David R. Heffelfinger

  Ensode Technology, LLC

 
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Kevin Mitnick's "Ghost in the Wires"


I just finished reading Kevin Mitnick's new book, Ghost in the Wires, on my Kindle.

I remember learning about Mitnick by reading about him on Slashdot via the "Free Kevin" movement several years ago.

Mitnick's life story is quite interesting, and the book is full of several interesting anecdotes.

He explains how he was able to figure out a way to travel for free on the bus as a kid; illustrating how he had an ability for social engineering from a young age.

Mitnick then goes on to tell the story explaining how some friends from high school introduced him to phone phreaking, making long distance phone calls for free. 

He also tells a story on how he was able to defeat the security of the computer systems in the college he was attending, and how his professors asked him to secure the system as an "honors project" or face expulsion.

The book is full of several stories detailing how he was able to break into several computer systems, steal cell phone service, monitor phone calls (including FBI lines), obtain new identities and other clever and "less than legal" activities. Mitnick had an ability for social engineering, that is, he could easily dupe people into giving him information that he shouldn't have. He would call companies and pretend to be a coworker or customer, and more often than not he could convince the other person on the line to do something for him or provide some confidential information, including usernames and passwords.

All in all, Ghost in the Wires is a very interesting read, and very much worth it for anybody interested in computers or security.

 
 
 
 
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