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Takedown: The Pursuit and Capture of Kevin Mitnick, America's Most Wanted Computer Outlaw - By the Man Who Did It
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Takedown: The Pursuit and Capture of Kevin Mitnick, America's Most Wanted Computer Outlaw - By the Man Who Did It

3.41  ·  Rating details ·  537 ratings  ·  29 reviews
The dramatic true story of the capture of the world's most wanted cyberthief by brilliant computer expert Tsutomu Shimomura, describes Kevin Mitnick's long computer crime spree, which involved millions of dollars in credit card numbers and corporate trade secrets. Reprint. NYT.
Paperback, 336 pages
Published December 1st 1996 by Voice (first published January 1st 1996)
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3.41  · 
Rating details
 ·  537 ratings  ·  29 reviews

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Apr 04, 2013 rated it liked it
I read this book because I'm a computer professional, and I was a big fan of the movie. But the book suffers from Tsutomu's lack of objectivity.

The story of the *movie* is: Silicon Valley hotshot learns deep and valuable life lessons while getting taken down a peg by a greasy computer genius.

The story of the *book* is: Poor Tsutomu. Even after co-opting the entire California academic computing community (without pay), the lowlife shittiness of Kevin Mitnick somehow allows him to evade capture. T
I read the Dutch version of Takedown. Although it is an interesting story about the hunt for Kevin Mitnick, I was more interested in the technical aspects of the story then the writing. This may never become a classic or a top-10 book for me, but regarding hacking, social engineering and security related issues, this is a pretty okay book. Though I must say that I will still prefer The Cuckoo's Egg by Clifford Stoll!
Jan 29, 2013 rated it did not like it

90% of the author patting himself on the back for being such an awesome human being, 10% interesting story about Mitnick's capture.
Nick Black
hehehe, so very self-serving. shimomura ought have focused more on his skillful work and less on his snowboarding and big pimpin'. what a douchebag.
I decided to read this book after having read a book called Ghost in the Wires, written by Kevin Mitnick, the notorious computer hacker who was apprehended in 1995. Takedown recounts the story from the point of view of Tsutomu Shimomura (with John Markoff). He is the computer expert who was hacked by Mitnick and succeeded in tracking him down, in conjunction with the FBI. The book is a little bit like the Cuckoo's Egg. I didn't feel it was quite as good as either Ghost in the Wires or the Cuckoo ...more
May 26, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
A good book for someone seeking a real-life story regarding hacking and cyber security in a plain-spoken manner. It's weighed down with quite a few unnecessary details about what Tsutomu and his team experienced during the track down of Kevin Mitnick, but still interesting and a decent presentation of technical details for those without advanced technical knowledge.
Aug 29, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is 50% name dropping, 50% dumbed down analogies about computer technology, and 50% why Shimomura is the smartest guy in the room.

Shimomura admits that Mitnick was not a technologically amazing hacker. Most of Mitnick's successes came from social engineering. And the "hunt" itself basically amounted to following bread crumbs.
Jul 29, 2012 rated it liked it
Movie was better then book.
Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
An ok book about the hunt for Kevin Mitnick the legendary computer hacker. It follows the quest of one of the people who was hacked to get justice for the intrusion of his computer system. The book shows the FBI’s non knowledge of computer crimes and their reluctance to get involved at times. It is told strictly from Shimomura’s viewpoint and can be a bit tedious and slow moving at times.
Sep 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
I found this book both very enlightening and entertaining. It's the first book I had ever read about computer hackers.
Aug 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Worth a curiosity read as a flipside to Mitnick's own "Ghost in the Wires".

