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Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World's Most Wanted Hacker [Hardcover]

Kevin Mitnick , Steve Wozniak , William L. Simon
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Aug. 15 2011
Kevin Mitnick was the most elusive computer break-in artist in history. He accessed computers and networks at the world's biggest companies--and however fast the authorities were, Mitnick was faster, sprinting through phone switches, computer systems, and cellular networks. He spent years skipping through cyberspace, always three steps ahead and labeled unstoppable. But for Kevin, hacking wasn't just about technological feats-it was an old fashioned confidence game that required guile and deception to trick the unwitting out of valuable information.

Driven by a powerful urge to accomplish the impossible, Mitnick bypassed security systems and blazed into major organizations including Motorola, Sun Microsystems, and Pacific Bell. But as the FBI's net began to tighten, Kevin went on the run, engaging in an increasingly sophisticated cat and mouse game that led through false identities, a host of cities, plenty of close shaves, and 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 escape, and a portrait of a visionary whose creativity, skills, and persistence forced the authorities to rethink the way they pursued him, inspiring ripples that brought permanent changes in the way people and companies protect their most sensitive information.

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Product Description


"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

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.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Read March 16 2012
What surprised me most about this book was the extent of social engineering employed by Kevin. You can definitely tell he was no slouch when it came to technical or "hacking" abilities; but all this was largely overshadowed by his ability to convince people to simply hand over access. I found myself constantly disrupting my wife to share several examples of this. Read this book to really, truly, understand what makes a hacker successful ... you!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1337 Feb. 16 2013
A grand adventure into the past of Kevin Mitnick. Filled with crazy cool info and interesting facts. Having worked in the telcos myself this was an eye opener of what can be done for something do simple. The book was filled with knowledge and humour the likes all computer phreaks would get. 5 star all the way
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On the edge of my seat! July 15 2012
Let me start by saying that I don't read a whole lot of books, but when I started reading "Ghost in the Wires" I literally could not put it down! I finished it in two days. If you are looking for an uber geek book that you would swear was written by Hollywood screen writers then this is the book for you!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book Jan. 15 2012
By hutch
This book gives an interesting account of the life of Kevin Mitnick from his early years of phone phreaking to his later years as a sophisticated computer hacker. Anyone who has solved puzzles will understand the joy Kevin speaks of as he cracks each new problem. Nice addition to each chapter with a small encrypted puzzle for the reader as well.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fearing the Phreaker Sept. 6 2011
Format:Audio CD
I listened to this off I-Tunes. I found it very interesting even though I'm not a computer programmer/hacker/phone phreaker. I can't believe how long Kevin was left in prison without a trial!
The fear that abounded in that time over Hackers was eye opening. As was the pull Kevin had to continue hacking and using social engineering skills even when it often brought him grief. Very interesting to put yourself in the shoes of the "Dark Side" Hacker and find out he's just a very smart, curious and mischievous guy who got on the wrong side of powerful/ignorant people.
Great Book, Thanks Kevin for freeing your story.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the more exciting reads in a long time Dec 24 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I confess I am one of the three people on earth who hasn't heard of Kevin Mitnick before I read this book. It was seriously one of the most fast-paced, interesting and exciting reads I've found in a long long time. It's a better action story than anything I've read in fiction. I found myself staying up way too late at night so I could squeeze in some extra pages. I ignored my friends. I didn't leave the house. It was that suspenseful. It's one of those books I wish I could read again for the first time.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Non-Fiction That Reads Like a Thriller Dec 15 2011
By Aaron
This is a really entertaining piece of IT history that kept me turning pages like a thriller. It doesn't gloss over the events or paint Miknick as a hero. There are a lot of things to keep IT people interested and informed while being entertaining to everybody. From social engineering, technical curiosity and identity theft to the horrors of power abuse in uninformed authority the book is fairly comprehensive.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Read
From the beginning until the end it was a book I didn't want to put down. I was semi-familiar with the Kevin Mitnick story beforehand and had interest in learning more. Read more
Published on Nov. 30 2011 by A Dad
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read, feels like your in the middle of it all
I know it sounds cliche but once I started reading it I couldn't put it down. As you read the book and Kevin recalls his adventures you feel as if you are there with him looking... Read more
Published on Nov. 27 2011 by Brandon
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing read!
Gives great insight into social engineering, as well as to the development of hacking and hacker culture. Read more
Published on Nov. 14 2011 by Adam D.
2.0 out of 5 stars Poorly penned by an unrepentant criminal
I've been into computers as long has Mr Mitnick has I find his story self-interested, unrepentant, and poorly written for a 40-something who took a college course in 'Writing'. Read more
Published on Oct. 24 2011 by CDNRider
5.0 out of 5 stars No Holds Barred.
I have been reading the book since I received it and it is a very great story. Mitnick has nothing to hide and goes into details many years old and talks so candidly that it might... Read more
Published on Oct. 13 2011 by Wookard
5.0 out of 5 stars Electronic cat and mouse
Mr. Mitnick's hacking obsession began in the 1980s when he was adolescent using his ham radio to circumvent the phone system to make free phone calls mostly to his fellow hacking... Read more
Published on Aug. 27 2011 by Len
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