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Mitnick, Kevin (Kevin Mitnick)

( Famous hacker number one in the world)

Comments for Mitnick, Kevin (Kevin Mitnick)
Biography Mitnick, Kevin (Kevin Mitnick)
photo Mitnick, Kevin (Kevin Mitnick)
I am of the breed of noble rogues who like to reveal the secrets. I'll read your will, your blog, put them in place and without touching the money, I will cover the safe. I do so that you will never know about my visit. I'll do it because it is beautiful, it is a challenge.

. When I decided to write the biography of Mitnick, and began to collect materials, . I faced the usual problem of any historian: sources contradict each other, . dates do not coincide, . even the names of the characters open-textured (eg, . passed an Mitnick in 1989, FBI agents called his friend DiChikko then Lennie, . then John).,
. Another, more subtle problem - the selection of facts and their presentation to a large extent determined by the interpretation of events and / or the individual referred
. Through the efforts of journalists, . especially John Markoff, . was created very expressive and memorable image of our hero: autistic sociopath with a puffy face, . manic "vandaliziruyuschy government, . corporate and university computer systems with the sole purpose - to avenge offended his people and all humanity - another form of "mad scientist",
. Many hackers were against such an interpretation of personality Mitnick. And he seems to have been from her far from enthusiastic.
. And as the press has fallen for our hero, . when he refused to give interviews for free! (Known, . that Markoff with Shimomura for his book about, . as caught Mitnick, . received no less than $ 75 000, but also a film is planned! and a computer game!) It is difficult to restore the real picture of what happened on the basis of written evidence, . but more difficult to reconstruct its meaning,
. So I try to just systematically set out the facts (including, in their interpretation of the facts); further - the case of the reader.

Around these stories attracted me to another side point: we are born with Mitnick in one year. So willy-nilly, I saw his story as a virtual version of their own destiny. No, I'm not talking here about the identification of. Between us there is at least one important difference: I am writing about Mitnick, and he writes about me is unlikely.

So, Kevin D. Mitnick was born in 1964 in North Hills, USA. Kevin's parents divorced when he was three years, giving it features characteristic of many hackers: the absence of the father. He lived in Los Angeles with her mother, who worked as a waitress and paid child does not have much time. (Next - interpretation: it is not surprising that Kevin would prefer the real world, it is quite indifferent to it, a virtual world, in which he alone could achieve the liberty and power). In an age which is called the transition, some are beginning to write poetry, others flee from the house. Kevin also fled to our country - computer networks. And became a kind of a poet - a virtuoso of hacking.

His first hacker deed he committed when he was 16, entering into the administrative system of the school where he studied. Characteristic touch: he did not change the assessment, although he could do. For him it was more important than another - the very fact that he can do it. Well and admiration of his fellow hackers, such as adolescents with the Los Angeles suburbs, as he himself. Their main entertainment consisted of various kinds of telephone lotteries. (They could, . example, . attributed somebody's home phone status payphone, . each time, . when the owner took off the tube, . the taped voice saying: "Lower, . please, . Twenty cents. ") Kevin's first skirmishes with the law occurred in 1981, . when he playfully broke the computer system of the North American air defense in Colorado,
. He was then 17.

He was very hungry for knowledge - especially those related to telephone switching. (In the University he, . unlike me, . do not become - so all my life and remained autodidact.) Ugly phone companies had useful information under wraps, . Mitnick and had to climb into corporate computers Pacific Bell, . to profiteer textbooks on COSMOS'u and MicroPort'u, . as well as the necessary software,
. He and all his company soon arrested (deposited their girlfriend of one of the members of the "gang"). Mitnick was sentenced to three months in the Los Angeles center for juvenile and was on probation.
. He quickly broke the conditions of release, . cracking a computer system at the local university (or more precisely, . he simply used the university computer to unauthorized access to the Pentagon's network APRAnet), . for which he received six months in jail, . which became his true university,
. By the time he came out, he knew about the work of the world's largest computer network (telephone system) as much as the best experts at Bell Labs.
. He learned how to create a toll-free number to call with someone else's number, disengage on their own line and eavesdrop on any conversations
. In the hacker environment, he was known by the nickname "Condor", taken from the film Pollock, where Robert Redford plays a man who is hiding from the CIA, using his skills to manipulate the telephone system. And for the telephone company became James Bond - with nowhere recorded number that ends with the numbers 007.
. Over 80 Mitnick honed his skills, playing the telephone and computer practical jokes (including with their friends), and successfully avoided a meeting with the authorities
. He settled in the town of Thousand Oaks, California with a girl, whom he met on the computer courses in summer school.

