In 1987, Kevin Mitnick left his illegal activities behind. He was under probation following his last sentence, so he could not afford any transgressions. However, he would soon use his skills again for shady activities.
One evening, along with his fiend Lenny DiCicco, Mitnick gained access to the internal network of the research laboratory at Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC). This intrusion was not complicated for Mitnick, because DiCicco was an employee of the laboratory in question and served as an accomplice. EasyNet, DEC's internal network, did not withstand the hacker's attacks for long, and he quickly gained access to the whole system.
An Attack Carried Out with an Accomplice
As in his previous attacks, the intrusion was quickly discovered, but this time Mitnick had anticipated it. He scrambled the origin of the calls, rendering all attempts to trace him useless. And this time he was not infiltrating the network because of simple curiosity or as a challenge: he had a definite goal. He wanted to seize the source code of the VMS operating system, used by DEC on its VAX computers.
Our hacker had taken all precautions, but neglected one: his own friend. Mitnick loves games and practical jokes, so one day he called Lenny DiCicco's employer posing as a government agent. He said an employee (DiCicco) was in trouble with the IRS. This joke was not appreciated by DiCicco, who decided to get revenge in his own way.
DiCicco betrayed Mitnick, informing his employer about the latter's activities in the company network. He then contacted the FBI, telling them he could deliver the hacker that was regularly infiltrating the laboratory network. It was during a rendezvous that Mitnick fell for the trap set up by his friend, who was accompanied by two FBI agents for the arrest.
The case proceeded quickly, with DEC accusing the hacker of data theft and having cost the company upwards of $200,000 in security measures. He was sentenced to a year in prison, and had to enter a six-month program to treat his computer dependency.
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