The Computer Criminal Computer Crimes And A Brief Story Of Kevin David Mitnick. Include Details Of His Parole And Intermediate Punishment Sentence. Fully Cited. Includes References.

4223 words - 17 pages

As a poor and neglected child from the suburbs of California, Kevin Mitnick would later become the most famous computer criminal in the history of the United States. He was quiet, overweight, wore glasses and resembled the stereotypical look of your everyday computer nerd. His problem was that his curiosities lead him into an area of crime, which at the time, was yet to be taken seriously. His crime was that of "hacking." Mitnick was responsible for numerous illegal computer break-ins to many information databases including phone companies, large corporations, and even the United States government. Throughout his career he was a dangerous threat to not only the privacy of the lives of thousands of innocent people, but also he posed a threat to the overall infrastructure of the United States. Following his initial violation of probation, Mitnick began on a criminal journey as he ran from the authorities for years without being able to be caught. The longer he was a fugitive, the more he became a criminal.As a teenager, Mitnick was fascinated with the telephone system. It was this curiosity with technology that drove him to his criminal life. Along with his group of friends, Mitnick would play tricks on the phone company as he discovered ways to cheat the system and manipulate phone companies. Most of these crimes went unnoticed as he frequently made long distance phone calls for free and racked up several thousand dollars of phone bills without anyone ever knowing. "It was the computer equivalent of sending your friend 14 pizzas" stated Mitnick's lawyer Alan Rubin (Klein, 1989). This infatuation with technology increased with the development and availability of computers. By the early eighties Mitnick was only a seventeen-year-old kid when he was finally caught.Mitnick would often spend hours of the night crawling around in dumpsters located outside of phone and computer corporations searching for discarded papers containing anything from employee lists to system usernames and passwords. In this case, he'd got his hands on pass codes for the COSMOS (Computer System for Mainframe Operations) System which was responsible for keeping records and carrying out service orders for major telephone companies (Hafner and Markoff, 1990). He used the names of the employees to pose as a service worker for the system and make his way into the building and access one of the COSMOS computers. Here he used the pass codes to break into the computer system and browse the confidential files. Unfortunately, Mitnick's presence in the system did not go unnoticed. He was caught that same night and later charged with one count of burglary and one count of computer fraud. Facing a prison term at the California Youth Authority prison, Mitnick pled guilty to both counts and was sentenced to probation. He received a ninety-day psychological evaluation and received one year's probation in which he was not allowed to operate a computer or a telephone.Less than a year later,...

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