The thrilling memoir of the world's most wanted computer hacker "manages to make breaking computer code sound as action-packed as robbing a bank" (NPR).
Kevin Mitnick was the most elusive computer break-in artist in history. He accessed computers and networks at the world's biggest companies--and no matter how fast the authorities were, Mitnick was faster, sprinting through phone switches, computer systems, and cellular networks. As the FBI's net finally began to tighten, Mitnick went on the run, engaging in an increasingly sophisticated game of hide-and-seek that escalated through false identities, a host of cities, and plenty of close shaves, 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 escapes--and a portrait of a visionary who forced the authorities to rethink the way they pursued him, and forced companies to rethink the way they protect their most sensitive information.
It's the piquant human element that really animates this rollicking memoir of high-tech skullduggery. Mitnick (The Art of Deception) recounts his epic illegal computer hacks of Sun Microsystems, Digital Equipment Corporation, and any number of cellphone makers; his exploits triggered a manhunt that made headlines. He insists he did it not for money but for the transgressive thrill of looking at big, secret computer programs otherwise he apparently lived a threadbare existence on the lam and the claim rings true; there's something obsessive and pure about his need to hack and brag about it to others, habits which eventually brought about his downfall. 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. By learning their procedures and mimicking their lingo, he gets cops, technicians, DMV functionaries, and other mandarins his control over telephone companies is almost godlike to divulge their secrets and do his bidding. 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. Photos.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Good read but no responsibility taken
I found that the book was well written and very interesting. It had a great pace and an almost sympathetic lead character. In the long run I ended up wishing that Kevin would of taken more responsibility for his actions and admitted to the real damage he caused in violating the privacy of so many others so that he could get his thrills.
Fast paced thriller
Wow! Ghost in the Wires reads like a action thriller. There was never a dull moment and I couldn't put it down.
Ghost in the Wires
I found this book fascinating and a good read. The story telling kept me interested and never bored for a minute. At times, I forgot that I was reading a biographical account because the antics were incredible. I found myself at times angry with the manipulative methods Kevin used, and then sympathetic for him during his time behind bars (mostly because I used to work in the jails and know how awful it can be). The focus on "ethical hacking" is a good course to follow and nice message for our young readers.