|Essay type:||Cause and effect essays|
|Categories:||Internet Information technologies Cyber security Personal leadership|
The art of hacking has been in development since the pre-Internet era (Sauter, 2016). During the pre-Internet period, hacker extraordinaire Kevin Mitnick crafted and refined his skills. As a young man, Kevin Mitnick became the world's most infamous black hat hacker, hacking into the systems of more than 40 major corporations (Mitnick, 2017; Mitnick, 2011). However, he changed to a white-hat hacker, selling his skills as a security consultant and penetration tester after a stint in prison. This paper aims to give some thoughts or views about Kevin Mitnick and the hacking culture today.
At the age of 12, Hacker Kevin Mitnick tricked a bus driver into gaining free rides marking the beginning of his trickery career (Mitnick, 2017). At age 16, Kevin Mitnick gained access to the company network of Digital Equipment Corporation used for the development of early operating systems for 16-bit minicomputers (Sauter, 2016). Although he did nothing malicious with the copied files from the system, Kevin Mitnick was charged and sentenced to one year imprisonment. Just before the end of his three-year probation period, he hacked into Pacific Bell's voicemail system to listen to the voicemails of the law enforcement personnel who were monitoring and checking on him (Sauter, 2016).
Kevin Mitnick hid in Denver, continued breaking into dozens of computer networks, accessed private email systems, and intercepted passwords, becoming the most wanted hacker in 1992 (Mitnick, 2017). To monitor and prevent the authorities from tracking him, Mitnick obtained the source code of the best cell phone of that time, Motorola MicroTAK Ultralite. He knew he would be able to modify ESN number and other identifying data with the source codes. Unfortunately, he was arrested and served five years in prison for the hacking activity.
Mitnick's skills, creativity, and persistence change the way authorities pursued hackers. His ability to gain access to the computers and networks of the world's biggest companies while evading the authorities brought permanent variations to the way companies and people protect their most sensitive information. Today, Kevin is a trusted security consultant to the Fortune 500 and governments worldwide, the CEO of Mitnick Security Consulting and a Chief Hacking Officer of KnowBe4, helping awareness and training employees to manage better the urgent IT security problems (Sauter, 2016). However, the story of Kevin has contributed much regarding hacking culture today. Although hacking culture continues to be a challenge to many organizations and individuals, like Mitnick, many renowned hackers have proven to help create awareness and help in many companies' software security.
Currently, hackers try to explore secured computer systems using their talents and knowledge to create better software and security measures. Besides, many hackers who once used their skills to break into systems now put that knowledge and inventiveness to use by creating more comprehensive security measures. Therefore, the Internet is a battlefield between different hackers, those who infiltrate systems, and those that reinforce security systems (Mitnick, 2017).
Mitnick, K. (2017). The art of invisibility: The world's most famous hacker teaches you how to be safe in the age of big brother and big data. Little, Brown. https://www.mitnicksecurity.com/the-art-of-invisibility-mitnick-security
Sauter, M. (2016). Kevin Mitnick, the New York Times, and the media's conception of the hacker. Forthcoming, Making Our World: The Hacker and Maker Movements in Context. Eds. Hunsinger, J. & Schrock, A.(under contract). Digital Formations. New York: Peter Lang. https://www.peterlang.com/view/9781433160035/xhtml/chapter02.xhtml
Mitnick, K. (2011, September 12). Talks at Google. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUqes9QdLQ4
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