and enjoyed reading it. While some of the exploits seemed to stretch what I was wiling to believe, it almost doesn't matter. The book was an enjoyable and fun read whether it was fiction or not.
One thing that did stick out was that some of Mitnick's greatest successes were not done at a computer, but rather with a telephone talking some lowly employee into bypassing carefully developed security procedures.
Finally, I can't help but wonder with the billions we have spent on "security" since 2001, how many of Mitnick's exploits would still work today. I have the awful feeling that I don't really want to know.
The worse part was how he kept blaming everybody about the outcome of his mistakes. It was heartbreaking to see the emotional turmoil he put his family and ex wife through. Yet he felt entitled to feel hurt when his wife filled for divorce.
He keeps saying it's not illegal to access records and he didn't harm anyone. So that should Grant him innocence. If a stranger came into your house and didn't steal or harm anyone or any property, then he should claim himself innocent?
He keeps claiming he is so smart and everyone else is stupid, yet he made so many mistakes that landed him in jail.
A sickening read.