By Ethan Dougherty
on 8.15.11

Does the name Kevin Mitnick mean anything to you? Unless you happen to work for the FBI or a prominent internet security firm, the answer is probably no. Still, long before groups like Anonymous were practicing their own brand of hacktivism Mr. Mitnick had earned the title as the most wanted computer criminal in the United States. His victims ranged from the Los Angles bus service and Ma Bell, to the private networks of Motorola, NEC, Nokia, Sun Microsystems, and he did it all before Windows 95 was ever released.

In his new book, Ghost in the Wires ($14), Mitnick tells the story of his life as a hacker and his subsequent pursuit by the FBI. Rather than delivering a watered down lesson on the coding required to exploit security loopholes, Mitnick’s recollections imply that much of his success stemmed from mastering the trust-based skills of any good con man (which we’re sure Newman & Redford would love). Even more surprising to us is that Mitnick’s quest was always for proprietary code or access, never the credit cards or financial information of the unknowing public. That may seem like splitting hairs for some of you, but personally we wish today’s malcontent coders took the same approach.

Buy Now: $14

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