Famous hacker Mitnick suffers break-ins to his corporate Web site
Feb. 10, 2003
WASHINGTON (AP) - The world's best-known computer hacker suffered the
indignity of having someone break into his new security consulting
company's Web site. But Kevin Mitnick shrugged it off as ``quite
amusing,'' not serious enough for him to call the FBI.
Mitnick, whose federal probation on hacking charges ended a few weeks
ago, acknowledged that this weekend's electronic break-in at Defensive
Thinking Inc. of Los Angeles was actually the second time in weeks
that hackers found a way into the computer running the firm's Web
A hacker calling himself ``BugBear'' added one page to Mitnick's
corporate Web site on Jan. 30 with a message, ``Welcome back to
freedom, Mr. Kevin,'' and added that ``it was fun and easy to break
into your box.'' He included a photograph of a polar bear with two
Another, similar break-in occurred Sunday by a hacker in Texas who
asked Mitnick to hire him as the company's security officer.
In neither instance did hackers vandalize the company's Web pages, and
one said in e-mail that he didn't do damage ``out of respect for me,''
Mitnick said he did not contact the FBI because the break-ins didn't
involve any financial loss to his company, which advertises ``training
and expertise to help you stop information theft.''
The FBI and Justice Department would not comment.
Most security experts consider the risk of such break-ins a nuisance
for government agencies and corporations, since sensitive information
about consumers is commonly stored on separate computers with better
protection. But these break-ins can be embarrassing for organizations
and indicate inattention to Internet security risks.
``No customer information was released nor was in danger of being
compromised,'' Mitnick's company said in a statement Monday.
Mitnick's probation, which barred him from using the Internet, ended
Jan. 20. He was released from prison three years ago after serving a
five-year sentence. Mitnick was accused of costing companies millions
of dollars by stealing software and altering computer information.
His supporters, who during his time behind bars plastered the phrase
``Free Kevin'' on hundreds of Web sites, maintain that his crimes were
Mitnick said Monday that the hackers apparently exploited separate
flaws in Internet server software from Microsoft Corp. The person
responsible for the company's Web site failed to apply the repairing
patches available from Microsoft, Mitnick said.
``I haven't had any time to play webmaster, but it looks like I'll
have to look into it,'' Mitnick wrote in an e-mail to The Associated
Press. ``Actually, it's quite amusing. All the hackers out there
figure if they can hack Kevin Mitnick's site, they're the king of the