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Mitnick Helps Bust Bomb Hoaxer

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the you-go-girl dept.

Privacy 403

PhrostyMcByte writes "According to The Register/SecurityFocus: 'Ex-hacker Kevin Mitnick is a hero to the small town of River Rouge, Michigan, after using his tech skills to help officials nab the culprit behind a harrowing series of bomb threats.'" According to the piece, Detective Lt. John Keck "began searching the Internet for technical guidance, which led him to Kevin Mitnick, who'd earlier demonstrated a technique for spoofing Caller ID on the specialty cable network TechTV." Mitnick's comment on the bomb hoaxer? "He wasn't really hacking... he was really just being a jerk."

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Why the focus on Mitnick and the hoaxer? (-1, Offtopic)

American AC in Paris (230456) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042374)

I want to hear more about these amazing, ordnance-bearing breasts!

One wonders exactly what Mitnick was asked to do in his, ahem, supporting role...

(No, wait--come back! I'll be good from now on!)

Mitnick Speaks In Third Person (4, Funny)

FreemanPatrickHenry (317847) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042380)

"He wasn't really hacking... he was really just being a jerk."

Wait... can't the exact same thing be said about Kevin Mitnick?

Re:Mitnick Speaks In Third Person (2, Interesting)

donnyspi (701349) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042458)

Yes, and I'm sure he'd admit to it.

Re:Mitnick Speaks In Third Person (5, Interesting)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042462)

I wasn't really robbing the bank. I was just testing the security. Here's my business card.

Now you can pay us to do it all over again thru our security break-in firm.... blah blah.

Re:Mitnick Speaks In Third Person (5, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042469)

"Wait... can't the exact same thing be said about Kevin Mitnick?"

Kevin was hacking, but he was also being a jerk. The two are not mutually exclusive.

Re:Mitnick Speaks In Third Person (5, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042524)

Sure, set a jerk to catch a jerk. Jerks who repent often spend their time in attonement.

That doesn't mean we should ignore his having been a jerk, but neither should we hold that against his works of attonement.

KFG

Re:Mitnick Speaks In Third Person (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9042552)

You don't need to sign your posts, because Slashcode automatically puts your name at the top.

Re:Mitnick Speaks In Third Person (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9042702)

Score:-1, Giving KFG guff

Re:Mitnick Speaks In Third Person (4, Insightful)

dacarr (562277) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042589)

Evidently Kevin learned his lesson - he openly admits to having been a criminal it seems, and besides, what better to catch a criminal than with somebody who really knows how they think?

Re:Mitnick Speaks In Third Person (1)

SphericalCrusher (739397) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042633)

No. It can't.

oscar is hot (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9042382)

yes yes yes OH BABY

bam in themouth

And the world wanted to see him as evil (-1, Troll)

Amiga Lover (708890) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042388)

The world wanted to see him as evil... as nothing but a dumb cracker who had some skills to get into places he shouldn't be, no better than a hundred others out there who haven't been caught.

This should make them eat crow.

Re:And the world wanted to see him as evil (2, Insightful)

BigBir3d (454486) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042449)

All he did was advise the cops to use the same tracking techniques that got him caught. Not exactly brain surgery.

Re:And the world wanted to see him as evil (3, Insightful)

pottymouth (61296) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042496)

Hardly, however it is nice to see that he's using what skills he has (which aren't exactly steller) for good rather than just getting himself in trouble.

My hats off to him and I hope he keeps it up.

Re:And the world wanted to see him as evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9042653)

How many hats do you have?

move along. (5, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042391)

...the hoaxes unnerved some residents of the Detroit suburb, which boasts a population in the high four digits.

"It is kind of funny, I'll admit, but this is not the time for these kinds of games," says Keck.


No, it wasn't kind of funny. It was stupid... Really stupid. It wasted a lot of people's time. The bomb threat is one thing. Diverting police cars, forcing evacuations, searching for false bombs, making someone research how to track telephone calls, and having a writer tell a sensationalized story was a huge waste of time.

