Arguably the most influential hacker, Kevin Mitnick, leaves behind a tremendous legacy and industry-changing knowledge in the hacking community as well as Mitnick Security and our team of security consultants.
In this blog, we remember the world’s greatest hacker, Kevin Mitnick, and his never-ending influence on ethical hacking today.
Kevin Mitnick’s Legacy
From Curiosity To the World’s Greatest Hacker
Before he was the world’s greatest hacker, Kevin Mitnick spent a lot of his adolescence fiddling with cutting-edge technology, which ultimately led to his fascination with the inner workings of devices and the data they stored.
By the 80’s and 90’s, Kevin was all over the news and landed himself on the FBI’s Most Wanted List. How? To see if he COULD hack into numerous big-name corporations — and for the humor of doing so, of course, but never with malicious intent.
The Transformation: White Hat Hacker Kevin Mitnick
Even though the intention was never malevolent, his actions were still illegal, and he received a warrant for his arrest. For three years, Kevin Mitnick eluded capture before finally serving five years in prison in 1995.
Kevin’s time in solitary confinement sparked the FREE Kevin Movement. This movement consisted of supporters holding yellow signs with “FREE KEVIN” written on them as they protested against his arrest and demanded that he be set free. Kevin's inventiveness, ability, and perseverance, as well as the vocal, united hacker community compelled the authorities to reconsider their approach to pursuing cyber breachers.
These events permanently altered how businesses and individuals safeguard their most sensitive data, creating a ripple effect still felt across the cyber security space today.
Cybersecurity Innovation+Fun= A Recipe for Success
Kevin used his sense of adventure, wit, and technological prowess to "hack" for the benefit of organizations all across the world, but hacking wasn’t his only forte. Because his knowledge of hacking was so expansive, Kevin was regarded as the go-to resource for social engineering and used his extensive expertise to help major companies all across the world understand the most up-to-date methods threat actors use today.
Social Engineering Pioneer
In his early days of phone “phreaking” (targeting telephone systems for hacking), Kevin established the security industry's benchmark for social engineering testing, bringing attention to this form of hacking for companies all across the world.
This deep understanding of social engineering, combined with his desire to help, would result in a new idea: starting a business that offers security as a service.
The Beginning of Something Great: Mitnick Security
After cementing himself as a key figure in the information security sector and rising to the title of the world’s greatest hacker, Kevin Mitnick launched Mitnick Security Consulting — an information security services firm that works with highly advanced professional ethical hackers, including The Global Ghost Team™.
Kevin also served as the Chief Hacking Officer at KnowBe4, the top security awareness program and platform in the world. Kevin developed a number of cybersecurity education seminars for staff members through KnowBe4, including his Kevin Mitnick Security Awareness Training (KMSAT), and instructed businesses on how to deal with cyber threats. These programs covered advice and methodologies as well as examples of how to deal with social engineering, spear phishing, ransomware attacks, and more.
Kevin would go on to blend his experience and knowledge with his knack for showmanship and take his abilities to live stages — as well as virtual ones. Here, Kevin would educate and captivate his audience through entertaining and unique storytelling about cybersecurity attacks as well as his own experiences.
Kevin’s four books landed him on The New York Times Bestsellers list, and their innovativeness, paired with his ability to captivate audiences in any format, drew in countless readers and fans. From his unique and entertaining autobiography to his rise to ethical hacking, Kevin’s books were both educational and exciting, a combination the world of cybersecurity literature desperately needed.
Key Witness and Authoritative Resource
Kevin also served as a trusted source for nearly everything in cybersecurity, and, as a result, he provided expert witness services to well-known companies. Additionally, Kevin made appearances as a commentator, security analyst, and interviewee for nearly every significant news organization worldwide.
Furthermore, Kevin worked with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Social Security Administration, and the Federal Aviation Administration as a cybersecurity consultant, as well as serving as a main speaker of a conference on cybersecurity in front of the United States Courts.
Honoring Kevin Mitnick Through Mitnick Security
With Kevin’s expertise, knowledge, and innovativeness now passed down to The Global Ghost Team™, Mitnick Security still proudly boasts a 100% success rate when it comes to breaking into any system we are hired to test. The Global Ghost Team™ employs a combination of technical exploits and social engineering to help bolster the security of prestigious enterprises throughout the world, just as once Kevin Mitnick did.
Learn More About the Greatest Hacker in History
As the world’s greatest hacker, Kevin Mitnick set the foundation and standard for what it means to be an ethical hacker. At Mitnick Security, we’re following in those footsteps and carrying the same mindset Kevin had: deliver the best service, create the most robust reports, help each client as much as possible, and have fun doing it.
To learn more about the greatest hacker the world has ever seen, visit our About Kevin Mitnick page.