Kevin Mitnick 'not welcome' in the security sector

'Don't phone us, we'll phone you'...
Written by Will Sturgeon, Contributor

'Don't phone us, we'll phone you'...

A top security expert has hit out at claims by convicted hacker Kevin Mitnick that reformed cyber-criminals have a lot to offer the IT security industry. In a latter day reworking of the old 'hire a thief to catch a thief' adage, Mitnick, speaking at last week's RSA security conference in San Francisco, called upon called upon companies to open their doors to former hackers and virus writers, claiming they have the knowledge to safeguard networks against future attacks. Advocating second chances for convicted cyber-criminals, Mitnick said: "I think that it depends on the person - what value they bring. Trust has to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis." However, his words did little to convince Vincent Gullotto, vice president of Network Associates' anti-virus emergency response team (AVERT). Gullotto said: "If Kevin Mitnick turned up my doorstep asking for a job, I'd tell him, 'Sorry, but we don't have any jobs going'. "I don't think he would get a job anywhere in this industry. There is a strong feeling within the anti-virus and security sector that you shouldn't give these people jobs - no matter how reformed they are, or how reformed they say they are." Gullotto's words echo those of Ira Winkler, chief security strategist for Hewlett-Packard who last week said: "How do you explain to your shareholders that you are going to hire someone who has been jailed [for cyber crimes]?"
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