This had nothing to do with phone phreaking, hacking, or anything. It was a dumbass kid who made a call from a cell phone and someone doing their job and finding Mitnick (who of course was willing to look like the good-guy) to solve the problem.

For once I don't recommend that you RTFA.

Re:move along. (5, Insightful)

TedCheshireAcad (311748) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042421)

What a dumbass. Phoning in a bomb threat to your school from your cell phone...how do you expect not to get caught?

Re:move along. (5, Insightful)

Xzzy (111297) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042522)

> Phoning in a bomb threat to your school from your
> cell phone...how do you expect not to get caught?

Actually, he got away with it. Several times.

He fell prey to the number one rule of getting caught though; not stopping. If the kid had only done it once or twice, the officer would have never sought Mitnick, would have never figured out how to query the phone companies, and the kid would have made the perfect crime.

Re:move along. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9042706)

...the kid would have made the perfect crime.

There is no such thing.

Re:move along. (0, Redundant)

SphericalCrusher (739397) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042664)

Don't continue to call over and over... Throw the cellphone away after using it. Also make sure that none of the info is registered under your name...

Re:move along. (0)

Unspecified Chicken- (776575) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042741)

In Soviet Russia, schools bomb-threat you!

Re:move along. (5, Insightful)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042443)

The only halfway notable incident in this story is that Mitnick did some "good". That's it, and only for passing on some basic info on how to trace a phone number. Silly really.

re: move along (5, Interesting)

ed.han (444783) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042447)

OTOH, mitnick did say it wasn't to him that people ought to be grateful but rather to shimomura. to me, that says something about mitnick.

but i agree the keck saying it was "kind of funny" is stupid.

ed

Re: move along (3, Insightful)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042724)

I thought it clear that Keck didn't mean it was humerous. He meant that Keck thought it ironic, almost silly, that classmates and/or his teacher didn't see him or turn him in.

This can't be good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9042573)

...the hoaxes unnerved some residents of the Detroit suburb, which boasts a population in the high four digits.

They rounding up everyone with a slashdot id from 5000-9999 and placing them in a Detroit suburb? That's not good.

Re:move along. (5, Interesting)

dave cutler (222400) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042754)

I think you missed the subject of "It is kind of funny." The young man called the bomb threat in FROM HIS CLASSROOM. Apparently he was in shop class on the cellphone dialing in a bomb threat. The fact that the childish misbehavior occurred under the noise of the school itself is the part that amused the Detective, and I would have to agree with him. It was funny.

Pffft. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9042396)

Pfffft. What does Mitnick know about hacking?

SOMEONE SET US UP THE BOMB (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9042400)

Sorry, had to be said.

ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9042417)

TO KEVIN MITNICK

MOD PARENT DOWN: TIRED JOKE (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9042584)

Come on, people? What year is it? It's 2004. The Atari VCS isn't fresh and neither is that joke.

Re:SOMEONE SET US UP THE BOMB (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9042609)

Your grammar is poor. It's:

Someone set up us the bomb.

i love kevin (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9042412)

kevin mitnick is my mother fucking hero, i want to have his babies

The "in crowd" gets slap-on-wrist (5, Interesting)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042414)

The detective is to be applauded for his creativity in finding the culprit. And let's also have some sympathy for him, 'cause you know this outcome has got him seeing red:

The prankster confessed, and this week pleaded guilty to a single count of making bomb threats. He's not expected to spend any time incarcerated. "They're going to try to come up to some sentence that will put him on track to be more productive," says Keck.

I'll bet five bucks the kid is in the "in crowd". Football season's over, and he's sitting in "gimme an 'A'!" shop class with the other jocks, figuring out what to do after they're done lifting the cheerleaders' skirts. "Hey, I know, let's call in a bomb threat. They'll strip search the geeks while we laugh our a$$ off!"

Here in Texas, 15 year olds who aren't in the "in crowd" get sent to jail for life, and nobody even seems to care. And there are plenty of ridiculous [edweek.org] examples [cnn.com] of innocuous behavior being punished by schools.

