Synopses & Reviews
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.
"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. (Aug. 15)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"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
"Considering the fact that Windows 95 hadn't even been released when federal agents finally caught up with the computer hacker Kevin Mitnick, one might assume his new memoir would be full of stale old tech-and-techniques that no one in 2011 could possibly care about. But as Mitnick makes clear here, don't jump to conclusions.... 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
"Reads like those of Frank Abagnale Jr. and Steven Jay Russell. But Mitnick's has a high-tech twist."--Booklist
Kevin Mitnick, the world's most wanted computer hacker, managed to hack into some of the country's most powerful - and seemingly impenetrable - agencies and companies. By conning employees into giving him private@lt;b@gt;@lt;/b@gt;information and maneuvering through layers of security, he gained access to data that no one else could.@lt;br@gt;@lt;br@gt;The suspenseful heart of the book unfolds as Mitnick disappears on a three-year run from the FBI. He creates fake identities, finds jobs at a law firm and hospital, and keeps tabs on his myriad pursuers - all while continuing to hack into computer systems and phone company switches that were considered flawless. @lt;br@gt;@lt;br@gt;A modern, technology-driven adventure story, GHOST IN THE WIRES is a dramatic account of the joy of outsmarting security programs, the satisfaction of code-cracking, and the thrill of unbelievable escape.
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.