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[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

Former Computer Hacker Kevin Mitnick gets Amateur Radio License Back:

from c/net News.Com on December 26, 2002
Website: http://news.com.com/2100-1023-978805.html?tag=fd_lede2_hed
View comments about this article!

{Contributed by, Robert W. KeyesN1YRK}

Former Computer Hacker Kevin Mitnick gets Amateur Radio License Back:

A former fugitive from justice who wound up serving a five-year prison term for computer crimes against companies including Sun Microsystems and Motorola, Mitnick is enjoying a midlife renaissance. In a wide-ranging interview, the 39-year-old Mitnick discussed brightened prospects, which include the end of the three-year-long probation that followed his release from prison, the auctioning off of his memorabilia on eBay and the launch of a filmmaking venture with Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey.

Mitnick's holiday gift came courtesy of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which on Monday released a decision that grants Mitnick his ham radio license renewal after a protracted battle.

Ham radio has been a hobby for Mitnick since he was 13 years old. While he now uses it primarily to talk to friends, he credits the hobby with having led to his interest in computer hacking.

"It's...how I first became intoxicated with technology, with figuring out how things worked," Mitnick said on Tuesday. "Ham radio was all about communication but also about building radios. I loved taking things apart and then putting them together."

Mitnick's license came up for renewal in 1999, when he was still serving a prison sentence for computer fraud, theft and other convictions. The FCC held up his application until Monday, when it ruled that Mitnick was sufficiently rehabilitated to deserve the renewal.

But the renewal came with a steep price: $16,000 in legal fees, according to Mitnick.

"It's the most expensive ham license in the world," Mitnick observed. "But I prevailed."

In its order, the FCC detailed Mitnick's various convictions and concluded that his rehabilitation was genuine and complete.

"Mr. Mitnick is a convicted felon," reads the decision. "His illegal activities include the interception of electronic communications, computer fraud, wire fraud, and damaging computers...He started hacking as an inquisitive teenager and wound up a disgraced felon...It is now concluded that Kevin David Mitnick has been sufficiently rehabilitated to show that he now possesses the requisite character for the renewal of his licenses in the amateur radio service."

For the full-story, please go to C/Net News.com at: http://news.com.com/2100-1023-978805.html?tag=fd_lede2_hed

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
 
Former Computer Hacker Kevin Mitnick gets Amateur  
by WB9YCJ on December 26, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Congradulations Kevin ! Perhaps we can exchange signal reports someday. 73, WB9YCJ/6
 
RE: Former Computer Hacker Kevin Mitnick gets Amat  
by KA0MR on December 26, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Here we go again celebrating someone who deliberatly destroyed millions of dollars worth of property belonging to someone else on purpose and with great malice.

What a great story. Ham radio operators of today consisting "gypsys,tramps and thiefs" spending all of their energy divising ways to steal from others.
 
RE: Former Computer Hacker Kevin Mitnick gets Amat  
by N8AML on December 26, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
You should probably spend more time researching, very little if anything was ever destroyed. What he did do was mostly theft of intellectual property (software), harassment, and interception of communication (email, voicemail). Should we celebrate this, no, of course not.

However... Once someone has served the sentence issued to them, they should be reinstated into the community. I know our prison and justice system aren't really rehabilitative... however once someone has completed whatever punishment our system deems appropriate for their crime, their rights should be restored. Shame on the states that strip convicted felons who have served their time their rights to vote.

KC8UZK
 
RE: Former Computer Hacker Kevin Mitnick gets Amat  
by KA0MR on December 26, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Yea yea and after your neighbor serves his sentence for molesting the neighborhood kids you'll welcome him back with open arms and ask him to babysit for you.

 
RE: Former Computer Hacker Kevin Mitnick gets Amat  
by RAD1OMAN on December 26, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
TO KA0MR:
Why don't we just chop off his fingers, chain him to an engine block and leave him in the desert??
Would THAT make you happy?

FREE KEVIN!
 
RE: Former Computer Hacker Kevin Mitnick gets Amat  
by KF6IIU on December 26, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Kevin's paid his debt to society. Welcome back.

Hey Kevin - it will be an honor to work you any mode but digital :-)
 
RE: Former Computer Hacker Kevin Mitnick gets Amat  
by AD7DB on December 26, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Is Mitnick still barred from ever using a computer for the rest of his life? If so, then I doubt we'll be working him using PSK31!
 
Former Computer Hacker Kevin Mitnick gets Amateur  
by N6JSX on December 26, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
I personal know Kevin but haven't talked to him in over 10 years. His charges were all based around computer issues and not one of them were based on HAM radio Part 97 violations. I still cannot understand why the FCC revoked his license since no crime was commited via HAM radio. I see the FCC finally fixing their injustice and gave Kevin his license back.

At the time I knew Kevin I was the LA section OOC and never heard him jam or do (ID'able) illegal activity on HAM radio. Of course he would get on 7.435 and the verbadge got rather ripe but on that repeater everyone is in violation of some rule about once an hour. Allegedly, Kevin did some nasties to a few HAMs in LA but it was to their credit cards and utility bills via computer hacking not via radio.

Actually I think our government was stupid - Kevin was a gifted hacker that under close supervision could have been a real asset to the CIA/FBI/etc. But they choze to make a public case out of him rather than think of national security.

Kevin look me up on the HF bands (75/17m) - been a long time since we talked. Or maybe I could i-Link into LA.
73, Kuby, N6JSX /8
 
Former Computer Hacker Kevin Mitnick gets Amateur  
by K3ZE on December 26, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
You didn't "prevail", Kevin. You just managed to buy back something that was taken away from you because you committed a felony.
 
RE: Former Computer Hacker Kevin Mitnick gets Amat  
by KA0MR on December 26, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
I guess the real crime in commiting crime is the crime of getting caught.

How many of us here on this posting is disgusted with the lack of character CEO's posses while they slither off to Barbados with your mom and dad's 401K retirement they just embezzeled. I guess to all of you that's a big ok. having no character at all is ok with everyone. Keeping your amateur license isn't limited to violations of radio law. If it is determined that you are of questionable character you can have it revoked. Remember that that an FCC amateur license is a privilige not a unalienable right.

If Mitnck had victimized any of you on this post we would be hearing a different song. And no I have not been of vicitm of Mitnick but I do try to maintain good enough character to not endorse the willful destruction of peoples property. What right does anybody here have to steal and destroy anybody else property even if it is "intellectual property". I am really not bothered with Mitnicks crimes as much as I am bothered with the ham radio operators of today seemingly endorsing the actions of people like him as if it is the right thing to do.

If any of you had been victimized to the tune of $100,000 I doubt you would be in the mood to buy the guilty party of your loss six pack of beer in gratitude.

The real problem lies in celebrating things like this as we appear to be doing instaed of condeming actions like this instead of treating him like he's is a hero.

Anybody that willing and with great malice causes anyone else financial harm is an asshole simple as that. And the only reason Mitnick didn,t victimize any of us as our losses wouldn't have been a big enough reward for him.
Bob

P.S.
 
RE: Former Computer Hacker Kevin Mitnick gets Amat  
by KD5SCG on December 26, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
When your son gets caught drinking, which is a felony. Would you want his voting rights taken away. The fact is that kevin did some pretty stupid stuff, but he has paid his dues. After you pay the speeding ticket, should you still have to pay it every year.
Also, what is his call sign.
 
Former Computer Hacker Kevin Mitnick gets Amateur  
by W8FAX on December 26, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Well, K1MAN is still on the air...........constantly
 
RE: Former Computer Hacker Kevin Mitnick gets Amat  
by KA0MR on December 27, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
KD5SCG give us convincing realism on how your statement compares to damages caused in the thousands of dollars and just where is possession of alcohol and consuming it is a felony. DUI more than 2 times endangering everybody yes it should be but the first offense of DUI is still endangers everyone including yourself and should not be tolerated by any society.

Yea every asshole like Mitnick is a role model for our children right?
 
RE: Former Computer Hacker Kevin Mitnick gets Amat  
by K3ZE on December 27, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
To RAD1OMAN:

What size engine block did you have in mind?
 
RE: Former Computer Hacker Kevin Mitnick gets Amat  
by N6AYJ on December 27, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
I think this criticism of Mitnick is merely another case of the FUDs (Fat, Ugly Dweebs) insecurely trying to claim superiority to someone, anyone. I saw Kevin interviewed on TechTV and he seemed like a nice, interesting guy to me. He seemed a lot more interesting and intelligent than most of the hams I talk to on HF. I would be glad to talk to him any time. Welcome back, Kevin, and let me know if I can be of any help to you!
 
RE: Former Computer Hacker Kevin Mitnick gets Amat  
by KU4QD on December 27, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Kevin Mitnick is far less likely to cause problems on the bands than, say... Herb Schoenbaum. It seems to me that if we're going to give licenses to convicted felons who continually flaunted the FCC rules, then giving one to someone who has, AFAIK, never been cited by the FCC makes sense.
 
RE: Former Computer Hacker Kevin Mitnick gets Amat  
by W9WHE on December 27, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Kevin and Herb Schoenbolm get ham licenses.....sheesh!