And this kid, a serial terrorist, is going to get off with a suspension -- probably because he's some bigwig's son, or else he's on "the team". What a load of crap.

im guessing you were not popular in high school (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9042468)

and now have an angry grudge

well I was also not popular in high school, but I got over it.

you dont need to pre-judge like that...

(p.s. your website is dixiechicks.com... just making sure you know that)

Re:im guessing you were not popular in high school (1, Offtopic)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042525)

and now have an angry grudge

Well, duh. This is Slashdot, after all...

(p.s. your website is dixiechicks.com... just making sure you know that)

No, it's not. It's dixie dash chicks dot com [dixie-chicks.com] . Big difference, at least to us not- popular- in- high- school types.

Schools in texas are ran by idiots. (5, Interesting)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042494)

Case in point. Longview, Texas (where a very large portion of the senior class can not read at 8th grade level) is paying over 500,000 to have artificial turf installed on the damn football field.

They might not be able to read, but they have a kickass football stadium.

Re:Schools in texas are ran by idiots. (5, Funny)

The Ape With No Name (213531) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042622)

Schools in texas are ran by idiots.

Res loquitur ipsa.

Re:Schools in texas are ran by idiots. (1)

plasm4 (533422) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042640)

I think morans would be a more precise term than idiots.

Re:The "in crowd" gets slap-on-wrist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9042505)

>And this kid, a serial terrorist, is going to get off with a suspension -- probably because he's some bigwig's son, or else he's on "the team". What a load of crap.

...and that is how the Darl McBride's of the world are created.

Re:The "in crowd" gets slap-on-wrist (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9042508)

Tell me about it. at my school last year three jerks were accused of raping a girl in the year below them. They were let off with fines and immediately returned to school because there was doubt over whether it was rape or consensual. Why? because she'd once dated one of the guys involved for a month.

Same school, same year, kid borrows a laptop from the school for a weekend as he'd done for months, but this time didn't sign out for it correctly. Suspended and grades withheld. There you go. Borrowing a laptop without proper authorisation is a worse crime than rape in School Land.

(not to mention the ridiculousness of the logical conclusion that if you date one person you could be consenting to have forced violent sex with all their friends)

Re:The "in crowd" gets slap-on-wrist (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9042578)

So the moral of the story, kids, is make sure that your future rape victim takes the laptop without signing for it. Shag 'em twice.

Re:The "in crowd" gets slap-on-wrist (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9042636)

Borrowing a laptop without proper authorisation is a worse crime than rape in School Land.

The more I hear of the insane bureaucratic messups that are happening in schools, the more I realise that kids today who say "There's no use learning nuffing in school cos it don't apply to da real world" aren't being young naive and stupid... but damned insightful.

Leave adulthood for kids to become jaded & cynical dammit, don't make them that at 15!

Re:The "in crowd" gets slap-on-wrist (4, Insightful)

jhines0042 (184217) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042554)

More likely explanation, this is a small town, (article says about 4 digit population) and they don't want to send a kid to jail for being stupid. If he does it again though I'm sure that he'll be deported or maybe even defenistratred.

Re:The "in crowd" gets slap-on-wrist (1)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042621)

If he does it again though I'm sure that he'll be deported or maybe even defenistratred.

Whoa, you're harsh! Sending him away is one thing, but making him run Linux [linuxpr.com] ? Damn!

(Disclaimer: I'm trying to defenestrate [knoppix.net] , with limited success. I can run Frozen Bubble, at least.)

Re:The "in crowd" gets slap-on-wrist (1)

ekstasy (761064) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042579)

Sounds like you were "stip searched" a lot for not being in the "in crowd."

Re:The "in crowd" gets slap-on-wrist (1)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042652)

Sounds like you were "stip searched" a lot for not being in the "in crowd."

In the words of Beavis (or was it Butt-Head?): "Heh. Did I just score?"

Re:The "in crowd" gets slap-on-wrist (2, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042582)

Here in Texas, 15 year olds who aren't in the "in crowd" get sent to jail for life, and nobody even seems to care. And there are plenty of ridiculous examples of innocuous behavior being punished by schools.

