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AT&T Tells Hacker to Find Cell Service Elsewhere

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 28 comments

AT&T has reportedly told celebrity hacker Kevin Mitnick that the company can no longer offer him cell phone service because of the inordinate amount of attacks on his cell phone account.

The Register last night published a lengthy article on the issues Mitnick is facing with his phone company and web hosting firm. Mitnick claims both AT&T and HostedHere.net, both of which have told Mitnick that they no longer want his business.

According to the Reg, Mitnick recently hired a lawyer to complain that his privacy was being invaded by people posting his account information - including the last four digits of his SSN, his address, the password he uses to log into his account online and both his cell and home phone numbers - in public hacking forums.

"They can't seem to secure my account," Mitnick said. "And then instead of doing something about it, they try to kill the messenger and want to boot me off their network when all I want them to do is to secure my account so no one gets access to my phone records."

David Wykofka, IT director at HostedHere said that Kevin is a "high profile target," explaining the company's decision to ask Mitnick to leave. "When vulnerabilities come out in third-party vendor software, he is one of the first targets on their list. This is just one of the perils of being Kevin Mitnick. If you're Barack Obama, you don't get webhosting at GoDaddy."

Read the full story here.

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Top Comments
  • 41 Hide
    pullmyfinger123 , August 20, 2009 4:49 PM
    anyone see the irony that a hacker is complaining about his privacy being invaded?
  • 28 Hide
    cruiseoveride , August 20, 2009 4:43 PM
    So basically any AT&T customer is not safe
  • 17 Hide
    hellwig , August 20, 2009 5:25 PM
    NivaIt's like a bodyguard not doing the job he was hired for because the opposition looks too tough.

    No no no. The average person hires a body guard to protect them from potential danger from an unknown individual. Mitnick hires a bodyguard because he happens to know the entire army of Uzbeckistan is after him. At some point, the body guard just says "look, if you are going to piss off foreign militaries, you better have your own military to back you up."

    Most bodyguards are just there to look intimidating. Most won't die for a client that paid them $500 for the night, its just not worth it. You want real protection, you have to pay for it. Mitnick has chosen a path in life that attracts many enemies, he needs to be responsible for his own security.

    This would be like buying a winter jacket at Lands End, then complaining that it doesn't stop bullets. I don't recall AT&T and HostedHere ever promising they could stop legions of hackers all trying to make a name for themselves just because some jackass ex-hacker pays for cell phone service and basic web hosting.
Other Comments
  • 28 Hide
    cruiseoveride , August 20, 2009 4:43 PM
    So basically any AT&T customer is not safe
  • 41 Hide
    pullmyfinger123 , August 20, 2009 4:49 PM
    anyone see the irony that a hacker is complaining about his privacy being invaded?
  • 9 Hide
    Niva , August 20, 2009 4:57 PM
    The truth is that nobody's safe, Mitnick has made himself a target simply by notoriety. I do think his claims are legit though in the sense that these companies claim to offer secure services. Rather than attempt to live up to their promises they're cutting their ties with him. It's like a bodyguard not doing the job he was hired for because the opposition looks too tough. Rather cowardly move on their part, but can one really blame them other than the ethical aspects of the situation? Those companies have to make money and maintaining this security is simply too expensive for them.

    Unfortunately, this could happen to anyone who becomes a target, so don't rejoice in the irony of it because it could happen to you too.
  • 14 Hide
    tenor77 , August 20, 2009 5:03 PM
    mlopinto2k1I still don't know who Kevin Mitnick is. Anyway, get a life, Kevin!


    Epic fail on reading the article
  • 17 Hide
    hellwig , August 20, 2009 5:25 PM
    NivaIt's like a bodyguard not doing the job he was hired for because the opposition looks too tough.

    No no no. The average person hires a body guard to protect them from potential danger from an unknown individual. Mitnick hires a bodyguard because he happens to know the entire army of Uzbeckistan is after him. At some point, the body guard just says "look, if you are going to piss off foreign militaries, you better have your own military to back you up."

    Most bodyguards are just there to look intimidating. Most won't die for a client that paid them $500 for the night, its just not worth it. You want real protection, you have to pay for it. Mitnick has chosen a path in life that attracts many enemies, he needs to be responsible for his own security.

