News

1997-06-27 -- Computer Hacker Kevin Mitnick Sentenced to Prison. Notorious Hacker Gets 22 Months for Illegal Cellular Phone Codes and Violating Supervised Release in Prior Computer Fraud Case. LOS ANGELES, June 27 -- Notorious computer criminal Kevin Mitnick was sentenced today to 22 months in federal prison for possessing illegal cellular phone codes and for breaking the law while on supervised release in relation to his 1989 computer fraud conviction, United States Attorney Nora Manella announced. Mitnick, 33, was sentenced by United States District Judge Mariana R. Pfaelzer. The judge imposed an eight-month sentence for Mitnick's guilty plea to possession of cloned cellular phone codes. The judge also sentenced Mitnick to 14 months in prison for violating the terms of the supervised release Pfaelzer imposed when she sentenced Mitnick in 1989 to one year in prison for his conviction on computer fraud charges. Mitnick pleaded guilty last year to one count of a twenty-three count indictment first brought in North Carolina. That indictment charged possession of numerous fraudulent cellular codes that Mitnick used to illegally access cellular phone networks. According to Assistant United States Attorney Christopher M.E. Painter, Mitnick had more than 100 of these clone cellular phone codes when he was arrested in North Carolina. The 14-month sentence that will run consecutively to the sentence imposed in the North Carolina case arose from Mitnick ignoring conditions of his supervised release in 1992. Painter said Mitnick disobeyed court orders not to engage in further computer hacking or associate with other known hackers. Mitnick violated these orders by breaking into Pacific Bell voice mail computers and listening to confidential messages of security personnel. He also associated with Lewis DePayne, an individual with whom he had previously engaged in computer hacking. As part of his sentence, Judge Pfaelzer ordered Mitnick to spend another three years on supervised release after he completes his prison term. The judge imposed a series of special conditions, including barring Mitnick from possessing any computer equipment, software or cellular phones without the express prior approval of his probation officer. Furthermore, during the period of supervised release, Mitnick will be prohibited from being employed in any capacity in which he would have access to computers, without the probation officer's prior approval. Mitnick has been in custody since February 1995, when he was arrested in North Carolina. Mitnick is currently being detained without bond in relation to a third case. Mitnick faces a twenty-five count indictment returned last year by a grand jury in Los Angeles. The latest indictment alleges computer fraud, wire fraud, interception of wire communications and possession of unauthorized passwords. The charges relate to numerous computer intrusions and the alleged theft of million of dollars of proprietary software during a 2 1/2-year period when Mitnick was a fugitive. Release No. 97-159 U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California Nora M. Manella, United States Attorney 312 North Spring Street, 12th Floor Los Angeles, California 90012 Main Office Number: 213-894-2434 Public Affairs Office: 213-894-6947; fax: 213-894-5377 Thom Mrozek: Public Information Officer [email protected] Archived News Releases/Documents: http://www.usdoj.gov/press.html gopher://gopher.usdoj.gov