I read those articles, no one got sent to jail. Just suspended. And as far as I'm concerned that's the best thing that can happen. "What? No school for 2 weeks? WooHoo!" Though, perhaps in the second article they were trying to encourage the students, I sure would have.

Re:The "in crowd" gets slap-on-wrist (2, Interesting)

JohnnyCannuk (19863) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042583)

Bob,

You seem to have issues....

Wow, talk about projection!

BTW, I don't know about YOUR highschool, but at mine, the "in crowd" might have gotten A's in English or Calculus, but everyone of them would have flunked wood shop hard. I was following you until that line. And do you happen to know if anyone got a video of that kiss in Texas? Just curious.... ;)

Re:The "in crowd" gets slap-on-wrist (1)

gnu-generation-one (717590) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042600)

"And there are plenty of ridiculous examples of innocuous behavior being punished by schools."

Never ?!? [talkleft.com]

Re:The "in crowd" gets slap-on-wrist (1)

TechniMyoko (670009) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042658)

I'll have to agree totally with your statement. The lack of profanity also makes you seem more intelligent than the average /.ranter

Re:The "in crowd" gets slap-on-wrist (1)

SoCalChris (573049) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042680)

Damn, the lesbians at my high school never looked like this [cnn.com] . They were all about 400lbs and lloked like football players.

yea... it can... (-1, Redundant)

olorinpc (729849) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042416)

"He wasn't really hacking... he was really just being a jerk."
yea... the same think can be said about Mitnick... but he is a smart jerk.

Heh (4, Insightful)

Erwos (553607) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042418)

I guess some criminals _can_ be rehabilitated. Nice to see our system isn't _totally_ broken.

-Erwos

Re:Heh (1)

FooGoo (98336) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042484)

Don't worry we'll get him eventually. Somone that stupid won't go unnoticed for long.

Social Engineering (5, Funny)

whoda (569082) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042687)

Mitnick wasn't rehabilitated.

He has just used his super-powerful skills of social engineering to make people 'think' he has been rehabilitated.

Re:Heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9042748)

Or perhaps our system is putting people in prison who didn't have a serious problem to begin with, and letting people go who do have serious problems?

Who's driving the boat? (-1, Offtopic)

pegr (46683) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042423)

"Mitnick assists police in finding bomb hoaxer" Monday May 03, @10:12AM Rejected

(sigh...)

Re:Who's driving the boat? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9042511)

Hey, Good for you! Maybe more than one person posted the same f'en article? Is that too complex for you?

Re:Who's driving the boat? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9042569)

Look at the submit / post times you COCK BITE. Typical Slashdot: Editors bobing for BLOW-FUCKING-JOBS.

Here we go again... (5, Insightful)

MysticalMatt517 (772389) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042429)

To the media, what's the difference? Anyone who commits a crime involving a computer is considered a hacker to them...

hacker... (4, Informative)

millahtime (710421) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042490)

To the media, what's the difference? Anyone who commits a crime involving a computer is considered a hacker to them...

hacker

n 1: someone who plays golf poorly 2: a programmer for whom computing is its own reward; may enjoy the challenge of breaking into other computers 3: one who works hard at boring tasks

Straight from Dictionary.com

Re:Here we go again... (4, Insightful)

lukewarmfusion (726141) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042676)

Calling in a bomb threat != hacking.

It's only "hacker news" because it involves Mitnick. A kid's cell phone doesn't usually count as a computer.

uh.... (5, Funny)

sxtxixtxcxh (757736) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042434)

He'd apparently made the calls, unnoticed, from class. "It is kind of funny, I'll admit, but this is not the time for these kinds of games," says Keck.
br uh... exactly when is the RIGHT time for calling in bomb threats from class....?

Re:uh.... (5, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042539)

"exactly when is the RIGHT time for calling in bomb threats from class....?"

When there's a test you didn't study for?

After Lunch (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042642)

Who wants a bomb threat to interrupt lunch? Better to have it later in the afternoon; you might get out of the rest of class for the rest of the day.

