[ISN] How much Damage did Mitnick Do?

From: cult hero (jerichoat_private)
Date: Thu May 06 1999 - 01:05:45 PDT

  • Next message: cult hero: "[ISN] Hackers enter DOE Computers"

    Forwarded From: Erik Parker <netmaskat_private>
    How Much Damage Did Mitnick Do?
    by Douglas Thomas 
    3:00 a.m.  5.May.99.PDT 
    LOS ANGELES -- Companies targeted by notorious cracker Kevin Mitnick claim
    his illegal forays inside their networks cost them nearly US$300 million,
    recently published letters revealed. 
    The estimate, published in 2600: The Hacker Quarterly, represents the
    combined losses of Mitnick's victims, which include NEC, Motorola, Nokia,
    and Sun Microsystems. 
    The figures were based on the "amount of work done to create the material" 
    as well as time spent in research and development, testing, and time lost
    in future development. The figures may have been used by government
    attorneys to calculate wire fraud damages in Mitnick's recent plea
    bargain, according to 2600, which has actively supported Mitnick. 
    Sun estimated its damages at $80 million, the price it paid to acquire
    Solaris -- the Unix-based operating system -- from AT&T in 1994, 2600
    reported. Nokia's damages included development costs as well as $7.5
    million for testing and "$120 million in lost revenue due to new
    developments being delayed in reaching the market." 
    But 2600 said the losses were not reported either to the IRS or to
    shareholders, raising doubts about the actual impact on the companies. 
    Mitnick's attorneys have petitioned to see a breakdown of corporate losses
    and requested instructions from the court for interpreting the
    Mitnick, who will be formally sentenced on 14 June, returns to court next
    week, when the question of damages, as well as his ability to pay them,
    will be considered. 
    Jennifer Grannick, a Bay Area attorney who defends clients charged with
    computer-related crimes, said deciding damages can be a complicated
    matter. In Mitnick's case, the standard of proof is low at the sentencing
    stage, assessment is in the hands of the victims, and the defendant has a
    limited right to discovery. 
    But Grannick says it's a mistake to treat intellectual property as an
    all-or-nothing issue. In spite of the money they invested in the software,
    she said, "the victim companies haven't been deprived of its use or its
    Mitnick, 35, who has already spent four years behind bars, will spend an
    additional year in jail, according to a plea agreement reached in March. 
    He is also prohibited from using a computer upon his release and any
    income he receives as the result of his conviction -- such as book sales
    -- must be turned over to his victims. 
    Four of the five counts to which Mitnick pleaded guilty involved
    impersonating employees for several major cellular phone manufacturing
    companies in order to obtain access to proprietary software. The fifth
    charge, the only computer hacking offense, involved changing data on
    computers at the University of Southern California, which resulted in
    maintenance in excess of $1,000 to close security holes and delete files. 
    Subscribe: mail majordomoat_private with "subscribe isn".
    Today's ISN Sponsor: Hacker News Network [www.hackernews.com]

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Apr 13 2001 - 13:23:00 PDT