Jun 30, 2015

Book Review: Ghost in the Wires by Kevin Mitnick

For once I read something else than work, sports or self development books. I wanted to read something entertaining, fact based and hopefully interesting. I got my hands to Ghost in the Wires by Kevin Mitnick.

Kevin Mitnick is a hacker who for a reason or another became one of the most wanted hackers in the world. He claims that he hasn't done many of the things he was accused on, but I guess that's what he has to say to avoid further jail time.

Book definitely was interesting. It starts from the days that calling was actually done by wired telephones. Kevin learned to control the technical environment quite early, but I guess his social hacking skills helped him to raise to the whole new level. It was amazing to read how easy social hacking had been and I believe it might still be in some occasions. People are helpful by nature and that security vulnerability Kevin shamelessly used to exploit to many companies networks. Of course social hacking needs superb technical skills to complete the hackings.

For a trusty person as myself, I still feel bit disturbed by the book. Kevin of course brings himself up as good guy with noble purposes, but I'm not sure how noble he really is (or at least was). As a trusty person again, I would like to believe him, but I haven't heard the story from the other side.

At least how he was handled in the US court system was unbelievable. He was handled similarly as a serial killers, or even worse, almost without decent ways to communicate to outside world. He would have earned a better trial, but hacking was so new on that time, that caused some of the mix-ups.

All in all, I definitely got what I wanted. Book was really interesting and even though it was bit longish, it went really rapidly. I recommend the book to any one interested about hacking, security or history of IT and SW.

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen