This Hacker Managed To Convince Motorola To Give Him The Source Code

Kevin Mitnick was a fugitive hacker, hiding in Colorado back in 1992. He had violated his probation, which was related to some other cyber crimes he had previously committed, by monitoring the voicemails of the authorities that had been investigating him. He was on the run from the police and was certainly one of the most wanted men in the entire United States. But he was certainly the most wanted hacker that they were looking for. He had been living in Denver, using a pseudonym, and he was terrified of government surveillance.

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So, in order to avoid having the government listen and watch to what he was doing, he thought it was a great idea to hack the new Motorola MicroTAC Ultralite phone, which was practically the iPhone X of the 1990s. This way, he could still have a phone and contact people, while avoiding being tracked by the authorities. His entire plan was to change the identifying data on the phone, which can be used to track people, and he even planned to completely turn off the ability for cellphone towers to find and connect to his phone, and that way, give out his location to the police. But, in order to do this, he needed to get the source code of the firmware of the phone. Which was a complicated matter in itself, since he couldn’t just get a phone, hack it, and see the source code.

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He first got a phone, and called direct assistance, so that he could actually get the number for Motorola. After he called the number he got, he received the assistant, and he asked to talk to the project manager of the MicroTAC Ultralite phone. He got transferred a total of eight times until he finally managed to reach the vice president for all of Motorola Mobility. However, during all of those transfers, he managed to learn a bunch of information about how the company worked, including the fact that they had a research center in Arlington Heights, Illinois. He pretended to be a person working there and asked for the project manager, who happened to be on vacation. So he got another number, of a person who was working with the project manager, and convinced her to hand over the entire source code of the firmware of this phone to him, no questions asked. All because he pretended to be one of her coworkers, who was working on the phone.

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