Kevin Mitnick - Quotes

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Somebody could send you an office document or a PDF file, and as soon as you open it, it's a booby trap and the hacker has complete control of your computer. Another major problem is password management. People use the same password on multiple sites, so when the hacker compromises one site, they have your password for everywhere else. ---->>>

Social engineering is using manipulation, influence and deception to get a person, a trusted insider within an organization, to comply with a request, and the request is usually to release information or to perform some sort of action item that benefits that attacker. ---->>>

People are prone to taking mental shortcuts. They may know that they shouldn't give out certain information, but the fear of not being nice, the fear of appearing ignorant, the fear of a perceived authority figure - all these are triggers, which can be used by a social engineer to convince a person to override established security procedures. ---->>>

Hackers are breaking the systems for profit. Before, it was about intellectual curiosity and pursuit of knowledge and thrill, and now hacking is big business.

Hackers are breaking the systems for profit. Before, it was about intellectual curiosity and pursuit of knowledge and thrill, and now hacking is big business.

To some people I'll always be the bad guy. ---->>>

The hacker mindset doesn't actually see what happens on the other side, to the victim. ---->>>

Think about it: if you were running a multi-million dollar company, and your database of customer information was stolen, would you want to tell your clients? No. Most companies did not until the laws required them to. It's in the best interest of organisations - when they're attacked and information is stolen - to tell nobody. ---->>>

Computer hacking really results in financial losses and hassles. The objectives of terrorist groups are more serious. That is not to say that cyber groups can't access a telephone switch in Manhattan on a day like 9/11, shut it down, and therefore cause more casualties. ---->>>

Hacking is exploiting security controls either in a technical, physical or a human-based element. ---->>>

I'm still a hacker. I get paid for it now. I never received any monetary gain from the hacking I did before. The main difference in what I do now compared to what I did then is that I now do it with authorization. ---->>>

My primary goal of hacking was the intellectual curiosity, the seduction of adventure. ---->>>

It's kind of interesting, because hacking is a skill that could be used for criminal purposes or legitimate purposes, and so even though in the past I was hacking for the curiosity, and the thrill, to get a bite of the forbidden fruit of knowledge, I'm now working in the security field as a public speaker.

It's kind of interesting, because hacking is a skill that could be used for criminal purposes or legitimate purposes, and so even though in the past I was hacking for the curiosity, and the thrill, to get a bite of the forbidden fruit of knowledge, I'm now working in the security field as a public speaker.

Garbage can provide important details for hackers: names, telephone numbers, a company's internal jargon. ---->>>

It's true, I had hacked into a lot of companies, and took copies of the source code to analyze it for security bugs. If I could locate security bugs, I could become better at hacking into their systems. It was all towards becoming a better hacker. ---->>>

It doesn't work the same way everywhere. The Americans are the most gullible, because they don't like to deny co-workers' requests. People in the former Soviet bloc countries are less trusting, perhaps because of their previous experiences with their countries' secret services. ---->>>

I was addicted to hacking, more for the intellectual challenge, the curiosity, the seduction of adventure; not for stealing, or causing damage or writing computer viruses. ---->>>

Hackers are becoming more sophisticated in conjuring up new ways to hijack your system by exploiting technical vulnerabilities or human nature. Don't become the next victim of unscrupulous cyberspace intruders. ---->>>

Companies spend millions of dollars on firewalls, encryption, and secure access devices and it's money wasted because none of these measures address the weakest link in the security chain: the people who use, administer, operate and account for computer systems that contain protected information. ---->>>

For the average home-user, anti-virus software is a must. A personal firewall such as Zone Alarm and running a program like HFNetcheck, which is a free download for personal users. It checks your system to see if anything needs to be patched. I'd also recommend a program such as SpyCop to periodically check for any spyware on your system. ---->>>

The key to social engineering is influencing a person to do something that allows the hacker to gain access to information or your network. ---->>>

Hacking was the only entertainment that would occupy my mind - like a huge video game, but with real consequences. I could have evaded the FBI a lot longer if I had been able to control my passion for hacking. ---->>>

