Ghost in the Wires by Kevin Mitnick
What’s it about? During the 1990’s Kevin Mitnick was the world’s most notorious computer hacker. Driven by curiosity and compulsion, Mitnick gained access to the computers and networks of the world’s biggest companies, including Motorola, Sun Microsystems, and Pacific Bell. As the authorities began to close in on him, he created several false identities, and went on the run until he was finally nailed in February 1995. While Mitnick has already been the subject of two books, a movie and countless articles, Ghost in the Wires gives him a chance to tell his side of the story and set the record straight on what he calls the “Myth of Kevin Mitnick”.
Is the narrator any good? Ray Porter is perfect for this audio book – his narration is spot on.
The verdict? From the moment I started Ghost in the Wires I couldn’t stop listening. This audio book is a fascinating look at hacking and what Mitnick calls “social engineering” — basically, persuading or tricking people into revealing information. Listening to this audio book I found I had mixed feelings towards Mitnick. On the one hand, he is a brilliant, interesting and funny guy who didn’t hack out of malice or to make a profit (in prison he tells former Wall Street trader “I didn’t do it for the money; I did it for the entertainment”). On the other hand, he often comes across as arrogant and lacking any remorse making it hard to feel sympathy for him.
If you have a moderate interest in computing and like fast-paced crime stories ala Catch Me If You Can you’ll enjoy this audio book.