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Mitnick In The News

 

EVENT REVIEW: Kevin Mitnick, the hacker who left prison to become a pop star of cybersecurity

Apr 3, 2018 - N + 1, by Daniel Meza

In the main stage of the Jalisco Talent Land 2018, Kevin Mitnick entered as if he were a pop star: the Mexican presenter who welcomed him, in fact, introduced him as David Beckham or the Kobbe Bryant of cybersecurity, no less. With the crowded campus, programmers and aspiring experts in cybersecurity, researchers, journalists and the general public received perhaps the most famous hacker in the world, who confessed that such a reception was not expected in Guadalajara.

In the main stage of the Jalisco Talent Land 2018, Kevin Mitnick entered as if he were a pop star: the Mexican presenter who welcomed him, in fact, introduced him as David Beckham or the Kobbe Bryant of cybersecurity, no less. With the crowded campus, programmers and aspiring experts in cybersecurity, researchers, journalists and the general public received perhaps the most famous hacker in the world, who confessed that such a reception was not expected in Guadalajara.

"Vulnerating the security of signatures before brought me many problems; Today I enjoy it, I get paid for it, and what is better, I do it with authorization ", said Mitnick, unleashing applause among those present.

With 54 years, and in all its fullness as a hacker, cracker (systems violator) and phreaker (expert in mobile phones and networks), Mitnick unfolded with ease on the stage of the first edition of the innovation event to tell how it happened. be a fugitive from the FBI, the most wanted cybercriminal after hacking dozens of US companies for hobbies, being imprisoned, then becoming one of the most famous cybersecurity consultants, owner of his own company, Mitnick Security. That's right, he does not like to be called a hacker anymore. "It's as if Pablo Escobar had become a pharmacist," he exclaimed, provoking laughter.

Social engineering

As the talk progressed, Mitnick told how he took his first steps in hacking, when he managed to penetrate the systems of his school by stealing the key of his computer teacher. Later he managed to hack the system of payment of tickets on a bus, making users travel for free. Finally, he ventured into phreaking, getting to call anywhere in the world by entering a certain code. They ended up cutting his own line, something he managed to restore thanks to a discipline that came to dominate what he calls social engineering , which consists of convincing the employees of the victim company to provide data they wanted to achieve their goals. With social engineering he even managed to get a false identity, later.

Among the firms that Mitnick had as victims was the McDonalds chain itself, where it hacked into a self-service system. Pacific Bell, a telephony firm, was also among those who suffered for their skills, as well as banks or other technology companies. The programmer said that his main motor for hacking was the intellectual challenge, the adventure and the adrenaline of being persecuted, and never causing harm to people.

The talk was long, it was scheduled between 21 and 23 hours, and when some already yawned with Mitnick's autobiographical adventures, he managed to recapture the audience by showing his favorite toys: a series of gadgets of different caliber to hack away bank cards, or UHF key cards easily from places as unlikely as a bathroom urinal.

The charismatic former cybercriminal and today successful consultant, he did not stop calling on companies not to fall into a serious error: "not wanting to invest in solid security systems because it costs dearly".

Until April 6, the Jalisco Talent Land will bring together some 30,000 attendees in thematic scenarios dedicated to communication and marketing, drones and robotics, artificial intelligence and blockchain, video games, activities for developers and a space for entrepreneurs.

This review and other cool information can be found at the source.