Friday, August 21, 2009

Hacker Mitnick may sue AT&T over data breach

After having his AT&T wireless account breached and his personal information posted on the Web, famed hacker Kevin Mitnick thought the least the cellular service provider could do was compensate him for his troubles.

Instead, the company informed Mitnick it plans to cancel his contract and not pay damages for the breach, he said. (His service was still working Thursday afternoon.) Now he may sue.

"AT&T wants me off their network because they can't secure my account, and after being a loyal customer for almost a decade I find that reprehensible," he told CNET News on Thursday. "It apparently is more cost effective to drop me than to secure their customer's information."

"My attorney is going to review my contract to see what, if any, restrictions are in my service agreement," he said. "I may file a lawsuit for invasion of privacy for the failure to adequately protect my information."

The irony is that he speculates that whoever is responsible for getting into his account used social engineering to do so. Mitnick spent five years in jail for breaking into computer networks, mostly using social engineering to get information out of insiders that enabled him to access their networks.

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