To quote the posting:

"His [Kevin] illegal activities include the interception of electronic communications, computer fraud, wire fraud, and damaging computers..."

What does anyone have to do to be barred from ham radio?

Committing Fraud (ie rip you off on Ebay) = NOPE!

Comitting Theft (ie Take your wallet at hamfest)= NOPE!

Breaking into private systems (ie use your radio) NOPE!

Deliberate QRM = (ie jam ur try to work rare DX) NOPE!


What do all of these hypothetical examples have in common? LACK OF GOOD JUDGEMENT AND A WILLINGNESS TO BREAK THE RULES FOR PERSONAL GAIN.

Just the type of guys that should be permitted Ham licenses....ever wonder why deliberate qrm IS RAMPANT????

Just one question for all you Fellon supporters, WHY do you want these guys to associate with you? We should do for Kevin what another Ham has already suggested we do for Herb Schoenbolm.....SHUN HIM.
 
RE: Former Computer Hacker Kevin Mitnick gets Amat  
by W9WHE on December 27, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
N6AYJ:

Do you also support Herb Schoenbolm?
 
Former Computer Hacker Kevin Mitnick gets Amateur  
by WA4BWO on December 27, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Hey, I think a Chevy Small Block ought to work just fine. Do the crime, pay the time and time and time!CQ kevin, You may have your ham license back, but how much QRO is enough to overcome this flack? Talk to your bud in CA (who can't spell by the way!). I'm sure he'd love to get some of your ideas and hey, all of your escapades will certainly make great QSO's. 73's
 
RE: Former Computer Hacker Kevin Mitnick gets Amat  
by N6AYJ on December 27, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
W9WHE:
Yeah, baby! I just want to talk to ANYBODY interesting! Not the usual boring old men I normally hear. Herb, Kevin and I would have a great roundtable QSO.
 
RE: Former Computer Hacker Kevin Mitnick gets Amat  
by W6UXB on December 27, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Herb NO !! Kevin YES !!
 
Former Computer Hacker Kevin Mitnick gets Amateur  
by W7XLR on December 27, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Welcome back hope to work you sometime!
 
RE: Former Computer Hacker Kevin Mitnick gets Amat  
by KD4OCC on December 28, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Previously http://www.qrz.com/detail/N6NHG expired in 1999.
 
RE: Former Computer Hacker Kevin Mitnick gets Amat  
by KC2GYD on December 28, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
The practice of putting this kind of thing in eHam is really stupid. Celebrating a con or ex-con is NOT the purpose of this forum. These kinds of people who violate society with any electronic medium should be bared from using any electronic communication device. We are not the judge of this person, but should not have our time and e-space taken with this kind of gibrish.
Just my thoughts as a Amateur and Corrections Dept.employee
Thanks for nothing, Bill - KC2GYD
 
RE: Former Computer Hacker Kevin Mitnick gets Amat  
by RAD1OMAN on December 28, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
just remember what (one of my many HEROES) G.Gordon Liddy says about "prison guards"....
From what I have read about the Mitnick case, it is the "justice" department that should be in federal lock-up.
 
RE: Former Computer Hacker Kevin Mitnick gets Amat  
by KC2GYD on December 29, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
RADIOMAN, I really think that you need to get an education in life and reality. First of all, you talk about "prison guards". I never said I was a "prison guard"; fact is I am not. I said I am an employee of the Dept of Corrections. I am on the medical staff.
Next thing, I truely believe that you should be quiet in matters to Amateur radio untill you get a license. I notice that you don't post a call sign. Could it be that with the ignorance of your commentatry you don't want anyone to know who you really are? Again just my thoughts. Amateur Radio should be just like firearms, if break the law with one you can't get a license to have one. Mitnick should be banned from Amateur radio. William E. Chapman - KC2GYD
 
RE: Former Computer Hacker Kevin Mitnick gets Amat  
by RAD1OMAN on December 29, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Bill, I am a LICENSED AMATEUR and judging from your call and license class, I have been a ham a whole lot longer than you.
Mitnick did not loose his license for anything he did on the air. IF he did, then yes, he should loose his license. Should you loose your nurseing license for speeding? If you say no, then why should Kevin loose his license?
 
RE: Former Computer Hacker Kevin Mitnick gets Amat  
by KD6TQE on December 31, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Sure, and you can give him your credit card number while you are at it.Go ahead, you can trust him as he has paid his debt to society.Remember, he is no different than a street punk throwing a brick thru a window. I do not think he should have lost his license but glorifying the asshole is a bit much.A felon is a felon is a felon.........
 
