The Life and Exploits of Kevin Mitnick.
Kevin Mitnick was born in 1963 and is famous for computer hacking. He started hacking when still very young. At the age of 12, he was avoiding to pay for bus rides in the Los Angeles area. He used unused transfer slips that he collected in rubbish bins which he punched with his own ticket punch. A friendly driver had told him where he could buy a ticket punch. At age 16, he gained unauthorized access to the first computer network he ever hacked into. He was part of a gang of computer hackers in Los Angeles. In 1979, he got the identity details of Ark from a friend. This was the computer system that Digital Equipment Corporation used in the development of their operating system. He hacked into the network to steal the software. He was arrested in 1988 and given a full year sentence.
The judge on his case compared his acts of computer hacking to an addiction such as alcohol and drugs and ordered him not to use any computer or telephone while he was serving his sentence. He was on supervised release for three years after finished serving his one year sentence. While on supervised release, he yet hacked into the voice mail computer system of Pacific Bell. He also stole software from the Microport Systems of Santa Cruz Company. At this time he was working for Teltec Investigations Inc. The FBI requested to search his office on suspicion that he had accessed a computer illegally. He was also accused of posing as a law enforcement officer with intentions of obtaining confidential information and to create false identities for his use (Minor, 1995).
He fled though before he was arrested. He was a fugitive for two and a half years. In these years he continued hacking into many computer networks. He would read private e-mail and altered computer networks. During the time he was a fugitive, he hacked into the computer system of Tsutomou Shimomura, a well-known computer security expert. The stolen information was being used to program cell phones and security systems and was valued in excess of $500,000. Tsutomou contacted the FBI and the National Security Agency. His phone was wiretapped. Luckily after a period of time, the assailant called to gloat over his achievements. The voice was analyzed and investigated. It was discovered to be Kevin Mitnick’s voice. There was forensic evidence obtained that also proved he was responsible. He had stored the hacking tools on a public file on the internet.
The site was called the Well. The password was Marty, a character in the hacker movie, Sneakers. Mitnick had told many people that this was his favorite movie. Furthermore he hacked into the Netcom network, a large internet provider company. It cost the company millions of dollars. Tsutomou worked tirelessly with the FBI for the arrest of Kevin (Essortment, 2010) When he was arrested in 1995 he had in excess of 100 clone phones and several false identity documents. He had stolen software from the largest cellular and computer companies in the country. He even hacked into the NEC, Nokia, Fujistu Siemens and Motorola computer systems. By this time he was the most wanted computer criminal in the United States. In 1999, he admitted to computer and wire fraud as part of plea bargain agreement in court in California.
Initially, he had been accused of 23 counts of computer hacking. He was given a sentence of 46 months in prison. Furthermore he was sentenced to 22 months for computer hacking while he had not even finished serving his supervised release sentence. He was in jail for five years. In 2000 he was released to be on supervised release for three years. During supervision he was only allowed to use a landline telephone, no other form of communication technology equipment. This was a restriction that he fought against in court and on winning he was allowed to access the internet. In the plea bargain deal, he was not allowed to make money from any books or films on his long criminal career.
Currently, he has his own company, the Mitnick Security Consultancy, LLC. This case tested the laws in place that dealt with computer crime. The case also raised awareness in the public and companies on security issues in networked systems. He has released two computer security books, the Art of Intrusion and the Art of Deception which he has co-authored with William L. Simon. In August this year his autobiography, Ghost in the Wires will be released in the market.
He has chosen careers where he will speak on computer hacking as these are his past passions. He started hacking at such an early age and got more and more experienced as time went by. He is the best person to speak on hacking due to his past. He will be able to help companies prepare adequately against hackers by putting the correct security in place. His exploits have definitely played a role in the enhancement of security features especially in the telephone and communication sector.
Essortment, (2010). Computer Hacker Kevin Mitnick.Retrieved from
Minor (1995). Hackers, phrackers and Crackers: The true story of Kevin Mitnack-World
famous computer hacker. Interzine magazine.