The Madeleine Brand Show for August 23, 2011

Kevin Mitnick's life as the world's most-wanted hacker

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Famed hacker Kevin Mitnick writes about his life as the most-wanted computer criminal in a new autobiography, "Ghost in the Wires."

Hacking scandals have been everywhere this summer, from The News of the World to the hacktivist group Anonymous. But in the 1990s, before high-speed internet and smart phones, Kevin Mitnick was the world's most notorious hacker. He succesfully cracked the security systems of some of the biggest phone and computer companies, stealing software codes from Sun Microsystems and breaking into local cell phone networks to siphon free minutes and tap the phones of the federal agents who were chasing him. Mitnick led authorities on a 20-year cat and mouse chase until he was finally caught in 1995. He served five years in prison, some of it in solitary confinement, and was even prohibited from using a computer for eight years. Mitnick tells his story in a new memoir, Ghost in the Wires.


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