Kevin Mitnick was hacking when the LulzSec kids were still in training pants. His new book, Ghost in the Wires, recounts his late-20th century tenure as the world’s most notorious hacker, when he broke into the systems of half a dozen high-profile tech companies. The Feds eventually got him, and he served a five-year jail term. We asked the master, now a security consultant, to rate three of today’s most-hyped threats.
- LULZSEC Their tactics are fairly standard, Mitnick says, but the mischief makers who took down CIA.gov have “huge balls.” The tricky part will be avoiding the law. “They threw me in solitary for almost a year,” he says. “Imagine what they’re gonna do to them.”
- STUXNET “Now that is a brilliant piece of work,” Mitnick says of the “delicious piece of code” that sabotaged Iran’s nuclear program. “I used to think the idea of ‘cyber war’ was hyped up.” Then he saw Stuxnet. “This is kind of the foot in the door.”
- ANONYMOUS The group published emails they found on a cybersecurity firm’s server. Mitnick says the “moderately clever” hack isn’t as striking as the habit of the firm’s CEO to use one password for everything. “For an information security company, they really fucked up.”