A Criminal In Expert's Clothing 
Wednesday, August 2, 2000 at 14:12:15
by John Vranesevich - Founder of AntiOnline 

I read an article this morning that we had posted on our site from
techweb. It's titled "Mitnick to Speak on Corporate Security". A company
called "Giga Information Group" was proud to announce that they hired
Kevin Mitnick as their keynote speaker for a conference that they are
hosting. Am I the only one that sees something wrong with this? I think
that we're forgetting that Kevin Mitnick is not an expert with a long list
of contributions that he's made to the security industry. What he is,

[According to the title quoted, he is not said to be an expert.]

however, is a petty criminal that's spent his entire life in and out of
prison. Kevin Mitnick is no more impressive than other hackers that we've
seen in the recent past with names like "Mafiaboy", "MostHated", and
"ne0h". But, I'll give him credit where it was due, he was one of the
first to become a cyber-pain-in-the-ass. I guess some recognition is
deserved for that. 

Apparently anticipating editorials like mine, Richard Fichera, VP of Giga,
was quoted as saying that "While we do not support or endorse Mr.
Mitnick's past actions, his perspective is important as organizations must
be able to understand the hacker mindset in order to effectively combat
unauthorized access and hacker attacks,". This reminds me of a "reformed
hoodlum" that I once saw on Oprah while flicking through the channels.
"Watch how fast this scum can break into your house. Let's have him
explain to us why he does it." We all know why Kevin Mitnick did the
things he did. To gain fame and recognition for his beloved aliase,
"Condor". Just like "Mafiaboy", "MostHated", and "ne0h". How does this

[Yet another great demonstration of JP's "hacker profiling". Mitnick did
not use his name or aliases during his hacking activity. He did not leave
/tmp files named after himself, he did not deface web pages, or anything
else that would draw attention to himself. To say otherwise shows a
fundamental lack of understanding of hacker psychology.]

help companies protect themselves? It doesn't. What it does do,
unfortunately, is help to glorify this criminal in front of the world's
youth that already has the mistaken impression that it's "cool to hack". 

I would suggest that companies like the Giga Information Group are doing
far more harm to corporations by putting criminals like Mitnick up on a
pedestal, than they're doing good.  Shame on them, and shame on any
security company that hires a big name criminal as a form of cheap

[The irony here is sickening. According to:
JP himself was the keynote speaker for Frank Jones, a convicted felon.
Hypocrisy anyone?]