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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 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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TOP 100 REVIEWERon August 27, 2011
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 friends. Amusing tales are told, one in particular where he and a friend hack the intercom system at a Mcdonalds and play pranks on the customers. Eventually, the authorities become suspicious of his interferences to their system. The chase is on with Mr. Mitnick and his buddies using their skills to stay one step ahead of the authorities using the very techniques for which they are being pursued. The writer seemed to have an as yet uncategorized addiction to electronic devices. He just had to figure them out. So, if it was the phone system, his goal was to understand it and then use his knowledge to undermine it. As he professes continually in the book, he is not doing this for profit because, as the sophistication of phones increases from analogue to cellular versions, he gains access to thousands of credit card numbers. Yet, he never uses them. Likewise, he gains copies of cell phone operating systems. From these he and his buddies detect weaknesses and install patches by which they can gain control of the very systems they are using. Naturally, companies like Motorola and Nokia get upset with people making calls for free using phantom phone numbers that are impossible to trace. In 1988, Kevin was arrested, convicted and spent a year in jail followed by three years of supervised release. During that time, he continued with his nefarious activities eventually being charged again. He flees and takes on other identities. His adventures are exciting and often amusing especially in his younger years but as technology becomes more sophisticated so does the level of information available to hackers able to access the credit card numbers and phone messages of individuals of individuals they are monitoring. Pages of the book become filled with elaborate explanations of how Mitnick was able access to system software including codes and passwords used and discovered . This information must have been included for fellow hackers and computer geeks because it was definitely outside my level of interest or understanding. The appropriately named "Ghost in the Wires" makes for a compelling read not only for the amusement of his adventures as he fakes identities and monitors the activities of the very authorities who are monitoring him but also the insight provided into the mindset of computer geeks who control the communication devices the world is now dependent on. Mr. Mitnick quite rightly compares himself and his kind to magicians who used to travel from village to village where the people would marvel at their skills and attribute to them, mysterious powers that bring both benefit and danger. 'Ghost in the Wires' ais an elaborate cat and mouse game that's obviously still being played out by individuals around the world and probably by countries as well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 15, 2012
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 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
on 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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on August 12, 2014
When I was younger, I had wanted to become a hacker and learned about Kevin Mitnick. Now that I'm older, I've moved on to others things but as we all know, we still somehow want to follow our childhood dreams. This book made live the adventure of a hacker. Kevin Mitnick is probably last generation of hackers that hack for fun and knowledge. Those hackers always seem to challenge themselves in positive ways. Nowadays, hackers goals are different, positively and negatively. Kevin Mitnick also gives a glimpse into our repressive government and how they deal with thrill seekers. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to high scool and college students because it's an interesting book and has themes and ideas useful for today's youth.
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on October 13, 2011
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 as well just happened. I have been following his career for a long time and this is one of the best books about how society bases too much on trust and how easily people can be manipulated for another persons gain. I recommend anyone who works in a type of career that deals with sensitive information should get this and read it. You won't be dissapointed!
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on November 27, 2011
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 over his shoulder as he's typing away. This book brings to light many security issues that have plagued big companies. As well the injustice that can happen when the media blows things out of proportion. This is easy to read for the laymen no technical knowledge required.
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on November 14, 2011
Gives great insight into social engineering, as well as to the development of hacking and hacker culture. As a bit more of a technical reader, I found the book giving excellent descriptions into the build up of the telecoms, as well as how security evolved to fight hackers (who were usually a step ahead, especially in Mitnick's case!).
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 24, 2012
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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