Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Father Of Hacking

Kevin David Mitnick (born August 6, 1963) is a computer security consultant, digital underground hero, and convicted criminal who also happens to be the most talked about and well known computer hacker in the good old U.S.A.
In 1979 Mitnick armed with an insatiable curiosity for the unexplored traversed his first computer network gaining unauthorized access to the Ark, which was a computer system located in the belly of Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC). He used a phone number that a friend had given him to gain access to the system. The Ark was used for developing DEC’s RSTS/E operating system software. After gaining access to the DEC computer network he explored the system and then copied some of software that was stored on it. This was later the reason for his conviction.
Hack the bus?

Kevin̢۪s problem solving skills were already in use in the real world at the age of 12 years old. His very first exploit was not on a phone or a computer network but rather the Los Angeles public transportation.

The Problem: Getting around the city costs money.

The Solution: At the time Los Angeles bus system used punchcards so he went out and bought his own punch. He then could get free bus rides anywhere he wanted to go within the LA area.

Kevin excelled in the use of Social engineering. He was amused at the fact that he was able to infiltrate organizations by pretending to be a part of them. This allowed him to not only blend in but it also allowed him to gain valuable information such as internal company information, passwords, user accounts, and modem phone numbers.

Have you ever seen or heard of the hack on drive-thru windows at restaurants? It̢۪s reported that Mitnick started this after he became familiar with amateur radios.

During his high school days Kevin was introduced to phone phreaking. He was able to manipulate telephone systems for free long distance phone calls anywhere (ever see WarGames?).

In 1989 Kevin vanished while on probation and quickly becoming “America’s Most Wanted Computer Outlaw”. He some how managed to elude local police departments, U.S. Marshalls and FBI agents for more than two years.

In 1994 he broke in to a computer system that belonged to Tsutomu Shimomura in San Diego, California. Tsutomu a computer security advocate took it upon himself to track down Kevin Mitnick. This chase lead Tsutomu on a cross-country chase that ended in the arrest of Kevin Mitnick by FBI agents in Raleigh, North Carolina (February15th 1995.)

Kevin was charged with 23 counts of access device fraud. After a plead of guilty to one count his case was moved to Los Angeles, California. He was also charged with 25 counts of access device, wire, and computer fraud.

On March 16, 1999, Mitnick pleads guilty to five of these counts and two additional counts from the Northern District of California. He was then sentenced to 46 months and three years probation, to be served in addition to eight months for his North Carolina plea and 14 months for his probation violation.

He was released from prison on January 21, 2000, being eligible for early release after serving almost 60 months of his 68 month sentence.

Kevin is currently operating a security consulting firm:

Mitnick Security Consulting, LLC is a full-service information security consulting firm. Founded by Kevin Mitnick, Mitnick Security Consulting offers a comprehensive range of services to help businesses protect their valuable assets.