But the quiet life did not last long. In December 1987, Mitnick was arrested again - this time on charges of stealing computer programs from the Santa Cruz Operation; sentence - 3 years probation. But less than a year, followed by a new arrest - for stealing a private computer code from Research Laboratory Digital Equipment Corp. in Palo Alto.

Interestingly, Mitnick has passed his own friend and colleague of hacker Lenny DiChikko amusements with which they are performed, the night attacks on computers Digital Equipment, trying to copy out the operating system VMS. It is said that when FBI agents took Mitnick in high-rise garage parking'e (decorations - pure Hollywood!), Mitnick DiChikko asked: "Why did you do that?" - "Because you - a threat to society," - allegedly replied.
. Court used similar language, rejecting the request for release on bail Mitnick
. The Assistant Attorney said: "This man is very dangerous, and it should be kept away from the computer". A chief of computer crimes division of the Los Angeles police detective James M. Black said the following: "It is several orders of magnitude higher than that characterizes the ordinary hacker."

He was given a year in the General Penitentiary, from which the eight months he spent in solitary confinement. In addition, Judge Mariana R. Pfeltser appointed him forced six-month course of treatment of "computer addiction", believing that the hacker, incapable of hacking, will suffer severe psychological break -. Federal prosecutors have also to Mitnick restricted in the use of telephone - in fear that he will somehow get access to an external computer.
. Describing the psychology of his patient, the director of rehabilitation services Harriet Rosetta emphasized compensatory nature of his passions: "Hacking Kevin gives a sense of self-esteem, which he lacks in real life
. Greed and the desire to harm nothing to do with it ... He is like a big baby, playing in the "Dungeons and Dragons". Nevertheless, as a condition of release in 1990 he was ordered him to never having used a computer and modem.

He was released on probation and put him to the inspector overseeing the conduct of its. And then strange things began to happen ... Phone his "supervisor" unexpectedly disconnected by itself, to the surprise of anything that does not charge the phone company. On the credit of a judge was to happen, God knows what. And a computer Court in Santa Cruz disappeared all mention of Mitnick's arrest and subsequent sentencing ... (In addition, according to one source, Mitnick will soon violated the recognizance not to leave and flew to Israel to see his fellow hackers.)

Generally, Mitnick worked quietly, doing research and giving paid advice. He began to lead a healthy lifestyle and to June 1992 dropped 100 pounds (about 45 killogrammov). His face had lost the earthy puffiness, typical for children of computer dungeon. He even became a vegetarian ... But his brother died (supposedly from an overdose of heroin), and Mitnick broke again.

In September 1992 the FBI got a search warrant for Mitnick's apartment in Kalabasase, California. He was suspected, in particular, unauthorized entry into computers the California Department of Vehicles, which accused him of damaging the $ 1 million. (He did this very simply: posing as police and got into their hands a lot of sensitive information, . including driver's license, along with photos.) authorities also, . that Mitnick had a hand in cracking a computer system, Army, . and penetrated to febeerovskim dossier,
. But most of all they were interested, who leads wiretapping employees from the department of security in the "Pacific Bell". Mitnick these rasprosy not like, and he fled.

In November, Mitnick was declared a federal wanted list. But as he vanished. The FBI believed that he had fabricated a number of identity that when his skills were, in general, a snap. (Who does not understand what is at stake, see the movie "Network.") Was even arrested a man wrongly taken by the authorities for Mitnick. But it was not him. For more than two years Mitnick disappeared.

The signs of its existence were fish out on the surface somewhere in the middle of 1994. From Motorola's reported that someone had copied from their computer software that allows you to control cellular. Dan Farmer, creator of the acclaimed SATAN'a (Security Administrator Tool for Analysing Networks) - the program, seeking loopholes in computer systems, said the burglar stole an early version of its offspring. Technique of the attacks, according to the FBI, was characterized precisely for Mitnick.

