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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The truth is better than the fiction....
I have been an avid follower of the Mitnick saga for many many years and have read many publications about and by the man. I even have to admit watching that Takedown film which in no way captures the reality of the character or situation. Although I myself work in the scurity testing industry, the sheer ingenuity and skill of this guy begs belief. This book sets the...
Published on 14 Dec 2011 by The Duke

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining read
I'm a web designer and developer by trade and therefore I innately have an interest in hacking. This is an entertaining story but a little long and repetitive at times.
Published 6 months ago by Karsten Rowe


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The truth is better than the fiction...., 14 Dec 2011
This review is from: Ghost In The Wires: My Adventures as the World's Most Wanted Hacker (Hardcover)
I have been an avid follower of the Mitnick saga for many many years and have read many publications about and by the man. I even have to admit watching that Takedown film which in no way captures the reality of the character or situation. Although I myself work in the scurity testing industry, the sheer ingenuity and skill of this guy begs belief. This book sets the story straight. It isn't overly technical so shouldn't deter the casual reader. Kevin is obviously a very clever guy but after reading this book he never comes across as arrogant or big headed as are many in this field who I have met. Contrary to popular belief and news reports he only had an overwhelming quest for knowledge and never used the information he gleaned for personal gain. The story itself is almost like a classic chase spy thriller, except it's all real. Definately worth reading. I found it highly entertaining when the authorities were afraid to let him near any technology for fear he could set off some worldwide disaster. Congratulations for at last telling the true story of Kevin Mitnick.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Believe Him if You Can., 11 Jun 2012
By 
takingadayoff "takingadayoff" (Las Vegas, Nevada) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
When it comes to true crime, I'm pretty squeamish. Nothing violent, please. Clever and devious are what I'm looking for. Frank Abagnale's Catch Me If You Can: The True Story Of A Real Fake is one of the best, and it's hard not to compare any subsequent caper story to it.

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. Mitnick was unbelievably audacious, and he says he never profited from his exploits. Knowing the risks (especially after he had already spent an unpleasant stretch in prison), how could he continue to risk getting caught again? He claims he was addicted to hacking, and while that seemed to me a sorry excuse for criminal behavior, it started to seem like a possibility. Or another con, perhaps.

Whatever Mitnick's reasons, Ghost in the Wires is as much fun to read as any summer thriller.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the 'catch me if you can' of the computer age, 10 Oct 2011
By 
Henrik Østerlund Gram (Kløfta, Norway Norway) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ghost In The Wires: My Adventures as the World's Most Wanted Hacker (Hardcover)
I was a first year comp.sci.student when Mitnick was caught and always wondered about the real stories behind it all, so it was a real delight to finally read Mitnick's own words on his exploits in this very readable book.

He's not very apologetic about his actions (which consist mostly of talking people into given him information he shouldn't have, rather than actual hacking though there's a little of that as well). He's always got some excuse ready to justify the 'just one more hack.' The unapologetic nature of the book may be off-putting to some readers, but I find it refreshingly honest.

As someone who hacked his way through an unchallenging time in high school, in a time before the Internet where you had to figure out everything on your own, I totally understand the excitement and the lure he experienced, but thankfully I was able to stop before it got me into any serious trouble. Decades later, I find that my most skilled colleagues in the programming field are those who already in their teens were interested in figuring out 'how stuff worked' - actions which today would've landed them in jail...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story, but also a great warning to those with data to protect, 9 Nov 2011
By 
When I tweeted:

Ghost in the Wires by @kevinmitnick is a Jekyll and Hyde tale. Great adventure for the dreamer in us, a horror tale for those who work in IT

and he replied thanking me and asking me to review on here, I was kind of half expecting to find he'd already done it on my account for me! I was first introduced to Kevin's writing back in 2002 when somebody lent me The Art of Deception. It made me laugh how lots of people reviewing this book say it is repetitive and that once you read 2-3 stories you get the idea. The fact is, that no book would be long enough to cover the entire subject of social engineering but Kevin did a great job of covering a wide range of scenarios, with different variations on each.

