Renowned Hacker Turned Cybersecurity Consultant Kevin Mitnick Dies at 59

In a sad turn of events, Kevin Mitnick, a once notorious hacker and former FBI “most wanted” cybercriminal, passed away at the age of 59 after battling pancreatic cancer for 14 months.

Mitnick’s journey was nothing short of extraordinary. From growing up with brilliance and mischief in the San Fernando Valley to becoming a skilled hacker, his life seemed like a fiction story.

In the 1990s, he gained notoriety for breaking into government and corporate networks, stealing credit card information and corporate data, which earned him the title of the “most wanted” computer hacker by investigators.

A nationwide two-year-long FBI manhunt finally led to his arrest in 1995, resulting in charges of computer and wire fraud. Mitnick eventually served five years in prison. However, upon his release in 2000, he transformed himself into a “white hat” hacker—a cybersecurity consultant and author.

In his memoir “Ghost in the Wires,” Mitnick denied using his skills for financial gain and emphasized that his hacking prowess was enough to defeat opponents, much like in a game of chess.

Kevin’s wife remembers him in the following tweet:

Following his release, Mitnick founded Mitnick Security Consulting, advising Fortune 500 companies and government agencies on cybersecurity. He also became the “chief hacking officer” and part owner of KnowBe4, a company specializing in phishing security awareness training.

Mitnick’s transformation from a hacker to a respected cybersecurity expert was remarkable. He was known for his intelligence, humor, and extraordinary technology skills, making him a pioneer in the field of ethical hacking. His legacy as the world’s most famous hacker will live on, and his contributions to cybersecurity will continue to be remembered.

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