A Happy New Year for hacker Mitnick

Christmas came early for notorious computer saboteur Kevin Mitnick.

A former fugitive from justice who wound up serving a five-year prison term for computer crimes against companies including Sun Microsystems and Motorola, Mitnick is enjoying a midlife renaissance. In a wide-ranging interview, the 39-year-old Mitnick discussed brightened prospects, which include the end of the three-year-long probation that followed his release from prison, the auctioning off of his memorabilia on eBay and the launch of a filmmaking venture with Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey.

Mitnick's holiday gift came courtesy of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which on Monday released a decision that grants Mitnick his ham radio license renewal after a protracted battle.

Ham radio has been a hobby for Mitnick since he was 13 years old. While he now uses it primarily to talk to friends, he credits the hobby with having led to his interest in computer hacking.

"It's...how I first became intoxicated with technology, with figuring out how things worked," Mitnick said on Tuesday. "Ham radio was all about communication but also about building radios. I loved taking things apart and then putting them together."

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News source: c|net

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