Kevin Mitnick, Hacker Who Eluded Authorities, Is Dead at 59

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Kevin Mitnick, a hacker who was as soon as some of the wished laptop criminals in america, died on Sunday, in line with a press release shared Wednesday by a cybersecurity coaching firm he co-founded and a funeral residence in Las Vegas. He was 59.

His dying was confirmed by Kathy Wattman, a spokeswoman for KnowBe4.

The trigger was problems from pancreatic most cancers, for which Mr. Mitnick had been present process remedy on the College of Pittsburgh Medical Middle following his prognosis greater than a yr in the past, in line with the King David Memorial Chapel & Cemetery in Las Vegas.

After his launch from jail in 2000, Mr. Mitnick started a brand new profession as a safety advisor, author and public speaker.

Mr. Mitnick, a convicted hacker, was greatest recognized for a criminal offense spree through the Nineties that concerned the theft of hundreds of information recordsdata and bank card numbers from computer systems throughout the nation. He used his abilities to worm his manner into the nation’s telephone and cell networks, vandalizing authorities, company and college laptop techniques. Investigators on the time named him the “most wished” laptop hacker on the earth.

In 1995, after a greater than two-year-long manhunt, Mr. Mitnick was captured by the F.B.I. and charged with the unlawful use of a phone entry system and laptop fraud. “He allegedly had entry to company commerce secrets and techniques price thousands and thousands of {dollars}. He was a really large menace,” Kent Walker, a former assistant U.S. legal professional in San Francisco, stated on the time.

In 1998, whereas Mr. Mitnick awaited sentencing, a gaggle of supporters commandeered The New York Occasions web site for a number of hours, forcing it to close down.

The following yr, Mr. Mitnick pleaded responsible to laptop and wire fraud as a part of an settlement with prosecutors and was sentenced to 46 months in jail. He was additionally prohibited from utilizing a pc or cellphone with out the permission of his probation officer for the three years following his launch.

Mr. Mitnick grew up in Los Angeles as an solely youngster of divorced dad and mom. He moved incessantly and was one thing of a loner, finding out magic methods, in line with his 2011 memoir “Ghost within the Wires.” By the age of 12, Mr. Mitnick had discovered the right way to freely experience the bus utilizing a $15 punch card and clean tickets fished from a dumpster, and in highschool, developed an obsession with the interior workings of the switches and circuits of phone corporations.

By 17, he was burrowing into completely different company laptop techniques, and ultimately, had his first run-in with the authorities for these actions; the start of a decades-long cat-and-mouse recreation with legislation enforcement.

In his memoir, Mr. Mitnick disputed lots of the accusations leveled in opposition to him, together with that he had hacked into authorities laptop techniques.

Mitnick additionally claimed that he ignored the bank card numbers he gleaned in his pursuit of code. “Anybody who likes to play chess is aware of that it’s sufficient to defeat your opponent. You don’t must loot his kingdom or seize his property to make it worthwhile,” he wrote in his e-book.

Survivors embrace Mr. Mitnick’s spouse, Kimberley Mitnick, who’s pregnant with their first youngster, in line with the obituary.

An entire obituary will likely be forthcoming.

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