Chapter One: Kevin Mitnick's story


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sriram

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If you are interested in another viewpoint, you should read "Takedown" by Tsutomu Shimomura, the researcher who tracked down Mitnick across the US and lead the FBI to his capture. It is available at the National Library (Stamford) and is well worth reading.

Shimomura's book provides a more rational insight into the whole Mitnick Saga. Rather than portraying Mitnick as a much maligned champion of the downtrodden who was unjustly punished, as wannabe hackers would like it, the book describes the whole episode in a much more sober fashion.

For example, among other things, Mitnick broke into many huge companies including Qualcomm, Motorola, Oki and Sun, and stole software, source code and documents worth millions of dollars. This is plain old (new?) fashioned theft, nothing else.

According to the 1991 US Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the federal government treats the unauthorized posession of information without the intent to profit from the information as a crime. The 1994 US computer abuse amendments act says that unintentional damage can be punished with a 1 year imprisonment, and intentional willful damage is prosecuted on a case by case basis.

Mitnick was fined a paltry sum of a few thousand dollars, and jailed for 5 years.
 

denizenx

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well according to mitnick tsutomo is a total poser... hmmm well I tend to side with him. I have seen how a whole dept gang up on one officer....
 

hanoman

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#4
Originally posted by sriram
If you are interested in another viewpoint, you should read "Takedown" by Tsutomu Shimomura, the researcher who tracked down Mitnick across the US and lead the FBI to his capture. It is available at the National Library (Stamford) and is well worth reading.

Shimomura's book provides a more rational insight into the whole Mitnick Saga. Rather than portraying Mitnick as a much maligned champion of the downtrodden who was unjustly punished, as wannabe hackers would like it, the book describes the whole episode in a much more sober fashion.

For example, among other things, Mitnick broke into many huge companies including Qualcomm, Motorola, Oki and Sun, and stole software, source code and documents worth millions of dollars. This is plain old (new?) fashioned theft, nothing else.

According to the 1991 US Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the federal government treats the unauthorized posession of information without the intent to profit from the information as a crime. The 1994 US computer abuse amendments act says that unintentional damage can be punished with a 1 year imprisonment, and intentional willful damage is prosecuted on a case by case basis.

Mitnick was fined a paltry sum of a few thousand dollars, and jailed for 5 years.
IMO, Tsutomo and his reporter buddy is an oportunist. Do u know that they never interview mitnick even once, but publish a book about him. John Markoff is the name of the reporter. You should read CyberPunk, the author is John. In this book, he portray Mitnick as a very bad person.

I really thing is unfair how they treat mitnick while he is in the prison and how this tsutomo track him. Did u read the book by "The Fugitive Game: Online With Kevin Mitnick" by Johnatan Littman. This book is more objective on mitnick case, and a lot better than tsutomo book. I have read all the books, including "Art of deception".

The fact that Mitnick hack some sites is true, he even admit it. But how some people take advantages on his case is wrong.
 

sriram

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Whatever. The fact is that Mitnick is brilliant, but a criminal. He used his knowledge to break into companies networks to steal software, intellectual property and source code worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. He had been doing this over and over again, not "just hack some sites". He was arrested many times for the same thing, and was on probation when he resumed his hack attacks. It was an obsessive compulsion.

So, are you saying it's OK if a cracker hacks your bank account and steals all your money? Or breaks into your company's networks and is free to do whatever he pleases, including stealing your top secret information about your next major product (which is what Mitnick did)?

Markoff and Shimomura may have been opportunists, but that doesn't make Mitnick the great hero he is portrayed to be... something which many people want to believe.

And hey, this was a very high profile case, so someone is bound to take advantage for their own publicity. Human nature.
 

hanoman

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#7
Originally posted by sriram

Whatever. The fact is that Mitnick is brilliant, but a criminal. He used his knowledge to break into companies networks to steal software, intellectual property and source code worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. He had been doing this over and over again, not "just hack some sites". He was arrested many times for the same thing, and was on probation when he resumed his hack attacks. It was an obsessive compulsion.

So, are you saying it's OK if a cracker hacks your bank account and steals all your money? Or breaks into your company's networks and is free to do whatever he pleases, including stealing your top secret information about your next major product (which is what Mitnick did)?

Markoff and Shimomura may have been opportunists, but that doesn't make Mitnick the great hero he is portrayed to be... something which many people want to believe.

And hey, this was a very high profile case, so someone is bound to take advantage for their own publicity. Human nature.
Yep, u are right. Kevin Mitnick is a criminal, no doubt about that. But do you read other book that I have mentioned? CyberPunk, Fugitive Game? If you have read those book, your way of thinking about Kevin might change. And do you know that the source code that he stole is actually not that valuable as what those big companies claimed.

I never say I agree with kevin mitnick act. I just said that the book that you recommend is not really good book because its written by someone who has a big ego (tsutomo). I believed you have read "takedown", and you know what I meant.

The bottom point, kevin is free now. What he did in the past is wrong, how gov and some people treat him is unfair. Takedown sucks.... These things are my own opinion, you might have a different one.
 

Revo

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#8
Originally posted by sriram
Whatever. The fact is that Mitnick is brilliant, but a criminal. He used his knowledge to break into companies networks to steal software, intellectual property and source code worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. He had been doing this over and over again, not "just hack some sites". He was arrested many times for the same thing, and was on probation when he resumed his hack attacks. It was an obsessive compulsion.

So, are you saying it's OK if a cracker hacks your bank account and steals all your money? Or breaks into your company's networks and is free to do whatever he pleases, including stealing your top secret information about your next major product (which is what Mitnick did)?

Markoff and Shimomura may have been opportunists, but that doesn't make Mitnick the great hero he is portrayed to be... something which many people want to believe.

And hey, this was a very high profile case, so someone is bound to take advantage for their own publicity. Human nature.
Altho he is no hero, but the fact markoff commented abt him in the papers was no doubt unethical (if what mitnick said was true)

I think its not abt whos the hero here....but rather to me how unscrpulous some can get....
 

aosis

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Though he is no hero or somebody with excellent contribution to the nation, i think he is better than those resorting to unscruplous methods to earn millions.
 

denizenx

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mitnick was wild, and he does deserve to be punished. I guess his retribution for running amok like an IT Bacchus was to be subjugated and utterly humiliated by a lesser being. it's like having two evils fight, we don't really care who dies, as long one does.

my main grouse here was that the establishment was circumventing its own laws and beliefs so that they can get him, which in more current context is becoming widespread as US goes rabid trying to weed out terrorists, would-be terrorists, and vague threats to its power.
we don't need another pogrom, and when a giant acts senile, we fear very much for our safety.

like sriram says, he did wrong and ought to be punished. to be made an example of is no big deal either. to be exploited and "framed" is wrong too. yet it's still "merely" a social injustice.
but for the laws to take the law into its own hands (ironic isn't it) is really really wrong.
 

sriram

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Originally posted by Revo


Altho he is no hero, but the fact markoff commented abt him in the papers was no doubt unethical (if what mitnick said was true)

I think its not abt whos the hero here....but rather to me how unscrpulous some can get....
Hey that's human nature. Someone suffers, someone else uses that for his own fame and glory. Sad but true. Markoff probably made his editor happy since they sold a lot more issues. And Shimomura probably got called to more conferences and received hot job offers. What better way to capitalize on the whole affair than by writing a book or making a movie. I believe there was some talk on really making a movie... wonder what happened.
 

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