Kevin Mitnick, who was once called “the most wanted computer criminal in American history”. He died on Sunday. He was 59. The New York Times It increases: The cause was complications of pancreatic cancer. King David Memorial Chapel and Cemetery in Las Vegas said he had been receiving treatment at Pittsburgh Medical Center since his diagnosis a year ago. After serving prison time for hacking and sabotaging corporate computer networks, he was released in 2000 and began a new career as a security consultant, writer and public speaker.
Mr. Mitnick is best known for a crime spree in the 1990s in which thousands of data files and credit card numbers were stolen from computers across the country. He used his skills to hack the country’s telephone and mobile network and sabotage government, corporate and university computers. At the time, investigators named him one of the world’s “most wanted” computer hackers.
In the year In 1995, after a manhunt of more than two years, Mr. Mitnick was arrested by the FBI and charged with illegal wiretapping and computer fraud. “He allegedly had access to corporate trade secrets worth millions of dollars. He was a huge threat,” Kent Walker, a former assistant U.S. attorney in San Francisco, said at the time. In the year In 1998, while Mr. Mitnick was awaiting sentencing, a group of supporters forced The New York Times website to shut down for several hours. The following year, Mr. Mitnick pleaded guilty to computer and wire fraud and was sentenced to 46 months in prison under a plea deal with prosecutors. For the past three years after his release, he has been prohibited from using a computer or mobile phone without the permission of his probation officer.
From the obituary: Kevin was original; Much of his life reads like a fictional story. A word used by many of us who know him – awesome.
He grew up bright and restless in California’s San Fernando Valley, an only child with a mischievous, power-hungry attitude and a love of magic. Kevin’s intelligence and delight in capturing an audience’s immediate attention manifested itself early in his childhood and continued throughout his life. Over time, he moved from pranks and magic tricks to phone scares, social engineering and computer hacking.
When his desire to push the boundaries became too much, he ended up in juvenile detention and eventually served two terms in prison. His time on the FBI’s Most Wanted List is reflected in his New York Times bestseller, The Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World’s Most Wanted Hacker and his other titles: The Art of Deception, The Art of Intrusion, The Invisible Art, both with William Simon and Robert Vamosi.
In January 2000, Kevin was released from his last prison term, which he considered a ‘break’. He was a changed individual and started building a new career as a white hat hacker and security consultant. Mitnick became a sought-after international public speaker, author and successful security consultant. In the year In November 2011, Hackers became the owner of KnowBe4, a security awareness training company founded by Stu Sjuwerman, Chief Operating Officer and close friend and business partner.