Re:uh.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9042682)

Well of course these sort of things are to be done between classes.

A good example? (5, Insightful)

david_reese (460043) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042436)

I'd have to say that it's good we can show a clear example of a "good hacker"... and what's best is this is a local effort. Good will for white-hats will be best done at the grassroots level.

You can make a difference by doing good hackerly things and at the same time denouncing the draconian measures [eff.org] .

New TV show: Hax0r Doo (5, Funny)

Aslan72 (647654) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042448)

Said by the kid when captured "I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for you meddling haxors and your dog!"

sorry, but... (0, Redundant)

Chuck Bucket (142633) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042455)

somebody set us up the bomb!

CBV

I'd like to think my web work might help (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9042463)

Perhaps my Usenet expose on drinking all that cough syrup might be helpful in solving some future investigations. Detectives are invited for discussions at any time.

Hi-tech means to cover his tracks. (5, Insightful)

Fubar411 (562908) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042474)

The dead-end led Keck to suspect that the caller was employing some hi-tech means to cover his tracks. *67?

Re:Hi-tech means to cover his tracks. (2, Informative)

MyDixieWrecked (548719) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042719)

parent not offtopic. *67 is the code for blocking caller-id (displays "PRIVATE" on receiving end). too bad my high school blocked any incoming private calls, or my friend and I could have both called out from my house. *shrug*

Hackers1 - Crackers 0 (5, Insightful)

carvalhao (774969) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042499)

Wether people like it or not, there will always be someone that will misuse technology and its loopholes.

Isn't it nice that there are some people that KNOW those loopholes and that don't misuse them? How can we defend ourselves against something we don't know?

These kinds of actions bring the focus right to the differences between hacking and cracking most society is led to believe don't exist. Let me add that the good publicity comes in handy :)

Re:Hackers1 - Crackers 0 (2, Interesting)

Lovedumplingx (245300) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042656)

Come off it man. Why do you think Mitnick spent 4 years in jail? He was abusing his knowledge. And from all accounts that I've heard and read about...he wasn't even that good. Some coder in Israel was giving him the code and he was making the exploits! He was a glorified script-kiddy. I don't want to take away from Mitnick because he does have obvious genious traits (i.e. not getting caught for so long and understanding the ideas behind the code and usage) but he did use those loopholes for a long while before this change of heart.

You know... (5, Insightful)

Poster Nutbag (635382) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042500)

I don't think this is an issue of technology as much as it is an issue of teachers needing to pay attention to their damn students.

Re:You know... (1)

BCW2 (168187) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042585)

AMEN

pay it forward. (2, Insightful)

itsdave (105030) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042510)

reminds me of that movie "pay it forward" applied to criminal justice.

Re:pay it forward. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9042557)

that was the gayest movie ever.

who is this? (5, Funny)

MORTAR_COMBAT! (589963) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042512)

Imagine you have just cracked your way into a UNIX login. Looking around a bit, you soon get a msg:

Message from kmitnick@localhost on pts/1 at 13:31 ...

Um... dude... you picked the wrong freaking box to hack into today...


That's when you log off and unplug your computer from the net, maybe move, get a different ISP, change MAC addresses... etc...

Re:who is this? (1)

FlashBac (720033) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042588)

Imagine you have just cracked your way into a UNIX login.
Ehhh... if you cracked Mitnicks UNIX box, by accident, it would be more than Uncle Kev that would like to have a word with you I'd say.

Re:who is this? (1)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042603)

Message from kmitnick@localhost on pts/1 at 13:31 ...
Um... dude... you picked the wrong freaking box to hack into today...

Besides the fact that Mr. Mitnick is still on the Federally mandated no-Internet plan, I question if some "dude" is going to be able to hack his "freaking box".

Humm.... (5, Interesting)

eww (211414) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042521)

It sounds like the phone companies were not that interested in helping the police out. Instead the police had to ask someone else to help them out. Other wise the police wouldn't have know which information to request on the warrents.

I wounder if the phone companies would have been more helpfull if there actually was a bomb that exploded?

