Farewell to a Childhood Hero

Written by Paco Pascal, on 19 July 2023.
Tags: #kevin #mitnick

Another one got caught today, it's all over the papers.4 Kevin Mitnick has passed away due to pancreatic cancer. As a teenager that was part of the hacker community, Mitnick was a bundle of inspiration, excitement, and folklore. He inspired many discussions and debates between my friends and peers. As a beloved hero in the hacker community, he inspired curiosity, adventure, and out of the box thinking.

Despite reducing my book count many times, his book The Art of Deception still survives on my shelf. It must be one of my oldest books at this point. Every time I considered discarding it to lighten my load, I couldn't.

I remember rushing to the TV the day he used a computer for the first time since his release from prison. The act was being broadcasted live on TechTV's show "The ScreenSavers". Back then, "The ScreenSavers" would upload clips of the show to their website after it aired. As I was watching it live, I noticed the letterhead with his address slipped into a few frames.

As soon as the show ended, I went to the website to download the clip. The video quality was so low back then. I split the video frame by frame and pieced together his address which I used to track down his telephone number. Thrilled being within a dial's reach of a hacker's hero, I shared the news with my group and began dialing the number –

Damn kids. They're all alike.4