Phone Phreaking

A Review of Kevin Mitnick's "Ghost in the Wires"

By Ryan Ayers
Updated: September 26, 2011

Chronicling a history from his humble beginnings as a teenager who quickly learned how to take advantage of the local bus system to one of the most well known hackers in the history of the information age, Ghost in the Wires gives readers a glimpse into the life and times of Kevin Mitnick in a way that is both entertaining and informative.

Among the first generation to explore the worlds of phone phreaking and computer hacking, Mitnick takes readers along as he relives his life and revisits many of his more well known escapades. From listening in on sensitive conversations from the NSA to plying information from the local telephone company and the Social Security Administration, Mitnick shares the attitude and emotional state that pushed him to attempt ever-increasing levels of mastery and daring in his hacking exploits.

Finally captured and arrested by the authorities in 1995, after a long and arduous pursuit involving false identities and pranks, Mitnick was imprisoned until 2000. This memoir, while techy and definitely aimed at those interested in technology and the early days of hacking, will also appeal to a broader audience with its almost novel-like pacing and glimpses into the mind of a young man who clearly has few boundaries.

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