Kevin Mitnick, a reformed hacker who was once one of the most wanted computer criminals in the United States, died Sunday, according to a statement shared Wednesday by a cybersecurity training company he co-founded and a Las Vegas funeral home. He was 59.

His death was confirmed by Kathy Wattman, a representative for KnowBe4.

The cause was complications from pancreatic cancer. He was treated at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center after his diagnosis more than a year ago, according to the King David Memorial Chapel & Cemetery in Las Vegas.

After serving time for computer crimes, he was released from prison in 2000 and began a new career as a security consultant, writer and public speaker.

Mr. Mitnick was best known for a crime spree during the 1990s that involved the theft of thousands of data files and credit card numbers from computers across the country. He used his skills to worm his way into the nation’s telephone and cell networks, vandalizing government, corporate and university computer systems. Investigators at the time called him the “most wanted” computer hacker in the world.

In 1995, after more than two years of manhunt, Mr. Mitnick was caught by the FBI and charged with the illegal use of a telephone access device and computer fraud. “He allegedly had access to corporate trade secrets worth millions of dollars. He was a very big threat,” Kent Walker, a former assistant U.S. attorney in San Francisco, said at the time.

In 1998, while Mr. Mitnick was awaiting trial, a group of supporters commandeered The New York Times website for several hours, forcing it to shut down.

The next year, Mr. Mitnick pleaded guilty to computer and wire fraud as part of a deal with prosecutors and was sentenced to 46 months in prison. He was also banned from using a computer or mobile phone without the permission of his parole officer for the three years following his release.

Mr. Mitnick grew up in Los Angeles as an only child of divorced parents. He moved often and was something of a loner, studying magic tricks, according to his 2011 memoir “Ghost in the Wires.” By the age of 12, Mr. Mitnick had figured out how to freely ride the bus using a $15 card and blank tickets fished out of a trash can, and in high school, developed an obsession with the inner workings of telephone switches and circuits. companies

Before 17, he tunneled into different corporate computer systems, and later, had his first encounter with the authorities for these activities; the beginning of a decades-long cat-and-mouse game with law enforcement.

In his memoir, Mr. Mitnick disputed many of the allegations against him, including that he hacked into government computer systems.

Mitnick also claimed he ignored the credit card numbers he collected in his search for a code. “Everyone who loves to play chess knows that it is enough to defeat your opponent. You don’t have to plunder his kingdom or seize his possessions to make it worthwhile,” he wrote in his book.

Survivors include Mr. Mitnick’s wife, Kimberley Mitnick, who is pregnant with their first child, according to the obituary.

A complete obituary will be forthcoming.

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