If you go to a coffee shop or at the airport, and you're using open wireless, I would use a VPN service that you could subscribe for 10 bucks a month. Everything is encrypted in an encryption tunnel, so a hacker cannot tamper with your connection. ---->>>

New security loopholes are constantly popping up because of wireless networking. The cat-and-mouse game between hackers and system administrators is still in full swing. ---->>>

I saw myself as an electronic joy rider. ---->>>

The explosion of companies deploying wireless networks insecurely is creating vulnerabilities, as they think it's limited to the office - then they have Johnny Hacker in the parking lot with an 802.11 antenna using the network to send threatening emails to the president! ---->>>

When an attacker fails with one person, they often go to another person. The key is to report the attack to other departments. Workers should know to act like they are going along with what the hacker wants and take copious notes so the company will know what the hacker is trying to find. ---->>>

At the end of the day, my goal was to be the best hacker. ---->>>

As a young boy, I was taught in high school that hacking was cool.

As a young boy, I was taught in high school that hacking was cool.

I think it goes back to my high school days. In computer class, the first assignment was to write a program to print the first 100 Fibonacci numbers. Instead, I wrote a program that would steal passwords of students. My teacher gave me an A.

I think it goes back to my high school days. In computer class, the first assignment was to write a program to print the first 100 Fibonacci numbers. Instead, I wrote a program that would steal passwords of students. My teacher gave me an A.

Social engineering is using deception, manipulation and influence to convince a human who has access to a computer system to do something, like click on an attachment in an e-mail. ---->>>

I went from being a kid who loved to perform magic tricks to becoming the world's most notorious hacker, feared by corporations and the government. ---->>>

My actions constituted pure hacking that resulted in relatively trivial expenses for the companies involved, despite the government's false claims. ---->>>

I made stupid decisions as a kid, or as a young adult, but I'm trying to be now, I'm trying to take this lemon and make lemonade. ---->>>

I love solving puzzles, I love finding my way around obstacles, and I love learning new things about technology.

I love solving puzzles, I love finding my way around obstacles, and I love learning new things about technology.

My argument is not that I shouldn't have been punished, but that the punishment didn't fit the crime. ---->>>

Should we fear hackers? Intention is at the heart of this discussion. ---->>>

The hacking trend has definitely turned criminal because of e-commerce. ---->>>

A company can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on firewalls, intrusion detection systems and encryption and other security technologies, but if an attacker can call one trusted person within the company, and that person complies, and if the attacker gets in, then all that money spent on technology is essentially wasted.

A company can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on firewalls, intrusion detection systems and encryption and other security technologies, but if an attacker can call one trusted person within the company, and that person complies, and if the attacker gets in, then all that money spent on technology is essentially wasted.

It's actually a smarter crime because imagine if you rob a bank, or you're dealing drugs. If you get caught you're going to spend a lot of time in custody. But with hacking, it's much easier to commit the crime and the risk of punishment is slim to none. ---->>>

Security is always going to be a cat and mouse game because there'll be people out there that are hunting for the zero day award, you have people that don't have configuration management, don't have vulnerability management, don't have patch management. ---->>>

I could have evaded the FBI a lot longer if I had been able to control my passion for hacking. ---->>>

Some people think technology has the answers. ---->>>

A hacker doesn't deliberately destroy data or profit from his activities. ---->>>

Phone phreaking is a type of hacking that allows you to explore the telephone network by exploiting the phone systems and phone company employees. ---->>>

I get hired by companies to hack into their systems and break into their physical facilities to find security holes. Our success rate is 100%; we've always found a hole. ---->>>

You can never protect yourself 100%. What you do is protect yourself as much as possible and mitigate risk to an acceptable degree. You can never remove all risk. ---->>>

I characterize myself as a retired hacker. I'm applying what I know to improve security at companies. ---->>>

I don't know of any case that involves computer hacking where there were multiple defendants charged where there wasn't an informant on the case. ---->>>

I keep my stuff updated all the time. Being in the security industry, I keep up to date with securities. ---->>>

I wasn't a hacker for the money, and it wasn't to cause damage. ---->>>

Oracle, for example, has even hired people to dumpster dive for information about its competitor, Microsoft. It's not even illegal, because trash isn't covered by data secrecy laws. ---->>>

Are hackers a threat? The degree of threat presented by any conduct, whether legal or illegal, depends on the actions and intent of the individual and the harm they cause.

