Kevin Mitnick has long been viewed as synonymous with computer hacking.
Released from prison in 2000, he served five years in prison for hacking into DEC, Fujitsu, Motorola, NEC, Nokia, and Sun. These days, Mitnick runs a security consultancy firm and was recently hired by the US government.
The Naval Academy said that Mitnick demonstrated that the military's computer security gates can be easily penetrated (even on fully patched systems), that malicious software can pass anti-malware protection systems, and that military personnel could benefit from extra computer security training. In his speech, he suggested that computer training should be taken just as seriously as other training. The conclusion of the Naval Institute?
"All hope is not lost. There’s plenty that can be done to preserve military networks and defend against data leakage both from the outside and from the inside. The weakest part of any computer security strategy is always the user, and we should be putting more emphasis on doing everything we can to strengthen it."
Mitnick's post-prison career path resembles the early stages of Kim Dotcom's - known as Kim Schmitz back then - post-hacking career. Schmitz hacked NASA, Citibank, and the Pentagon using the name Kimble. Following these activities, he began consulting with Germany's DeTeMobil cellular provider and founded a security consulting firm, Data Protect, which he sold before the company went bankrupt in 2001.
Given the fact that the U.S. government once considered Mitnick capable of starting a nuclear war "by whistling into a pay phone," it is interesting to see that it is now listening to his security advice.