Computer hacking has been one of the most serious crimes in the recent decades. The ability for people to steal online information, alter codes, disrupting societal norms has been a serious matter to the FBI for years. During the 80 ’s and 90 ’s however, one person broke the norm for hacking. He didn’t hack to steal money, but rather to entertain himself and entertain himself he did. Kevin Mitnick was a computer hacker, who eventually became the FBI ’s most wanted. He quickly became the most notorious hacker of his time, and his influence can be felt to this very day. It took the Bureau several years for them to capture him. How did it all turn out? Well that ’s what we ’ll be talking about today. Hello once again fellow Youtubers! This is MoronggoTV. Here again with exciting new content that will keep your eyes glued to the screen. Today we will be talking about THE CAPTURE OF THE MOST WANTED HACKER BY THE FBI.
KEVIN MITNICK & SOCIAL ENGINEERING
Kevin Mitnick was born in Los Angeles, California, on August 6, 1963. He grew up in LA and attended James Monroe High School and it was during this time he worked as an amateur radio operator. When he was 12 years old, he completed his first major computer hack through social engineering. What is social engineering? Social engineering is an art of manipulating people so they give up information. Kevin Mitnick used this exact form of hacking while riding the bus. He bypassed the punch card system by asking the driver where he could punch his own ticker for a “school project”. After dumpster diving, going around dumpsters looking for unused transfer slips he found in the dumpster next to the bus company garage, he was able to ride any bus in the greater Los Angeles area. This would be the first, of many instances of using social engineering, as it was to be Kevin Mitnick’s primary form of hacking and gaining secret information such as usernames, passwords, and current phone numbers. When he was 16, he figured out how to “hack” a McDonald’s drive-thru. He was interested in “magic” and radio, he soon figured out that he would be able to overpower the low power headsets they gave employees at McDonald’s, by broadcasting from his car on the same frequency with a 5-watt transmitter.
His reasons for hacking, were as simple as just wanting to prank people and have a good time. As he hijacked the McDonald’s drive-thru speaker, he began telling the customers the most outrageous things. He told some customers, that they were the 100th customer catered for that day, which entitles them to a free meal, he told some customers that they were giving away free apple juice, and proceeded to play the sound of him pissing into a cup. He even went as far as telling a woman she’d get her big mac for free if she showed her “titties” which in turn made her hostile and stormed in the store. When police officers were ordering through drive-thru, Mitnick made more childish remarks such as “Hide the cocaine”. He never used these skills to steal money, or create havoc, he never sold the sensitive information he hacked, but his hacking exploits would soon grow beyond a McDonald’s drive-thru.
Shortly after he met a fellow student who introduced him to Phone Phreaking. Phone Phreaking is a type of hacking that allows you to explore the telephone network by exploiting the phone systems and phone company employees. Through his new friend, he learned new hacking techniques such as obtaining any information the company had on any customer, and using a secret test number to make longdistance phone calls for free. Mitnick was learning as much as he could, and soon enough he mastered all the skills taught to him by his colleagues. One of his all-time favorite pranks is when he gained unauthorized access of to the telephone switch and changing the class of service of a fellow phone phreak.
HACKING DIGITAL EQUIPMENT CORPORATION
At age 16, in 1979, Mitnick gained unauthorized access to his first computer network. A friend of his gave him the phone number for Ark, a computer system developed by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC). His intention was to be accepted by the group, so he could pick their brains and learn new information for himself. He would end up breaking into DEC’s computer network and copied the company’s software. Despite his friends getting access to the dial-up number to the DEC system, without an account or a password, it was close to useless. Mitnick would make the most of his social engineering skills as he was able to gain access to an account. He wanted to prove his worth to his new friends and show the what he was capable of. Claiming to be Anton Chernoff, one of the project’s lead developers, he placed a phone call to the system manager. He claimed he couldn’t log into one of his accounts and was seeking assistance, he was able to convince the system manager to grant him access and allowing him a password of his choice. But whenever someone dialed into the system, the user had to provide a dial-up password, which serves as an extra layer of protection. Ironically enough, the password given to him by the system administrator was “buffoon”. Within 5 minutes, he gained access to DEC’s RSTE/E development system, with privileges of a developer.
Initially, his new found friends wouldn’t believe that he had hacked into the Ark. They were dumbfounded when they witnessed Mitnick log into the account. They had spent the day downloading source-code components of the DEC operating system. The friendship was short-lived, as after finishing all the downloads, they called the corporate security department and told them that Mitnick hacked into the corporate network. After using Mitnick’s access to copy sensitive source-code, they turned him in. Trusting the wrong people would end up being a recurring theme for Mitnick. He was charged over $160,000, which was a break for Mitnick considering DEC initially charged him $4,000,000. He spent the next few years being involved in major security breaches such as making his own copies of computer manuals, which belonged to Pacific Bell, hacking into University of Southern California and gaining access to their computers, illegally copied software from the Santa Cruz Operation, and even attempting to hack into DEC once again.
He was charged and convicted in 1988. He was sentenced to 12 months in prison, and 3 years of supervised release. Near the end of his supervised release, Mitnick hacked into the Pacific Bell voice mail computers. The story behind this was that he got information that the FBI was building another case against him. Wiretaps had been placed on a Los Angeles Private Investigating firm, whom Mitnick was involved with, and confirmed that Pacific Bell were investigating the firm. The FBI then sent an informant to befriend and gain Mitnick’s trust and even tipped Mitnick that he was being monitored. After a warrant was issued for Mitnick’s arrest, he fled and became a fugitive. While he was a fugitive, Mitnick gained unauthorized access to dozens of computer networks. He cloned cellular phones to hide his location, and even copied valuable proprietary software from some of the country’s largest cellular telephone and computer companies. He also intercepted and stole computer passwords, and broke into and read private e-mails. It is worth noting that during all this time, Mitnick never sold the information he gathered for monetary purposes. He was simply practicing his craft as a hacker.
ARREST AND EVENTUAL RELEASE
After years of running from the Feds, he was finally caught and arrested on February 15, 1995 on federal offenses related to a two and a half-year period of computer hacking which included computer and wire fraud. They caught him with cloned cellular phones with over 100 phone codes and multiple pieces of false identification. He was charged with 14 counts of wire fraud, 8 counts of possession of unauthorized access devices, interception of wire or electronic communications, unauthorized access to a federal computer, and causing damage to a computer. In 1999, he plead guilty as part of a plea agreement before the United States District Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles. He was sentenced to 46 months plus 22 months for violating his supervised release in 1989. Mitnick served 5 years in prison, and even spent eight months in solitary confinement, as government authorities convinced the judge that Mitnick was a dangerous person. He was released on January 21, 2000. And nearly two years later, an FCC judge ruled that he was rehabilitated to possess a federally issued amateur radio license. He now runs Mitnick Security Consulting LLC.
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