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Kevin Mitnick, the world’s most famous hacker and icon of a generation, has died

He was 59 years old. He became famous in the 1990s by stealing data and credit card numbers.

kevin mitnick, known as the ‘Condor’, died at the age of 59 after failing to overcome pancreatic cancer against which he had been fighting for months. Mitnick is considered the most famous hacker in the world by the wave of cybercrimes that he carried out during the 1990swith a multitude of data thefts and credit card numbers.

After being arrested in 1995, Mitnick was released from prison three years later, in 1998, and began a career as an ethical hacker, eventually working for the CIA. In addition, in the last years of his life he became a security consultant, writer and public speaker. He now leaves behind a wife, Kimberley Mitnick, and his first child on the way, who unfortunately he won’t be able to meet.

The death of Kevin Mitnick was made public by one of the computer security training companies that he himself confused, through a statement.

The cause of his death, at the age of 59, was severe complications from the pancreatic cancer he suffered from. In recent months, he had had to withdraw from work life since he was receiving treatment at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, after being diagnosed more than a year ago.

Who was Kevin Mitnick?

Mitnick, in 2000. AP Photo

Mitnick was known for the crime wave during the 1990s that involved the theft of thousands of data files and phone numbers. nationwide computer credit cards. He used his abilities to hack his way into telephone and cellular networks across North America, vandalizing government, corporate, and university computer systems.

Investigators at the time named him the world’s “most wanted” hacker. In 1995, after a persecution of more than two years, Mr. Mitnick was arrested by the FBI and charged with illegal use of a dial-up device and computer fraud.

“He allegedly had access to millions of dollars worth of corporate trade secrets. He was a huge threat,” Kent Walker, a former assistant US attorney in San Francisco, said at the time.

Mitnick pleaded guilty to computer and wire fraud as part of a plea bargain and was sentenced to 46 months in prison.

In addition, he was prohibited from using a computer or mobile phone without the permission of his probation officer for three years after his release, making clear the fear they had of his abilities as a hacker.

The ‘Condor’ started very soon, since at 17 I was already researching different corporate computer systems and even having his first run-in with the authorities for those activities. It was the start of a decades-long tug-of-war with law enforcement.

Years later, in his memoirs, Mitnick disputed many of the accusations made against him, including that he had hacked into government computer systems. He also claimed that he ignored the credit card numbers he obtained in his search for the code.

“Anyone who loves to play chess knows that it is enough to defeat your opponent. You don’t have to plunder his kingdom or seize his goods to make it worth your while,” he wrote in his book.


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