Are hackers a threat? The degree of threat presented by any conduct, whether legal or illegal, depends on the actions and intent of the individual and the harm they cause.

I think a cyber-terrorism attack is overblown, though the threat exists. I think al Qaeda and other groups are more interested in symbolic terrorism, like what they did to the World Trade Center - suicide bombers or something that really has an effect and is meaningful to people. ---->>>

I use Mac. Not because it's more secure than everything else - because it is actually less secure than Windows - but I use it because it is still under the radar. People who write malicious code want the greatest return on their investment, so they target Windows systems. I still work with Windows in virtual machines. ---->>>

Back up everything! You are not invulnerable. Catastrophic data loss can happen to you - one worm or Trojan is all it takes. ---->>>

For the average home-user, anti-virus software is a must. ---->>>

I was an accomplished computer trespasser. I don't consider myself a thief. I copied without permission. ---->>>

I was fascinated with the phone system and how it worked; I became a hacker to get better control over the phone company. ---->>>

I'm not a fugitive anymore. Never will be in the future. After spending five years in jail, you learn your lesson. I never want to return there. ---->>>

What I found personally to be true was that it's easier to manipulate people rather than technology. ---->>>

I can go into LinkedIn and search for network engineers and come up with a list of great spear-phishing targets because they usually have administrator rights over the network. Then I go onto Twitter or Facebook and trick them into doing something, and I have privileged access. ---->>>

I got so passionate about technology. Hacking to me was like a video game. It was about getting trophies. I just kept going on and on, despite all the trouble I was getting into, because I was hooked. ---->>>

The best thing to do is always keep randomly generated passwords everywhere and use a password tool to manage it, and then you don't have to remember those passwords at all, just the master password that unlocks the database. ---->>>

Then again, my case was all about the misappropriation of source code because I wanted to become the best hacker in the world and I enjoyed beating the security mechanisms. ---->>>

Penetrating a company's security often starts with the bad guy obtaining some piece of information that seems so innocent, so everyday and unimportant, that most people in the organization don't see any reason why the item should be protected and restricted. ---->>>

The government does things like insisting that all encryption programs should have a back door. But surely no one is stupid enough to think the terrorists are going to use encryption systems with a back door. The terrorists will simply hire a programmer to come up with a secure encryption scheme. ---->>>

The Patriot Act is ludicrous. Terrorists have proved that they are interested in total genocide, not subtle little hacks of the U.S. infrastructure, yet the government wants a blank search warrant to spy and snoop on everyone's communications. ---->>>

Any type of operating system that I wanted to be able to hack, I basically compromised the source code, copied it over to the university because I didn't have enough space on my 200 megabyte hard drive. ---->>>

Both social engineering and technical attacks played a big part in what I was able to do. It was a hybrid. I used social engineering when it was appropriate, and exploited technical vulnerabilities when it was appropriate. ---->>>

Businesses should absolutely set aside funding in their budgets for security consultants. Unless there is an expert on staff, and there usually is not, it needs to be outsourced. ---->>>

I don't condone anyone causing damage in my name, or doing anything malicious in support of my plight. There are more productive ways to help me. As a hacker myself, I never intentionally damaged anything. ---->>>

My hacking was all about becoming the best at circumventing security. So when I was a fugitive, I worked systems administrator jobs to make money. I wasn't stealing money or using other people's credit cards. I was doing a 9-to-5 job. ---->>>

I could pose as a Yahoo rep claiming that there's been some sort of fault, and somebody else is getting your e-mail, and we're going to have to remove your account and reinstall it. So what we'll do is reset the current password that you have - and by the way, what is it? ---->>>

If hackers, if anyone committing a criminal act, wants to reduce their risk, they obviously don't involve anybody else. The greater the circle of people that know what you're doing, the higher the risk. ---->>>

Most of the computer compromises that we hear about use a technique called spear phishing, which allows an attacker access to a key person's workstation. It's extremely difficult to defend against. ---->>>

