Kevin Mitnick Dies From Pancreatic Cancer at 59

Tragic news from King David Memorial Chapel and Cemetery in Las Vegas:

Kevin David Mitnick, 59, died peacefully on Sunday, July 16, 2023, after valiantly battling pancreatic cancer for more than a year. Kevin is survived by his beloved wife, Kimberley Mitnick, who remained by his side throughout their 14-month ordeal. Kimberley is pregnant with their first child. Kevin was ecstatic about this new chapter in his and Kimberley’s life together, which has now been sadly cut short.

All cancers can go fuck themselves, but man, pancreatic cancer has taken so many people of late: Alex Trebek, Pixar animator Ralph Eggleston, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and of course Steve Jobs. Also: Jef Raskin and Randy Pausch (“The Last Lecture” professor).

Just brutal to hear that Mitnick’s wife is pregnant.

Kevin emerged from his final prison term, which he deemed a “vacation”, in January 2000. He was a changed individual, and began constructing a new career, as a White Hat hacker and security consultant. He became a highly sought-after global public speaker, a writer, and established the successful Mitnick Security Consulting. In November 2011, he became the Chief Hacking Officer and part owner of security awareness training company KnowBe4, founded by close friend and business partner Stu Sjouwerman.

Kevin attracted attention and support from unlikely sources. The bus driver who saw young Kevin memorize the bus schedules, punch cards and punch tool systems so he could ride the buses all day for free testified as a character witness for Kevin during his federal trial. The federal prosecutor offered his testimony that Kevin never tried to take one dime from any of his “victims”. The probation officer assigned to monitor Kevin after prison gave Kevin permission to write his first book on a laptop when he was not yet supposed to have access to computers. Shawn Nunley, the star witness in the FBI’s case against Kevin, became so disillusioned with the government’s treatment of Kevin that he contacted Kevin’s defense team, helped garner Kevin’s release, and became one of Kevin’s dearest friends. Kevin had an irresistible way of converting foes to friends and keeping them as friends forever.

Mitnick was technically gifted, but his greatest hacking skill was social engineering.

Thursday, 20 July 2023