Am I in the minority in thinking that both Shimomura and Mitnick are operating on the same self-aggrandizing level?
Shy Writer
Feb 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed the cat and mouse game very much..
Joe White
Aug 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review Takedown 8/11/14

Tsutomu Shimomura
4 stars; with serious reservations

If you can make it through the first half of this book, then the end does become more of a suspenseful thriller based loosely on facts. Tsutomu's arrogance and his revelations regarding personal preferences in food and recreation require a reader attention work-around. The issues with Julia and John Gilmore were a grating waste of paper. She must have brought something to the table for Tsutomu, but the reader may be shout
Jamshid Faryar
May 26, 2012 rated it liked it
This story is from the early days of the internet, reaching even farther back to the early days of personal computers... which made it interesting rather than out of date. Kevin Mitnick, the outlaw and villain in the story, is today a security consultant and author. The authors' accounts (in "layman's terms") of Tsutomu Shimomura's work and background (in neural network and parallel computing), sort of a curriculum vitae introducing the narrator, were interesting, and the chase (both on the inte ...more
Jan 06, 2011 rated it liked it
This book was a fun read. Autobiographical point of view of the pursuer vs. the pursued. I read this quite a few years ago, what sticks out in my memory is Kevin Mitnick's condition when he was finally caught by the police (in sweats and he had to make a barf, cause it was really an intense point in his life.) and Mitnick's egging on of his pursuer ("Your kung fu is no good!")
As a computer nerd I really had fun on the adventure this book took me on! It's accessible with a minimal of technical te
Oct 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Bastante interesante el cómo (supuestamente) se consiguió capturar a Kevin Mitnick contado desde el punto de vista de su cazador. Algo que no me gusta es que el autor siempre señala errores de otros colaboradores y agentes y él parece que nunca se equivoca. Habrá que leer la otra parte de la historia para hacerme una idea mejor (porque a Mitnick lo deja como script kiddie de segunda xD)

No cometáis el mismo error que yo: ni se os ocurra leer la traducción al castellano ¡JÓRRIBOL!
Atul Jadhav
As a techie I bought this book and read it 5 times.This book is amazing. What I liked best of this book is the sequence of events which have been nicely scripted. Shimomura tracked down Kevin not because he was responsible for breaking into Computers, but because of curiosity how Kevin managed to do this while evading everyone on the earth.

Great book.
Apr 20, 2016 rated it did not like it
Man, what a crappy book. For one, I was rooting for Mitnick. And Shimomura comes across as such a self-aggrandizing douchebag. I hated him throghout the book. Stoll's "Cuckoo's Egg" is much better, even though he too comes across as rather pleased with himself and you don't get to hear the other side.
Feb 17, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shimomura has a huge ego. It's plastered all over this book. You will never again see the term "ankle-biter" this many times in print (unless somebody publishes something called "Ankle-Bite!: An Ankle-Biter's Tale of Ankle-Biting").

If anyone reads this book, please count the number of times "ankle-biter" is used and give us the tally. Inquiring minds want to know!
Mar 17, 2008 rated it liked it
I considered it as a good book when i read it almost 10 years ago. If you read it now you would probably see that the most interesting part is to read the various types of hack that mitnick did. The traditional method of password phising, dialtone playing to hack telephone system and how the internet was 10 ten years ago. Jargon and terms which some are becoming a nostalgic by today standards
Nov 21, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shimomura is just another egoistic duch. He thinks too great of himself as he went to Princeton, CALTECH, but that's because of his dad, not because of his own skill set and this book is a clean signature for it. Period.
Aug 22, 2011 rated it did not like it
A big fan of Kevin Mitnick, I wanted to read all I could, even the hyperbole. This book and film contained so many errors among the few facts they mustered that were true, most of this account has been utterly refuted by the FBI and Kevin himself.
Aug 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
I just saw an excerpt from Kevin Mitnick's new book and remembered reading Takedown many years ago. Very enjoyable. Some may not like the author's style, but if you are a geek, it will interest you at least some what.
Andy Chu
Mar 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Good writing about an intrinsically interesting story. It wasn't too watered down for a non-technical audience.
Eric Deering
rated it really liked it
Dec 10, 2015
rated it liked it
Mar 22, 2010
rated it it was ok
Sep 04, 2013
Jim Shearer
rated it liked it
Sep 09, 2013
rated it really liked it
Apr 29, 2009
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