Mitnick In The News
Journey Of World?s Most Wanted Hacker To World?s Top Security Consultant - Kevin Mitnick
Hi mate, let me take you down this roller-coaster ride, only that the ride is the journey of this man, who was busted for hacking. And now, he does the same thing today but with full authorization. How cool is that? huh!
There are two types of hackers. First, you’ve got the kind that is so often portrayed by Hollywood as an anti-social nerd,geeky and skinny, with a chip on his shoulder, out to dominate the cyber world by breaking into secure networks and messing things up. Second, you’ve got the kind of people who just enjoy fiddling around with software source code and hardware gigs.
That’s right. The term “hacker” originally referred to the second type, which held absolutely no malevolent connotations. Only recently has the term been used to refer primarily to criminal masterminds. There are good hackers and then there are bad hackers! Simple. Nowadays, benevolent hackers are often called “white hats” while the more sinister fellas are called “black hats.”
In this article, we’ll be talking specifically about “The World’s Famous Hacker, The Don Hats of Black, The Hacking Hamburglar, Once the Internet's most-wanted hacker, now getting paid big bucks to do exactly what landed him in prison 20 years ago. It's all about a 31-year old computer programmer, who had been given some chances to get his life together but each time, he got seduced back to the dark side of the computer world. He is Kevin Mitnick aka The Condor and The Darkside Hacker.
Kevin Mitnick’s journey as a computer hacker has been so interesting and compelling that the U.S. Department of Justice called him the “most wanted computer criminal in U.S. history.” The dark side he had, and we, naturally intrigued by this, did a little digging out. Who he is? what did he do? And what he is now?
Kevin David Mitnick was born on August 6, 1963, Los Angeles, California. His parents were divorced, and he was brought up in a lower-middle-class environment that lacked adventure and in which he was largely a loner and an underachiever, and we assume that this could have been the reason why he was drawn to the power he gained over the telephone network. He completed schooling from James Monroe High School, attended Los Angeles Pierce College and the University of Southern California. He worked as a receptionist at Stephen S. Wise Temple.
In 1975, At Age 12 -
He was adept at "social engineering," which is to human beings as hacking is to computers. You find their vulnerabilities – trust, mainly – and exploit them. He social-engineered a Los Angeles area bus driver, telling him he needed a special hole punch for a school project. The driver helpfully directed him to the public transportation supply store, where he could buy the kind of punch the driver used for transfer passes. 15 bucks from his mom for the punch, a little dumpster-diving at the bus depot for unused transfers, and Mitnick was able to ride the LA bus system anytime, for free.
In 1976, At Age 13 -
Kevin applied his social engineering skills to "phone phreaking and pranks” with a gang that met irregularly in Hollywood at a pizza shop. No one was caught! Interestingly the case was solved when a jilted girlfriend of one of the gang went to the police about the activities that they are involved.
In 1979, At Age 16 -
He broke into DEC's ( Digital Equipment Corporation ) computer hardware network and copied their software. In that case, in 1988, he was arrested for 12 months + 3 years of supervised release.
At the end of his supervised release, he hacked Pacific Bell voice mail computers and telephone services, California. When an arrest warrant issued against him, he became invisible to the world for two and half years. Meanwhile, Mitnick gained unauthorized access to dozens of computer networks while he was a fugitive. He used cloned cellular phones to hide his location and, among other things, copied valuable proprietary software from some of the country's largest cell phone and computer companies. Mitnick also intercepted and stole computer passwords, altered computer networks, and broke into and read private e-mails.
In 1983, At Age 20 -
Got illegal access into University of Southern California and Breaking down into Pentagon computer over ARPAnet. He was sentenced six months jail, a Juvenile Prison, Stockton.
In 1987, At Age 24 -
Mitnick seemed to be making an effort to pull his life together, and he began living with a woman who was taking a computer class with him at a local vocational school. After a while, however, his obsession drew him back and a result he got 36 months probation, for convicting illegal usage of credit card numbers and stealing software from Santa Cruz operation.
In many of frauds, Mitnick manipulated the local police and the FBI by telephone network's switches to disguise the source of the modem calls.
But finally, In 1995, At Age 32 -
FBI arrested Mitnick, at his apartment in Raleigh, North Carolina, on federal offenses related to a 2½-year period of computer hacking which included computer and wire fraud. He found with cloned cellular phones, more than 100 clone cellular phone codes, and multiple false identifications. Mitnick was charged with wire fraud (14 counts), possession of unauthorized access devices (8 counts), interception of wire or electronic communications, unauthorized access to a federal computer, and causing damage to a computer.
In 1999, At Age 36 -
Mitnick pleaded guilty to four counts of wire fraud, two counts of computer fraud and one count of illegally intercepting a wire communication. Later by the United States District Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles. He sentenced to 46 months in prison plus 22 months.
A popular movement, endorsed by Kevin’s friend Steve Wozniak (the co-founder of Apple Computers, who, along with Steve Jobs, was also into phone-phreaking as a lad), distributed “Free Kevin” bumper stickers across the country.
In 2000, At Age 37 -
Mitnick Got released, after five years of incarceration. Meanwhile, Mitnick has been a paid security consultant, public speaker, and author by establishing Mitnick Security Consultancy.
In the same year, A film “Take Down” released based on the story of the capture of computer hacker "Kevin Mitnick", under the direction of Joe Chappelle.
In 2001 - Freedom Downtime is a 2001 documentary film sympathetic to the convicted computer hacker Kevin Mitnick, directed by Emmanuel Goldstein.
In 2002, At Age 39 -
He wrote a book, “ The Art of Deception” that covers the art of Social Engineering.
In 2003, At Age 40 -
Mitnick supervised release ended. Initially, he was not allowed to use any communications technology other than a landline telephone. Later he won in the court on the issue and got access to the internet.
In 2005, At Age 42 -
Mitnick wrote “The Art of Intrusion: The Real Stories Behind the Exploits of Hackers, Intruders & Deceivers” is a book by Kevin Mitnick, is a collection of stories about social engineering as performed by other hackers.
In 2011, At Age 48 -
Mitnick released a book called “Ghost In The Wires: My Adventures as the World's Most Wanted Hacker”. It was New York's best seller.
Kevin Mitnick became the world’s most notorious black hat hacker, breaking into the networks of companies like IBM, Nokia, Motorola, and other targets. After a stint in prison, he reinvented himself as a white hat hacker, selling his skills as a penetration tester and security consultant.
Today Kevin continues his hacking adventures legally, as a computer security expert. In an interview, he said “ my charge priced at no less than $100,000 each, including fee.”
Companies like Facebook and Paypal generally pay tens of thousands of dollars at most for information about bugs in their products, though Google occasionally pays as much as $150,000 in hacking contest prizes. He also provide his services to Sun micro-systems, DEC, Motorola, Netcom, Nokia, also to NORAD ( Department of North American Aerospace Defense Command ).
Well mates, What a Journey Kevin Mitnick had! Woahhh!! Like a roller-coaster!!!