When I heard this book was being released, I opted for the audio version to make my 45 minutes' drive to work less dreary. So glad I did, hearing the life story of Kevin Mitnick has helped me rekindle my interest in the world of IT security.

Should you buy this book? If you are interested in listening to a great cat and mouse adventure story, or the antics of one of the world's most wanted hackers, then yes. If you have at least some technical know-how, it won't be a struggle at all, although Kevin explains most of the terms enough for even my Dad to keep up!

Great job by Kevin and his supporting team.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A treat to read and better then an Ian Fleming novel., 9 July 2012
By 
Mr. G. Bridgeman-clarke "Graham BC" (Rayleigh, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Ghost In The Wires: My Adventures as the World's Most Wanted Hacker (Hardcover)
I read Kevin Mitnick's first book about hacking and I was hooked. its a great read, as is this book and it tells you so much about social engineering and how hackers do it. I naively though that they sat at the computer guessing passwords. If you think that then read this book. Its far easier to hack and break into a company's server then you could realise and though I assume that if this guy wasn't guilty he would not have been sent to jail, he tells a really goos storey about manipulating people to get people to give you access to company secrets.

This is a tale about breaking in, and having to be on the run. There was a film of his encounters which was a flop but to be rank you need to read this to get to the real adventure. Its all here, secrets, FBI, mistrust, betrayal and finding new identities. Great.

Loved it and hope there are other similar books out there for me to delve into.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally the real story, 17 Nov 2011
This review is from: Ghost In The Wires: My Adventures as the World's Most Wanted Hacker (Hardcover)
Sadly I was born in 85, so I did not see, or hear any of the live coverage regarding Kevin, I didn't discover him until later on in my life when I discovered the internet to feed my hunger for learning more about technology and more.

I watched all of the hackers films, including Takedown. It was Takedown that got me into wanting to learn more about Kevin, over the years I did a little more research into who he was, what he did etc.

I eventually bought the Art of Deception and loved it. I did some more digging and discovered the video documentary by Emmanuel Goldstein, Freedom Downtime. Again, I was totally hooked on learning more about Kevin and his life on the run. Later on I found out he was writing a further book, Ghost in the wires, I was eager to get a copy, I wanted to know more.

I then finally got hold of the book, just a few days ago. I managed to read 3+ hours a day and managed to finish the book just 10 minutes ago. The book is details everything from Kevin's initial run in with the law, right up to the Feds knocking his door down ransacking his current accommodation. I couldn't put it down, I had to continue reading more, believe it or not this is the 2nd book I've read in my entire life end to end.

I highly recommend this book if you're a bit of a geek, it does include some technical aspects of Kevin's hacks but doesn't go into too much detail that you get completely lost. It also clearly shows how security was so lack back then, some of the things organisations did, or left unchanged for that matter (default pin codes for example).

I can guarantee you will not be let down by this book. Go buy it now!

Dunfy
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for anyone with even a passing interest in computers and the Internet, 15 Nov 2011
By 
Long "Steve" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ghost In The Wires: My Adventures as the World's Most Wanted Hacker (Hardcover)
I bought this on day of release in hardback, which is odd for me, I generally read everything electronically and buy Kindle ebooks these days. I remember the stories of Kevin Mitnick from back when I was at University learning Computer Science. This was just at the start of the Internet era. I remember thinking at the time, 'man, the stories make this guy seem like an international terrorist, I wonder what the truth actually is' and now I know.

The book is a very easy read, whether you're a tech head or not. There's enough detail to keep people like me happy, but it's presented so anyone can follow and understand it. It's exciting too, not just a dry story from one perspective. The author did lot of research into the other people involved in the story, getting interviews and documents to build a very complete picture of hacking, running from the authorities and finally getting caught.