In July, police visited in Las Vegas, grandparents, Kevin hopes to persuade them that they forced her grandson senses. His grandmother said that he was very afraid of imprisonment. Those eight months that he spent in solitary confinement, he felt terribly. However, at the request of the influence of Kevin, they replied that it is beyond their strength.

Government had almost caught up with Mitnick in October, investigating complaints McCaw Cellular Communication Inc. that cracker stole electronic serial number of cell phones this company. When police raided the apartment Mitnick in Seattle, . where he lived under an assumed name, . She found several mobile phones, . manuals outlining procedures for duplication of numbers and a scanner, . whereby Mitnick, . probably, . watched the police operation on his capture,
. It turned out that the last three months he lived near the University of Washington and worked at a local hospital computers.
. "In Seattle, he was totally innocent life," - said federal prosecutor Ivan Ortman, also reported the name, which used Mitnick - Brian Merrill
. "It was very quiet, very ordinary man - said Sherry Scott, secretary of the department, where he worked Mitnick. - He never spoke about his personal life. He just came and worked at his business. "

And so we come to the culminating moment of our history. December 25, 1994, . On Christmas Eve, . Mitnick violated Tsutomu Shimomura's home computer - a leading American expert on computer security, . known, . particularly, . their development to prevent intrusions into computer systems.,
. Later, many said that Mitnick is not just lucky - he chose to attack the wrong person
. Others believe that Mitnick, possessed a kind of megalomaniac, elementary gone too far. Curious and a third point of view, as expressed by the browser "Time" Joshua Kittner: Mitnick tired of being a boy, lost in cyberspace, and unconsciously wanted to be finally caught.
. Whatever it was, things were so
. At Christmas, when Shimomura went on holiday skiing in Nevada, someone (we already know exactly who) broke into his home computer superzaschischenny in Solana Beach, California, and began to copy his files - hundreds of secret files.
. A graduate of the Center for Supercomputing in San Diego, where he worked Shimomura, observed changes in the system "log" (log) files and quickly realized what was happening
. (All this was possible due to, . Shimomura found that on your computer program, . automatically copied to "journal" entry on the backup computer in San Diego.) student called Shimomura, . and he hurried home, . to make an inventory of stolen.,
. While he understood what was what, the abuser has caused him a new insult
. December 27 he sent a voice message Shimomura, where computer-distorted voice saying: "You - asshole (Damn you). My equipment - the best ... Do not you know who I am ... Me and my friends ... We will kill you ". And as if the second voice in the background echoed: "Yeah, boss, your kung fu very cool" (snide allusion to the nationality Shimomura).
. Touchy samurai, known for its rigor and hatred of the "bad manners", he swore revenge on the abuser, who insulted him personally, and questioned his reputation as a specialist
. For this, he set out to reconstruct a complete picture of the incident and understand how you can catch the "looters", using the electronic traces left by them.

Without going into details, attacks on computer equipment Shimomura was such. First, a hacker penetrated the "friendly" computer at the University of Chicago Lajolo. "Friendly" means that the computer had authorization to access the files in your computer Shimomura, California. The trick was to falsify the source address of the system, where there were bags of shimomurovsky computer that Mitnick successfully and done.
. The attack was carried out extraordinarily skilful - because Mitnick had to work blindly
. It is known that when the system receives a packet, it sends to your computer sending a message confirming receipt. Not being able to see these messages (after all they have done on the computer, where he was allegedly), Mitnick was able, however, solve number sequences and, thus, attributed to the corresponding numbers further packets,. (The theoretical possibility of this was predicted by Steve Bellovinom from Bell Labs in 1989, but the attack Mitnick - the first known case of application of this technique in practice.)
. DOWNLOAD Shimomura (in particular, programs for computer security), Mitnik threw them on the dormant account at The Well - a California company that provides access to the Internet.
. When Shimomura understood, what had happened, he told about the techniques used by crackers at a conference in Sonoma, Calif., and has reported on the technical details of the attack
. He has always been a supporter of open discussion of weaknesses in the systems, although many felt that it only encourages hackers. CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team) sent over the network communications, alerting system administrators that such troubles can happen to them and encouraged them to be vigilant. Shimomura also switched out to establish exactly who hacked into his system.