Most people assume that once security software is installed, they're protected. This isn't the case. It's critical that companies be proactive in thinking about security on a long-term basis. ---->>>

One of my all-time favorite pranks was gaining unauthorized access to the telephone switch and changing the class of service of a fellow phone phreak. When he'd attempt to make a call from home, he'd get a message telling him to deposit a dime, because the telephone company switch received input that indicated he was calling from a pay phone. ---->>>

So what I was essentially doing was, I compromised the confidentiality of their proprietary software to advance my agenda of becoming the best at breaking through the lock. ---->>>

All they need to do is to set up some website somewhere selling some bogus product at twenty percent of the normal market prices and people are going to be tricked into providing their credit card numbers. ---->>>

Choosing a hard-to-guess, but easy-to-remember password is important! ---->>>

I have done a lot to rehabilitate my reputation. ---->>>

Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs founded Apple Inc, which set the computing world on its ear with the Macintosh in 1984.

Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs founded Apple Inc, which set the computing world on its ear with the Macintosh in 1984.

When somebody asks for a favor involving information, if you don't know him or can't verify his identity, just say no. ---->>>

A log-in simulator is a program to trick some unknowing user into providing their user name and password. ---->>>

Anything out there is vulnerable to attack given enough time and resources. ---->>>

Back in my day, I would probe by hand. Now you can get commercial software that does the job for you. ---->>>

I did get a huge endorphin rush when I was able to crack a system because it was like a video game. ---->>>

I saw myself as an electronic joy rider. I was like James Bond behind the computer. I was just having a blast. ---->>>

I was an accomplished computer trespasser. I don't consider myself a thief. ---->>>

I was hooked in before hacking was even illegal. ---->>>

No company that I ever hacked into reported any damages, which they were required to do for significant losses. ---->>>

Not being allowed to use the Internet is kind of like not being allowed to use a telephone. ---->>>

Once when I was a fugitive, I was working for a law firm in Denver. ---->>>

The Internet is like the phone. To be without it is ridiculous. ---->>>

We have problems with our physical security, operational security through to management. ---->>>

But a lot of businesses out there don't see the return on investment, they look at it as a liability, and until they can understand that proactive security actually returns, gives them a return on investment, it's still a hard sell for people. ---->>>

It was used for decades to describe talented computer enthusiasts, people whose skill at using computers to solve technical problems and puzzles was - and is - respected and admired by others possessing similar technical skills. ---->>>

I believe in having each device secured and monitoring each device, rather than just monitoring holistically on the network, and then responding in short enough time for damage control. ---->>>

What happens with smaller businesses is that they give in to the misconception that their site is secure because the system administrator deployed standard security products - firewalls, intrusion detection systems, or stronger authentication devices such as time-based tokens or biometric smart cards. But those things can be exploited. ---->>>

I use Spam Arrest because of the amount of junk mail I get. Any legitimate person who wants to send me a message has to jump through hoops before they can be added to my opt-in list. ---->>>

My hacking involved pretty much exploring computer systems and obtaining access to the source code of telecommunication systems and computer operating systems, because my goal was to learn all I can about security vulnerabilities within these systems. ---->>>

A lot of companies are clueless, because they spend most or all of their security budget on high-tech security like fire walls and biometric authentication - which are important and needed - but then they don't train their people. ---->>>

I started with CB radio, ham radio, and eventually went into computers. And I was just fascinated with it. And back then, when I was in school, computer hacking was encouraged. It was an encouraged activity. In fact, I remember one of the projects my teacher gave me was writing a log-in simulator. ---->>>

I trust online banking. You know why? Because if somebody hacks into my account and defrauds my credit card company, or my online bank account, guess who takes the loss? The bank, not me. ---->>>

To have transactions made on your web site via credit card, you must be PCI compliant. Businesses make the mistake of thinking that because you passed the requirements and are PCI certified, you are immune to attacks. ---->>>

Being on the run wasn't fun, but it was something I had to do. I was actually working in legitimate jobs. I wasn't living on people's credit cards. I was living like a character out of a movie. It was performance art. ---->>>

