I back on my non-fiction reading jag and this is a really interesting one. If you are at all interested in computer and the internet you might like Ghost in the Wires.
From the publisher:
Kevin Mitnick was the most elusive computer break-in artist in history. He accessed computers and networks at the world’s biggest companies—and however fast the authorities were, Mitnick was faster, sprinting through phone switches, computer systems, and cellular networks. He spent years skipping through cyberspace, always three steps ahead and labeled unstoppable. But for Kevin, hacking wasn’t just about technological feats—it was an old fashioned confidence game that required guile and deception to trick the unwitting out of valuable information.
Driven by a powerful urge to accomplish the impossible, Mitnick bypassed security systems and blazed into major organizations including Motorola, Sun Microsystems, and Pacific Bell. But as the FBI’s net began to tighten, Kevin went on the run, engaging in an increasingly sophisticated cat-and-mouse game that led through false identities, a host of cities, plenty of close shaves, and to an ultimate showdown with the feds, who would stop at nothing to bring him down.
This book is Kevin's story and it's fascinating. He provides a lot of detail about how he used social engineering and hacking skills to get into all kinds of systems. He started as a young teenager hacking the phone system to get free phone calls.
What I don't understand about him is that he knew the risks, he knew he was being tracked and if he had just stopped for even a few months he probably would not have been caught. He has become a hero to the hacking community but I admit that I had no empathy for him. He was indignant that the legal authorities would use some of his own tactics to catch him. He considered it unfair! He never once admitted that what he was doing was wrong and never stated any regret or apology. He contends that he did no damage.
Although I dislike the author I still recomment the book. It's a compelling read and very educational. The narrator, Ray Porter, also does a great job. If you want some background on Kevin Mitnik, Wikipedia is a great plave to start.