January 27 The Well System operator noticed an unusually large amount of data on the account, which usually was almost empty. He got in touch with one of the owners of your account, - Bruce Koballom, programmer of the Computers, Freedom and Privacy Group. Koball shocked when he saw in his files Shimomura, and soon called him. (Newer Technology of The Well found a dozen accounts, used by hackers - most of the "sleeping", where he kept the stolen information to them.)
. Then, when the account Koballa found files with passwords and codes of many companies, including more than 20 thousand
. credit card numbers stolen from NetCom Inc. (yet another online service providers), the game joined the federal government. The FBI compiled a list of suspects, and Mitnick was on the list one of the first.

First, hacking shimomurovskogo computer was, apparently, "a show of force" and not pursue monetary goals. Secondly, the attacker followed the rules do not store data, which may tend to incriminate him, in his own car. The main fire is found the program files for manipulating cellular phone. "Codes of cell phones intrigued us, - said Shimomura - because we knew that Kevin was hungry for them."
. Order to somehow shake up people who had invaded his system, Shimomura sent to newsgroups recording of his voice as a sound file
. The bait worked - on the answering machine Shimomura came another ironic message: "Ah, Tsutomu, my educated student, I see you've sent over the network my voice ... I am very sorry, my son ... "

Shimomura found at The Well round the clock monitoring to pinpoint any unusual activity. With a team of helpers from the FBI and the National Security Agency, he patiently collected all of the hacker and the route that passed through his computer-based communications. It was found that a hacker in many cities using public computers, which give the user the ability to access the system without paying for long distance. As a springboard for their attacks, he used NetCom.

Analyzing the lines of communication and the intensity of traffic in different places, Shimomura came to the conclusion that the hacker is somewhere in the vicinity of the airport Durheym near the city of Raleigh in North Carolina. Federal agents spotted Shimomura for phone service in Raleigh, but it turned out that line again and again closes on itself, as if not having start. Panel to track down Mitnick, . he headed, . included federal agents, . engineers from Sprint Cellular, . as well as the famous journalist from the New York Times John Markoff, . author of "Cyberpunk" (co-authored with his then wife, Cathy Hefner), . on Mitnick and other hackers,
. (Markoff himself later admitted that shared with Shimomura information about the habits Mitnick, but denied that he was a member search team, insisting that he acted merely as a reporter.)
. Unit patrolled the streets in vehicles equipped with a device to intercept cellular phone frequencies
. Fearing that Mitnick could eavesdrop on messages exchanged between the police, Shimomura insisted that all the radio tracking team in the Players Club - the place where they believed there is an object of their search - have been disabled. This precaution was not in vain ... Eventually Mitnick detected.

Late in the evening of 14 February, Valentine's Day, a federal Judge Wallace Dixon signed a search warrant for apartment 202 in the Player Club, which Mitnick was shooting from the beginning of February, using the name of Glenn Thomas Case. February 15, at 1.30 nights, when Shimomura determined that Mitnick was released to us, the agents knocked on the door. A few minutes Mitnick opened the door and was arrested.

When Shimomura and Mitnick first met face to face at a preliminary court hearing in Raleigh, Mitnick looked at the set up Shimomura and said: "Hello, Tsutomu. I admire your skill,. Shimomura, in response said nothing and only nodded arrogantly.

Later, giving interviews, Shimomura said: "From what I saw me, he does not seem so great specialist". He added: "The problem is not Kevin, the problem is that most systems are really poorly protected. What did Mitnick, is feasible and now ". Shimomura is not particularly opposed to when he was trying to present a hero who defeated the villain that brings the horror of the inhabitants of Cyberspace. But the fact that Mitnick left a trail on which he could catch, it seems to him a manifestation of bad taste. According to him, the only feeling he is experiencing in relation to Mitnick - it is a pity. "I think that the authorities could do something more elegant than simply put him behind bars."