I enjoyed this very much, and would recommend it to anyone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read!, 8 Nov 2011
This review is from: Ghost In The Wires: My Adventures as the World's Most Wanted Hacker (Hardcover)
I purchased this book as the film "Hackers 2" inspired me to cover the tracks of the legendary Kevin Mitnick. Kevin's explanations of his technical hacks are friendly to all readers (technical or not) & I find it incredibly easy to read (even though I don't normally read books that don't teach)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enlightening and fascinating, 2 Nov 2011
This review is from: Ghost In The Wires: My Adventures as the World's Most Wanted Hacker (Hardcover)
I have to admit, I first read the book 'Takedown' by Tsutomu Shimomura and John Markoff, and felt that I was an expert on the subject of Kevin Mitnick.

I am somewhat ashamed that even in these days where it's common sense to not judge a book by it's cover, that's what I did with Kevin Mitnick.

However, this book has changed my mind and opinions.
It's a fascinating story that leaves you desperate to turn the page and continue reading, when it's 5:27am and you know you have to be at work in 3 hours time - and you still can't but the book down.

The book is, understandably, somewhat technical - but I don't think that it would go over the head of any reader, unless they actively refuse to try and understand technical terms!

Another fun part is the little technical puzzles that prefix each chapter, you'll be playing with ROT13 and Base64 encoding before you know it.

Last but not at all least, it's a story of passion and drive - Kevin was no angel, but in the face of a whole system dedicated to depriving him of his basic human privileges and accusing him of inconceivable crimes with no base in fact or reality, he had to do what he could to survive. After all, what would you do in a system that believes you could launch a nuclear weapon by whistling down a telephone ?

Free Kevin!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, 22 Oct 2011
By 
John Dexter - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Ghost In The Wires: My Adventures as the World's Most Wanted Hacker (Hardcover)
In Ghost in the Wires Kevin Mitnick's pleads his case that he is (or at least, was) a "hacker" (one of the good-guys) rather than a "cracker" (a mere criminal) and, if you're interested in how easily gifted conmen manipulate their "marks", his account of being the world's most wanted hacker is a gripping read from start to finish. However, Mitnick is a gifted conman and that's the point - it is easy to be persuaded that he was a benign explorer in a virtual world who was victimised by an ignorant and fearful state, but the truth is not quite so simple.

The fact is, that Mitnick freely acknowledges committing criminal acts and he seems to have had little regard for other people's privacy or rights. Sadly, he demonstrates even less remorse for his actions. Indeed, both during and after his incarceration, Mitnick and his supporters have crafted a persona of an anti-hero - a cybercrusader who was somehow immune from the norms of decent behaviour that constrain most of society. Herein lies the shortcoming with Ghost in the Wires: whilst it is undoubtedly a wonderful account of Mitnick's exploits, it reveals little or nothing of the man or his motives. Although we are given tantalizing glimpses into Mitnick's relationships with friends and family and furnished with banal excuses that he was compelled by some "addiction" (p.40), one is left with the feeling that this is a highly sanitised history, designed to put the best "spin" on his version of events.

Nonetheless, Mitnick's treatment at the hands of the US judicial system is shocking. The unaccountable fear and paranoia demonstrated by the authorities when prosecuting him almost beggars belief and it is difficult to comprehend the impact that months of solitary confinement and incarceration without trial must have had on such a free spirit. Undoubtedly, it is this inhumane treatment that generates sympathy for Mitnick and eclipses his criminal escapades in the eyes of his supporters.

It is difficult not to admire the skill and persistence that Mitnick demonstrated in the pursuit of his goals but it is worth remembering that society needs protection from people who employ such talents to take things that don't belong to them: this is a message that seems to have got lost in Ghost in the Wires. However, it is a fascinating account and a thoroughly enjoyable read.
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Ghost In The Wires: My Adventures as the World's Most Wanted Hacker
Ghost In The Wires: My Adventures as the World's Most Wanted Hacker by Kevin D. Mitnick (Hardcover - 1 Sep 2011)
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