Typical big biz...

Re:Humm.... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9042677)

Speaking from experiance......it would help if.

1.) They knew what they wanted.
2.) Asked for what they wanted.
3.) Indicated why they wanted it so we could figure oute 1&2.
4.) Don't complain when I ship them a 650meg Cd with details because they couldn't do 1-3, because There is too much information to find what they wanted.

If the police officer needed help to figure out to ask for all the call details for that day with that dialed number, he should most likely start looking for his next job.

Fluff.

Why not simply watch a cop show? (4, Funny)

manganese4 (726568) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042523)

What I do not understand was why they just did not watch one of the many cop shows on TV to find out how to call the phone company to get a trace placed on the call?

What is strange... (5, Insightful)

0xC0FFEE (763100) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042547)

Mitnick didn't do much, he just taught the police officer what kind of information to ask the TelCo. What I find particularly disturbing is why the TelCo people weren't more involved. I mean:

What happened: Officer: I need this TelCo: Searching... Nothing.. Try Again...

instead of what should have happened: Officer: We need to catch this haxor TelCo: Ok, ..., there it is!

Broken man (-1, Flamebait)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042550)

Before he was incarcerated do you think Mitnick would have helped to put someone else behind bars?

After spending ~4 years in jail with no trial, I am disappointed to see him be so willing to put someone else in jail.

LK

Re:Broken man (5, Interesting)

GeneralEmergency (240687) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042644)

Having worked with him personally, I can tell you that Kevin **knows** what he did was wrong. He has never made any statements to the contrary. He has complained about the abuses of the Justice system that occured in his case, but he would never use those abuses to justify criminal activity.

Re:Broken man (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042729)

He has complained about the abuses of the Justice system that occured in his case,

And yet, he's willing to help put another person at the mercy of that same justice system.

LK

Re:Broken man (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9042723)

Maybe thats what you call rehabilitation?

Re:Broken man (2, Insightful)

orion41us (707362) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042727)

Agreed, what was done to Mitnick was wrong. But that does not justify the actions of the prank caller. I applaud Mitnick for making that distinction.

Inherent problem with RBOCs? (5, Interesting)

PornMaster (749461) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042574)

Is there a reason there isn't a standardized procedure with the phone company whereby the cops say "there was a bomb threat made at 1pm to this number" and the phone company says "these were the incoming calls and where they came from"?

Seems ridiculous that the cops in Podunk need to know how to request the info specifically.

Before anyone jumps on me about privacy issues and overzealous cops with warrants, in cases where the customer (the school in this case) agrees to have their call records searched, this wouldn't really be an issue.

-PM

Yea!!! Kevin... (4, Funny)

GeneralEmergency (240687) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042590)

Kevin once demonstrated this caller id spoofing technique to me personally while I was working with him on his KFI 640AM radio talk show "The Dark Side of the INternet".

Believe me, it is extremely creepy to look at your ringing cell phone and see that you are calling yourself!

Kevin, bud...Great work!

Mitnick is my hero! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9042592)

I want to be like him. A smooth operating fighting back against George W. Bush and his Republican hacks on congress who are going to single-handedly destroy America. If Bush is elected again, America will not exist in 4 years. He is the most dangerous man in the world.

How long until this story morphs? (5, Funny)

Chairboy (88841) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042596)

River Rouge, MI (AP)- Notorious hacking mastermind Kevin Mitnick has been spotted by Michigan law enforcement teaching people how to circumvent security protocols. His peripheral involvement in a series of bomb threats has been noted by officer Keck and is being investigated.

"...showed me how...hack...phones", said Keck (extraneous text removed for clarity).

Mitnick, known for his evil attacks against such pillars of the community as Sprint and AT&T, may also have been seen eating a puppy. - AP

Mitnick knew the magic hacker words! (4, Insightful)

MikeD83 (529104) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042615)

"Armed with Mitnick's advice, Keck went back to SBC and demanded a "terminating number search" for any calls made to the high school's lines on the dates of the bomb threats."

