Essay Preview: Kevin Mitnick
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The word hacker in todayÐ²Ð‚™s society has many meaning, but the definition that I will be talking about in this paper is best described by dictionary.com as, Ð²Ð‚ÑšOne who uses programming skills to gain illegal access to a computer network or file.Ð²Ð‚Ñœ According to wikipedia.com there are three different types of hackers, white hat hackers, grey hat hackers and black hat hackers. A white hat hackers is, Ð²Ð‚Ñš. . .a person who is ethically opposed to the abuse of computer systems. Realizing that the Internet now represents human voices from all around the world makes the defense of its integrity an important pastime for many.Ð²Ð‚Ñœ A grey hat hacker is, Ð²Ð‚Ñš. . .a skilled hacker who sometimes acts legally and in good will and sometimes not. They are a hybrid between white and black hat hackers. They hack for no personal gain and do not have malicious intentions, but occasionally may or may not commit crimes in their actions.Ð²Ð‚Ñœ And lastly a black hat hacker is, Ð²Ð‚Ñša malicious or criminal person whose correct label is “cracker”. . .Usually a Black Hat refers to a person that maintains knowledge of the vulnerabilities and exploits they find as secret for private advantage, not revealing them either to the general public or manufacturer for correction.Ð²Ð‚Ñœ
One of the worldÐ²Ð‚™s most notorious black hat hackers goes by the alias Condor, named after the Robert Redford movie, Ð²Ð‚ÑšThree DayÐ²Ð‚™s of the CondorÐ²Ð‚Ñœ. This is none other than the notorious, Kevin Mitnick. He has been a major thorn in the side of many companies computer networks since the beginning. His first major Ð²Ð‚ÑšcrackÐ²Ð‚Ñœ was in 1979, Ð²Ð‚Ñš. . .when a friend gave him the phone number for the Ark, the computer system at Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) used for developing their RSTS/E operating system software. He broke into DECs computer network and copied DECs software. . .Ð²Ð‚Ñœ This in turn gave him not only the ability to make free phone calls but also listen in and eavesdrop on anyone he pleased.
KevinÐ²Ð‚™s first run-in with the law was actually caused by an angry girlfriend of one of MitnickÐ²Ð‚™s associates. After physically breaking into the one of the U.S biggest Computer System for Mainframe Operations, Ð²Ð‚Ñš. . .a database used by many of the nations phone companies for controlling the phone systems basic record keeping functions.Ð²Ð‚Ñœ He stole lists of computer passwords, including the combinations to the door locks at nine Pacific Bell central offices and a series of operating manuals for the COSMOS system. Mitnick was sentenced to three months in a juvenile correction centre and a years probation.
A few years later he was busted using one of the computers at the University of South CaliforniaÐ²Ð‚™s computers to hack into a computer at the pentagon using their ARPAnet. Ð²Ð‚ÑšThe ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) developed by DARPA of the United States Department of Defense, was the worlds first operational packet switching network, and the predecessor of the global Internet.Ð²Ð‚Ñœ Before any major harm could be accomplished he was busted by the universities campus enforcement.
A third incident occurred in 1988 when, Ð²Ð‚ÑšKevin and a friend, Lenny DiCicco, fought a pitched electronic battle against scientists at Digital Equipments Palo Alto research laboratory. Mitnick had become obsessed with obtaining a copy of Digitals VMS minicomputer operating system, and was trying to do so by gaining entry to the companys corporate computer network, known as Easynet. The computers at Digitals Palo Alto laboratory looked easiest, so every night with remarkable persistence Mitnick and DiCicco would launch their modem attacks from a small Calabasas, California company where DiCicco had a computer support job. Although Reid discovered the attacks almost immediately, he didnt know where they were coming from, nor did the local police or FBI, because Mitnick was manipulating the telephone networks switches to disguise the source of the modem calls.Ð²Ð‚Ñœ This being KevinÐ²Ð‚™s biggest crime to date he pulled off all the stops, by even hacking into the phone companies data base and scrambling the address given off by the modem this dumbfounded the FBI I and added a new charge to wrap sheet, Ð²Ð‚ÑšEvading The FBIÐ²Ð‚Ñœ. This time it turns out that Mitnick was his own worst enemy, being cursed with a sense of humour and a big ego Mitnick decided to the prank DiCicco by continuously phoning his boss claiming that, Ð²Ð‚ÑšDiCicco was in trouble with the Internal Revenue Service.Ð²Ð‚Ñœ This continuous harassment inevitably cause DiCicco to confess and in turn Mitnick was busted as well. Mitnick then found himself sitting in a court room facing serious charges of count of computer fraud and one count of possessing illegal long-distance access codes. But in an unlikely and controversial turn of events, Mitnick was let off again with what some especially DEC think of as another slap on the wrist and was sentenced to one year in prison and six months in a counselling program for his computer addiction.
After finishing his rehabilitation in 1990 he got