Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 115 / DECEMBER 1989 / PAGE 7

Courts Get Tough on Hackers

In July, Kevin Mitnick received the stiffest sentence ever imposed for hacking: 1 year in prison, six months in psychological counseling, and 2½ years probation.

Mitnick, 25, of Panorama City, California, was convicted of illegally obtaining a software program from Digital Equipment, breaking into the University of Southern California's computer system, and possessing 16 unauthorized MCI long-distance numbers.

While the Mitnick case was ending, the case against Robert Tappan Morris was just beginning. On August 2, the graduate student pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of creating a computer virus that paralyzed as many as 6000 military and university computers last fall. If convicted, Morris could face a five-year sentence and a $250,000 fine. He could also be forced to provide restitution to victims of the virus.