Mitnick, however, put. Information about this period of his life is very scarce, it is no surprise. On the one hand, . story about the prison routine, . course, . can match the entertaining story of a hunt for the man (as in this story of love - anyone interested to read about, . that was after the wedding?) On the other hand, . severity of the prison regime itself (more on this below) is not conducive to free current information,
. Third, . people, . Mitnick to make money, . drawing him a monster and a maniac (I mean first of all set up Shimomura and Markoff, . who are touring now in America, . promoting my book), . concerned, . to make money and more, . and disenfranchised prisoners, , . bad fits the image created by their character,
. (Himself Mitnik to never sought popularity, and "superstar" was pomimovolno.) Therefore, all the facts, . below, . taken from a single source - a book by Jonathan Littman "The Fugitive Game: Online With Kevin Mitnick", . which is preparing to exit the publisher Little Brown and some of which were published in alt.2600.moderated.,
. Jonathan Littman - journalist, liaise with Mitnick, when he was "in hiding" and save it when Mitnick was there, where escape is not just
. "Mitnick wrote to me almost every week for the official yellow paper, listing their prison misery and complaining to the lack of word processor," - says Littman.
. These letters are replete with typical reductions by Internet, in the beginning of each show the exact time when Mitnick began to write a letter - though he was still online
. As Littman observes, although Mitnick has not lost a sense of humor in his jokes feel the bitterness. For example, when the prison authorities admitted that they had read the letter by Mike Wallace, where he offers Mitnick to speak in the television program "60 Minutes," Mitnick said: "Poetic justice, eh?" .. "
. As of October 1995 Mitnick was replaced three prisons - one worse than the other, judging from his letters
. At first he was beaten and robbed by two cellmates, and narrowly escaped a collision with other. When he wrote a complaint, . that a vegetarian diet, . he demanded, . reduced to sandwiches with peanut butter, . and that he refused to prescribe drugs for stress and stomach pains, . chiefs ordered to transfer him to prison more than a strict regime.,
. In the new prison in his first of confiscated books, underwear and toiletries
. He was again denied drug, . and after June 18 he was hospitalized with a diagnosis of "esophageal spasms", . his lawyer said, . that "willful disregard of the serious medical needs" of his ward is a violation of constitutional norms,
. However, before a federal judge had time to progress this complaint, Mitnick was transferred to a third consecutive prison.

There, conditions were even worse. The rest of the chamber was still seven prisoners. In prison, there was no law library (which generally is assumed by federal law). In the cell there was no radio, no TV. Each prisoner was allowed to have simultaneously more than two books. At eight in the cell accounted for only a stub of pencil, which is shown in the afternoon. Mitnick issued on one sheet of paper a day.

And in the meantime, Mitnick will bow this way and that. The conference, . devoted to problems of computer security, . held March 28, 1995 in Berlingame, . California, . Cary Heckman compared the challenge, . Mitnick who threw security specialists, . defiantly, . how was the U.S. in 1958 the Russian satellite launch (Mitnick - satellite: she is the obvious play on words).,
. So far, Mitnick devoted an enormous amount of publications, . only the beginning of this (1996), the world saw the 3 books about Mitnick ( "Takedown" - a joint creation of Shimomura and Markoff, . which is now cleared the film - only one of them), . his "business" - the subject of raging debate,
. (Links to electronic publications on Mitnick cm. online at: http://takedown.com/coverage.html.) It is called "computer terrorist", . "the most dangerous guy, . ever sat down at the keyboard ", . others see him as a hero and role model, . others believe, . that there is nothing special about it is not done ...,
. Mitnick himself does not seem to really understand who he is and what he actually
. He just do what he likes to engage. And that is what it has ... In a letter to Lytton, he asked whether he believes that it should be condemned for a long term. Litton did not know what to say.

But others do not feel no hesitation. The prosecutor, David Schindler, for example, in an interview with Los Angeles Times said that he would do everything to ensure that Mitnick has received the maximum term for a hacker - more than the Poulsen (4 years and 3 months). He accused Mitnick of 23 cases of fraud with illegal access to computer and damage totaling more than $ 80 million. and demanded for him, respectively, from 8 to 10 years in prison - as long as it relies for murder. (Estimated Associated Press, the total duration of all charges up to 460 years in prison).

At freedom he was only 21 January 2000. Kevin still considers himself innocent, though acknowledged that dealt with computer hacking, but he did it not for financial gain, but simply for the pleasure. But even came out to freedom, Mitnick has three years has no right to use computers, cell phones and other information devices.
. I'll be honest - says Kevin Mitnick

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