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

by: Kevin D. Mitnick

Publisher: Back Bay Books (2011)

$17.99

Staff Pick by comrade:

Mitnick's exploits fall much more in the older world of phone phreaking than what we now think of as hacking, or, more accurately, cracking, but this is still a very fun read in the style of Catch Me If You Can. Wiretapping the FBI wiretapping him; hopping from identity to identity; collecting code for nothing more than the thrill; managing through all this to keep in contact with his ma.

KevinMitnickwasthemostelusivecomputerbreakinartistinhistory.Heaccessedcomputersandnetworksattheworld’sbiggestcompaniesandhoweverfasttheauthoritieswere,Mitnickwasfaster,sprintingthroughphoneswitches,computersystems,andcellularnetworks.Hespentyearsskippingthroughcyberspace,alwaysthreestepsaheadandlabeledunstoppable.ButforKevin,hackingwasn’tjustabouttechnologicalfeatsitwasanoldfashionedconfidencegamethatrequiredguileanddeceptiontotricktheunwittingoutofvaluableinformation.Drivenbyapowerfulurgetoaccomplishtheimpossible,MitnickbypassedsecuritysystemsandblazedintomajororganizationsincludingMotorola,SunMicrosystems,andPacificBell.ButastheFBI’snetbegantotighten,Kevinwentontherun,engaginginanincreasinglysophisticatedcatandmousegamethatledthroughfalseidentities,ahostofcities,plentyofcloseshaves,andanultimateshowdownwiththeFeds,whowouldstopatnothingtobringhimdown.GhostintheWiresisathrillingtruestoryofintrigue,suspense,andunbelievableescape,andaportraitofavisionarywhosecreativity,skills,andpersistenceforcedtheauthoritiestorethinkthewaytheypursuedhim,inspiringripplesthatbroughtpermanentchangesinthewaypeopleandcompaniesprotecttheirmostsensitiveinformation.