Facebook: Will the real Kevin Mitnick please stand up?

Famed hacker Kevin Mitnick is kicked off Facebook for weeks after they refuse to believe he is the real Kevin Mitnick.

In an ironic twist, Kevin Mitnick, a social engineering master who went to jail for impersonating others to get information to access computer networks without authorization, couldn't access his own Facebook account for weeks because administrators at the social networking site didn't believe he was who he said he was.

"It has frustrated me to no end. I used to be very influential at proving I was someone else. And now I can't even prove I'm the real Kevin Mitnick. It's kind of sad," Mitnick said, chuckling in a telephone interview on Monday.

Shortly after the interview, Facebook fixed the problem after being notified by CNET News.

Mitnick, who has been using Facebook for about two years, said he realized there was a problem February 22 when he couldn't access his account. He sent them an e-mail asking what the problem was and was informed that he had violated the site's terms of use by registering with a fake name.

So Mitnick sent them an e-mail from his corporate e-mail account at Mitnick Security Consulting to help prove he was the real Mitnick and not any of the imposters behind the six dozen or so other "Kevin Mitnick" accounts on Facebook.

Facebook's response? They don't accept e-mail from an account other than the one that was used to register at Facebook, which they had already rejected as authentication when they disabled his account. Since then, they had refused to respond to his pleas until Monday.

"I've been going around in circles," Mitnick said. "It's really pissing me off."

Asked for comment, Facebook spokesman Barry Schnitt said: "We are very aggressive in fostering and enforcing our real name culture and sometimes we make mistakes. But it's rare, and it's been fixed."

At least his last name isn't Yoda, Christmas, or Batman.

There are dozens of Facebook accounts with the name "Kevin Mitnick." Facebook

 

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