Infamous computer hacker pleads guilty in deal with government
March 26, 1999
LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Notorious computer hacker Kevin Mitnick pleaded guilty Friday to federal charges of wire fraud, computer fraud and interception of wire communications, according to U.S. attorney Christopher Painter.
Once called an "electronic terrorist" by authorities, Mitnick entered the guilty plea as a part of a deal brokered with the U.S. attorney's office. The deal brings an end to the government's nearly two-decade-long case against him.
As part of the deal, Mitnick is forbidden to use computers or cellular phones for a three-year period, unless his parole officer approves it. Any proceeds garnered from the possible sale of his story must be turned over to victims for a seven-year period.
Although Mitnick was sentenced to five years in prison, he will probably be released in about a year due to time already served, Painter said.
Beginning in the mid-1980s, Mitnick infiltrated corporate computers and purloined and made unauthorized copies of proprietary software.
Mitnick's attorney Donald C. Randolph said in a statement, "[Mitnick] is relieved to have achieved a level of certainty in resolving his ongoing situation with the federal government. My client can now see the light at the end of the tunnel and has a reasonable certainty that it is not another train approaching."
A sentencing hearing is set for June 14, at which time fines and retribution for victims will also be decided.
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