I don't know the capabilities of our enemies. But I found it quite easy to circumvent security at certain phone companies throughout the United States. So if an inquisitive kid can do it, why can't a cyberterrorist do it? ---->>>

Protecting yourself is very challenging in the hostile environment of the Internet. Imagine a global environment where an unscrupulous person from the other side of the planet can probe your computer for weaknesses and exploit them to gain access to your most sensitive secrets. ---->>>

The perfect PIN is not four digits and not associated with your life, like an old telephone number. It's something easy for you to remember and hard for other people to guess. ---->>>

Our Constitution requires that the accused be presumed innocent before trial, thus granting all citizens the right to a bail hearing, where the accused has the opportunity to be represented by counsel, present evidence, and cross-examine witnesses. ---->>>

I get hired to hack into computers now and sometimes it's actually easier than it was years ago. ---->>>

I happen to be notorious. That, I have no control over. ---->>>

I was pretty much the government's poster boy for what I had done. ---->>>

Nine out of every 10 large corporations and government agencies have been attacked by computer intruders. ---->>>

Usually companies hire me, and they know full well who I am, and that's one of the reasons they want to hire me. ---->>>

Of course I'm sure half the people there hate me and half the people like me. ---->>>

So the ethic I was taught in school resulted in the path I chose in my life following school. ---->>>

The myth of Kevin Mitnick is much more interesting than the reality of Kevin Mitnick. If they told the reality, no one would care. ---->>>

I think malware is a significant threat because the mitigation, like antivirus software, hasn't evolved to a point to really mitigate the risk to a reasonable degree. ---->>>

I'm an expert witness in a case that's in appeal about a guy who allegedly misappropriated source code from a major, major company - he actually worked there and then apparently they found it on his laptop later. ---->>>

A lot of individuals out there carry a lot of proprietary information on their mobile devices, and they're not protected. It's a very target-rich environment. ---->>>

No company that I ever hacked into reported any damages, which they were required to do for significant losses. Sun didn't stop using Solaris and DEC didn't stop using VMS. ---->>>

There's a feature on Facebook where you can enable security that checks the device you're coming from. By default these features are likely off, but as a consumer, you can enable them. ---->>>

For a long time, I was portrayed as the Osama bin Laden of the Internet, and I really wanted to be able to tell my side of the story. I wanted to be able to explain exactly what I did and what I didn't do to people who thought they knew me. ---->>>

If I needed to know about a security exploit, I preferred to get the information by accessing the companies' security teams' files, rather than poring over lines of code to find it on my own. It's just more efficient. ---->>>

No way, no how did I break into NORAD. That's a complete myth. And I never attempted to access anything considered to be classified government systems. ---->>>

Sometimes I get a call from my bank, and the first thing they ask is, 'Mr. Mitnick, may I get your account number?' And I'll say, 'You called me! I'm not giving you my account number!' ---->>>

The first programming assignment I had in high school was to find the first 100 Fibonacci numbers. Instead, I thought it would be cooler to write a program to get the teacher's password and all the other students' passwords. And the teacher gave me an A and told the class how smart I was.

The first programming assignment I had in high school was to find the first 100 Fibonacci numbers. Instead, I thought it would be cooler to write a program to get the teacher's password and all the other students' passwords. And the teacher gave me an A and told the class how smart I was.

Use a personal firewall. Configure it to prevent other computers, networks and sites from connecting to you, and specify which programs are allowed to connect to the net automatically.

Use a personal firewall. Configure it to prevent other computers, networks and sites from connecting to you, and specify which programs are allowed to connect to the net automatically.

When I read about myself in the media, even I don't recognize me. The myth of Kevin Mitnick is much more interesting than the reality of Kevin Mitnick. If they told the reality, no one would care. ---->>>

Biography

Nationality: American
Born: 08-06, 1963
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California
Die:
Occupation: Businessman

Kevin David Mitnick (born August 6, 1963) is an American computer security consultant, author and hacker, best known for his high-profile 1995 arrest and later five years in prison for various computer and communications-related crimes. Mitnick's pursuit, arrest, trial, and sentence along with the associated journalism, books and films were all controversial (wikipedia)