Kevin Mitnick, who rose to notoriety as one of the world\u2019s first hackers in the 1980s and 1990s, has died. Mitnick, who had suffered from pancreatic cancer for more than a year, passed away on July 16, 2023, according to a news release from his family and colleagues.\n\nMitnick was chief hacking officer and part owner of Clearwater, Florida-based security awareness training company KnowBe4. He also founded his own company, Mitnick Security Consulting.\n\n\u201cKevin was a dear friend to me and many of us here at KnowBe4,\u201d Stu Sjouwerman, the company\u2019s founder and a close friend of Mitnick, said in the release. \u201cHe is truly a luminary in the development of the cybersecurity industry, but mostly, Kevin was just a wonderful human being, and he will be dearly missed.\u201d\n\nMitnick\u2019s hacking career began in 1979 at the age of 16 when he was attending a Los Angeles high school when, on a dare from fellow hackers, he broke into The Ark, the computer system operated by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) for the development of its RSTS\/E operating system. Using social engineering tactics, Mitnick called DEC claiming to be a member of its development team and convinced a system administrator to allow him access.\n\nMitnick was arrested and convicted for theft in 1988 after downloading source-code components of the operating system and sentenced to a year in prison plus three years of supervised release. While still on supervised release, Mitnick hacked into Pacific Bell voicemail computers and fled authorities after a warrant was issued for his arrest for violation of probation.\n\nAfter more than two years as a fugitive and a high-profile FBI search, Mitnick was arrested in Raleigh, North Carolina in 1995 and pled guilty to multiple counts of attacking, damaging, and stealing information from corporate and communications carriers in California, Colorado, and North Carolina.\n\nMitnick served five years in prison. After his release in 2000, he became a security consultant and a much sought-after speaker and commentator on hacking.\n\nMitnick is survived by his wife Kimberley, who is expecting the couple's first child later this year. A memorial will take place in Las Vegas on August 1, 2023, where Mitnick will be buried near his mother and grandmother in a local Jewish cemetery.\n\n\u201cThe details of the memorial will be announced soon, including details to allow for his many friends and colleagues to attend virtually,\u201d the family said.