Former Computer Hacker Kevin Mitnick gets Amateur  
by N1YRK on January 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Kevin paid his time and more. It really amazes me that some people act like they would vote for the type of punishment system there is in Saudi Arabia for the US. That is, cut off someone's hand for stealing. That's just hatred and vengeance. I don't know Mr. Mitnick well. I talked to him once on the phone about 18 years ago about computer stuff. I think he went way too far with the childhood pranks that make up the bulk of computer crime. But I don't think that he deserved all that time in jail. I do think that he should have been able to keep his license. In any case, I am happy for him that he was able to get it back. How many of the rest of you would pay $16000 for your license? That's what I call commitment!
 
RE: Former Computer Hacker Kevin Mitnick gets Amat  
by N1NJI on January 4, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
"Yea every asshole like Mitnick is a role model for our children right?"

no, just assholes like you.

maybe you should educate yourself as to the FACTS of the case so you don't come off as an ignorant prick....
although... maybe in your case that's impossible....

http://www.freekevin.com/

when the federal government decides to make an example of YOU, i don't know, maybe for an offhand comment about how el presidente is a moron or something.
you be lucky to have the support mitnick had.

accused of 80million dollars worth of damage, not ONE of the companies he was accused of "stealing" from can come up with an itemised list of the actual damages, nor had they reported any such significant losses to their shareholders.

so as i said, why not learn the facts in the case before you spout off.

and i think this whole thread shows that moral character isn't a concrete requirement for an amatuer license.

73's & 88's
 
RE: Former Computer Hacker Kevin Mitnick gets Amat  
by N9XK on January 8, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
This is perhaps the best show of misinformation that I've seen in a long time. First of all, the FCC can deny or modify (read revoke) a grant based on the applicants "character". Read some of the FCC enforcement logs, makes for sobering reading.

In other words if the FCC finds out that you have questionable character (i.e. felony convictions, current prison sentence, etc.) even if the crime does not involve radio you may lose your license until such time as you can prove that your character is no longer in question.

I'm not saying what Mr. Mitnick did was right or justified, but we do have something called due process in this country. Remember, he DID NOT rape, murder, or otherwise endanger anyone's life or property. All he is guilty of is the equivalent of electronic trespassing and eavesdropping.

As far as what Mr. Mitnick allegedly stole from those companies, it's only perceived value. What that translates to is when the U.S. government asked Motorola, Nokia, Fujitsu and the other companies whose networks were infiltrated by Mitnick what they felt their losses were, they coughed up relative numbers based on what they "felt" they may have lost. Remember, their data was looked at by Mitnick but not sold or divulged to anyone.

Another important thing to remember here is that these companies cried and moaned a whole lot about their alleged losses amounting to millions of dollars with Motorola being the loudest complainer. To my knowledge none of these companies ever reported these alleged losses to their investors. Must not have been that big of a loss.

As a former Motorola employee (6 years) and ex-shareholder of Motorola stock (8 years) I can say with certainty that I never saw a reported loss in any shareholders reports equaling what they said they lost due to Mitnick's tampering with their so called sensitive information. I can attest to the lackadaisical way in which Motorola used to handle their proprietary information. I saw many engineers who did NOT have approved clearance to handle documents marked "company secret" walk right out the door with them past security. Probably why the japanese were always one step ahead of good ol' Motorola.

Perhaps now with the facts spelled out we'll see more informed posts regarding this. The man has served his time for pointing out the ultra weak securty measures that these companies used to secure their supposed sensitive and secured data. If it was really secure, he wouldn't have gained access to it, period.

Face it, if it wasn't Mitnick then, it could have been one of the many kids out there now. He was basically made into an example, a scarecrow if you will. The government wanted to send a message, "Do what he did, and we'll do what we did".

Apparently there is a "knowledge is bad" mentality out there that wants more government in our lives. Perhaps they should impose strict knowledge guidelines so that the general population can not become intelligent because you MIGHT use it for illegal purposes. Oh wait, we have the DMCA for that.

For what it's worth Kevin Mitnick could have been used by the government to find another hacker just like the FBI used Tsutomu Shimomura. Shimomura for his part was nothing more than a hacker that was doing the same thing as Mitnick including eavesdropping on cellular telephone calls, but with FBI sanction to find Mitnick.

It's laughable to me that some of these posts are so laced with pound of flesh mentality. I like how when you throw their own ideas at them that they shut up right away. Typical cases of people just plain not thinking or knowing what they are talking about.

Used to be teenagers would hack computers and phreak phones for entertainment, now they walk into schools and blow peoples heads off. Name your poison!

This URL may be of help.

http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/1999/mitnick.background/

although you can also see http://www.freekevin.com you'll get the same information without quite so much of the unnecessary media drama.



 
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