So really all Kevin did was point out how unhelpful SBC is to law enforcement? SBC could help but wasn't asked in the right way. How is our government expected to tackle matters of national security when the major communications companies are unwilling to help unless you say the "magic words."

Are we sure that this isn't somebody's novel? (3, Insightful)

afeeney (719690) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042635)

Of course, Markoff's book was written to sensationalize hackers and crackers, much the same as Mitnick's is to present hackers as generally benign and himself as a victim of a witchhunt (almost the same way that Cyberpunk protrayed Robert Morris as a victim) and somebody with no heroic aspects, just a venal brutality.

So it's almost too good to be true to see Mitnick in a scenario where he's the hero who saves the innocent villagers but shows no animosity towards the perpetrator, just a good helping of world-weary contempt for somebody who thinks he's an anti-hero (hacker) but isn't. He also, in the same epic tradition, shows respect for the abilities of the man who brought him down in the first place.

the phone company couldn't help? (3, Insightful)

mboedick (543717) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042703)

What did Mitnick do exactly? He told the police what to ask for from the phone company?

I would think if the police went to the phone company and asked them "we need to find out where these calls are coming from", the phone company would know what needs to be done to find out.

I hope everything Mitnick knows is also known by someone at the phone company. It seems the cooperation of the phone company would preclude the necessity of involving an "expert" like Mitnick.

l33t detectivez! (5, Insightful)

mabu (178417) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042710)

The sad part of this is that the detective couldn't figure out what to ask for, or that SBC refused to cooperate fully. I think it's great that Mitnick gets some positive press and furthers the idea of white hat operations, but the more disturbing thing this story illuminates is how totally inept law enforcement is when it comes to tech issues.

The boy didn't even employ anything creative or hacker-like. He just dialed a number on his phone, and the authorities needed an ex-con hacker to help them with this?

I think stories like this call attention to the fact that there is a *desperate* need for more training of law enforcement people in tech issues.

Grumble grumble (3, Informative)

Elwood P Dowd (16933) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042751)

It wasn't the crime of the century, but taking place barely two weeks ahead of the fifth anniversary of the Columbine massacre, the hoaxes unnerved some residents of the Detroit suburb, which boasts a population in the high four digits. "I don't put anything past these kids now days, I really don't," says Keck.
Well, don't put anything past anyone. But it's not "these kids" that we need to worry about, it's people that are complete fucking psychopaths. Eric Harris was hateful and paranoid. So sure, he thought everyone at school was out to get him. He thought everyone everywhere was out to get him. Check out his journals and make up your own mind. [free2host.net] He lied for fun and idolized mass murderers. He wasn't targetting the people he hated specifically, he wanted to kill everyone at the school [tennessean.com] . The only reason they didn't succeed was that they were bad at making bombs, and the bombs didn't go off when they planned. In the cafeteria. At lunch time.

And psychopaths like this always think they're being bullied. That's because they're fucking paranoid and crazy. It's certainly not that kids are inherently paranoid and crazy. Yes, we need to pay more attention to children, but not because they're a threat.

Ugh. I hope that's just the cop mentality speaking. I hope most people don't actually think like that "Keck" guy.

SBC doesn't know its own system??? (4, Insightful)

Sowbug (16204) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042759)

First the detective tries this: "When the detective served a search warrant on SBC Ameritech for the source of the calls, the phone company came up dry."

Then after he talks to Mitnick and gives a more specific request: "This time, SBC tracked the calls as far as cell phone carrier Sprint PCS, and identified the specific trunks on which the calls entered the local phone network."

Why does SBC need the help of an ex-hacker to come up with the right terminology to search its own system for evidence of crime? Do phone companies treat law enforcement with the same dull contempt that they do their regular customers?

I can just imagine: "Thank you for calling SBC Ameritech's search warrant compliance department. Please listen carefully to the following options, as they have recently changed. Press 1 if you are tracking an obscene phone caller. Press 2 if you are tracking a bomber. beep Thank you. Please press 1 if the bomber is threatening a commercial address. Press 2 if the bomber is threatening a residential address. beep...."
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