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TUCoPS :: Cyber Law :: kevincap.txt

Kevin Mitnick captured in Raleigh, NC LNA:





Date: Thu, 16 Feb 95 11:59:10 CST
From: telecom@eecs.nwu.edu (TELECOM Digest Editor)
Subject: Kevin Mitnick Captured in Raleigh, NC


Kevin Mitnick, who had earned the unofficial title of 'America's Most
Wanted Computer Hacker' was arrested Wednesday morning at his home in
Raleigh, North Carolina.

Mitnick had managed to evade authorities in both Los Angeles and Seattle
during the past two years. He was caught through the efforts of one of
his latest victims, computer security specialist Tsutomu Shimomura of 
the San Diego Supercomputer Center. Shimomura was robbed of security
programs he had written when his computer was broken into on Christmas
Day, about two months ago. But one thing Mitnick apparently had not
forseen was that the programs he stole -- and then used -- would be
used to help track him down. Shimomura was able to detirmine this past
weekend that Mitnick, 31, was connecting through a modem attached to
a cellular phone somewhere near Raleigh. Through the cooperation of
telcos and cellular companies, authorities were able to track Mitnick
to his home early Wednesday morning.

Authorities say they hope this latest arrest brings to an end the career
of a man who began hacking and phreaking when he was in high school. At
one point Mitnick broke into a North American Air Defense Command computer
in Colorado. 

Referring to Mitnick as a 'dangerous computer terrorist', Justice Department
spokesman John Russell said the raid was conducted at 1:30 am on the
apartment in Raleigh in which Mitnick was living alone under a false name.

"His obsession was his downfall," said Deputy United States Marshall
Kathy Cunningham in Los Angeles. "His obsession to hack and phreak using
cloned cellular phones left us a good trail to follow."

Mitnick, who is known by the hacker name 'Condor' says he took that alias
after seeing the movie 'Three Days of the Condor' starring Robert Redford
as a man on the run from the government.  He grew up in Los Angeles, and
was convicted there in 1988 after a series of phreaking and hacking incidents
which included disconnecting the phone service to Hollywood stars and
others. Although initially he was given just a short prison term followed by 
federal probation, he continued to act out in his self-destructive ways and 
when his probation officer threatened to revoke his probation and send
him to prison, he disconnected her telephone to get even and then ran off!  
And he is supposed to be a smart guy?

In 1989, federal prosecutors in Los Angeles portrayed Mitnick as a brilliant 
young man 'obsessed with junk food and computers' who infiltrated computer
networks and telephone switching systems in the United States and England.

Although federal authorities suggested that he had broken into National
Security Agency computers, he was never charged with that crime.  At
one point however, they considered him so dangerous they got a judicial
order denying him any use of telephones at all, for fear he would call
up a computer and access it using the touchtone buttons on the phone.

In the earlier 1988 case, Mitnick agreed to plead guilty to hacking
the Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) computer network and stealing
a program. He also pleded guilty to theft of sixteen MCI long distance
access codes and using them to make long distance calls. For this, the
court's imposition of punishment included several years imprisonment
with all but one year suspended, to be followed by federal probation
for the remainder of his term. After release from prison, Mitnick began
his probation. When his probation officer suggested she would revoke
his probation because of his behavior and return him to the penitentiary,
his response was to hack the appropriate computer and disconnect her
phone service ... he then fled.

In the fall of 1992, Mitnick was working for a private investigative
firm in Calabasas, California when the FBI was conducting an investigation 
into the break-ins of Pacific Bell computers. Realizing they were about
to close in on him, he fled again ... to surface only yesterday when
a man he decided to trifle with -- Tsutomu Shimomura -- decided not to
get mad, but instead to get even! Shimomura cooperated very closely
with the government to pinpoint Mitnick's whereabouts. 

On Wednesday, February 15, 1995, Mitnick was taken before a Magistrate
in Raleigh, North Carolina where he was arraigned on the charge of violating 
the terms of his probation in 1988, and new charges of computer fraud
in North Carolina. Assistant United States Attorney David Schindler in
Los Angeles said additional charges pertaining to Mitnick's actions in
San Diego, Seattle and Colorado would also be presented. Citing its
belief Mitnick was a danger to the community and likely to flee again
if released, the court ordered him held without bail, and once again
restricted his unsupervised use of telephones.  

Mitnick may be a smart man, but he seems to lack some common sense. One
does not ever screw around with one's federal probation officer; you
don't play with her telephone to get even; you don't run off when she
calls you. And when you are on the lam or otherwise, you don't steal from
someone like Tsutomu Shimomura. 

Speaking of whom, Shimomura attended the proceedings in Raleigh on
Wednesday. At the end of the hearing as he was being led away, a
handcuffed and shackled Mitnick turned to Shimomura, whom he has never
met or seen before and said, "Hello, Tsutomu, I respect your skills."

Shimomura nodded, then turned his back and walked away.

It must be remembered that in the United States, our constitution requires
a presumption of innocence on the part of Kevin Mitnick until his guilt
is proven to the satisfation of a judge or jury in a court of law.



Patrick Townson


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