Kevin Poulsen was among the most accomplished, multi-talented hackers. He worked for SRI International by day, and hacked at night under the handle “Dark Dante”. He trained to be the complete hacker, and even taught himself lock picking.
Among other things, Poulsen reactivated old Yellow Page escort telephone numbers for an acquaintance that then ran a virtual agency. When the FBI started pursuing Poulsen, he went underground as a fugitive. When he was featured on NBC’s Unsolved Mysteries, the show’s 1-800 telephone lines mysteriously crashed. He was finally arrested in February, 1995.
Poulsen’s best known hack was a takeover of all of the telephone lines for Los Angeles radio station KIIS-FM, guaranteeing that he would be the 102nd caller, and winning a Porsche 944 S2.
In June 1994, Poulsen pleaded guilty to seven counts of mail, wire and computer fraud, money laundering, and obstruction of justice, and was sentenced to 51 months in prison and ordered to pay $56,000 in restitution. It was the longest sentence ever given for hacking up to that time. He also later pleaded guilty to breaking into computers and obtaining information on undercover businesses run by the FBI.
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