    This would be like buying a winter jacket at Lands End, then complaining that it doesn't stop bullets. I don't recall AT&T and HostedHere ever promising they could stop legions of hackers all trying to make a name for themselves just because some jackass ex-hacker pays for cell phone service and basic web hosting.
  • 13 Hide
    jellico , August 20, 2009 5:27 PM
    Oh brother. He should know he'll always have a huge target on his back. This is a simple problem to solve, too. Just use someone else (and not a family member with the same last name) to setup his mobile account in their name. Or, better yet for people like him, purchase a pre-paid cell phone with cash, and likewise buy the time cards with cash.

    But instead he's whining like a punk and hiring lawyers?! And this guy used to be "the most dangerous hacker in America"? How the mighty have fallen.
  • 7 Hide
    Platypus , August 20, 2009 5:35 PM
    Nivadon't rejoice in the irony of it because it could happen to you too.

    I think you're missing the definition of "irony." It's slightly ironic that a hacker is getting hacked, but it's extremely ironic that this hacker is complaining about being unable to protect his information.

    If this happened to me, it wouldn't really be ironic because I am not a hacker. I'd just be another number.
  • -1 Hide
    Dax corrin , August 20, 2009 6:19 PM
    I cant wait till that freaking self-expanding gate.com ad goes away forever. If I want to know more, I'll expand it myself. I know one thig for sure, I won't buy any services they provide now for sure.
  • 0 Hide
    Greg_77 , August 20, 2009 6:50 PM
    As a notorious ex-hacker who hacked cellular service company servers, he really shouldn't be complaining to a cellular service company....
  • -2 Hide
    socrates047 , August 20, 2009 7:34 PM
    i love how tom's readers are so analytical. Really awesome stuff. it makes me feel smarter just being on this website!
  • 3 Hide
    grieve , August 20, 2009 7:40 PM
    jellicoOr, better yet for people like him, purchase a pre-paid cell phone with cash, and likewise buy the time cards with cash.But instead he's whining like a punk and hiring lawyers?! And this guy used to be "the most dangerous hacker in America"? How the mighty have fallen.


    No doubt!

    As you mentioned a pre-paid cell would solve this instantly. I think he has choosen this route for another reason.... Only Mitnik knows.
  • 0 Hide
    Major7up , August 20, 2009 7:44 PM
    tenor77Epic fail on reading the article

    Agreed.
  • 4 Hide
    nun , August 20, 2009 7:47 PM
    nice job at&t for telling us your network isn't safe
  • 1 Hide
    jab416171 , August 20, 2009 8:18 PM
    Quote:
    If you're Barack Obama, you don't get webhosting at GoDaddy.

    Ouch, what's with the godaddy shun?
  • 0 Hide
    hemelskonijn , August 20, 2009 10:14 PM
    Big kevin should contact me so i could fix him up with premium services.
    No one can guarantee that his account wont be hacked and or abused but at least i can guarantee that i kick any paying customer just because i might get ddos'd more.
    At least when he hires one of my dedicated or virtual boxes i might actually have something to do during office hours other then playing world of warcraft and getting fancy lunches for potential clients.
  • 0 Hide
    hemelskonijn , August 20, 2009 10:15 PM
    Oops that i wont kick any paying customer ... typo late at night
  • 0 Hide
    LORD_ORION , August 20, 2009 11:19 PM
    Heh, clearly someone is leaking his info from inside the company... how could someone get his account info without that happening? He has a pretty valid point though, regardless of how much of a high profile target he is... AT&T can't protect your info, and obviously they don't give a damn or they would do something about it.
  • 0 Hide
    okibrian , August 20, 2009 11:45 PM
    pullmyfinger123anyone see the irony that a hacker is complaining about his privacy being invaded?

    Right! I guess it is true that what goes around comes aroound.
  • -2 Hide
    Robert17 , August 20, 2009 11:53 PM
    Perhaps, just perhaps, there's no real need for him to have a phone of any kind. With as many people wanting a piece of him as alluded to, you'd think he'd prefer being a hermit. Even his physical USPS mailbox must be jammed with hate/spam mail. Get rid of it too.
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