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Mitnick prepares to take the security stage

The notorious computer hacker is set to speak at a conference on Internet security--his first keynote after challenging the conditions of his parole.

Notorious computer hacker Kevin Mitnick is set to speak at a Los Angeles conference on Internet security--his first keynote after challenging the conditions of his parole in a federal court.

The Sept. 27 conference, given by Massachusetts-based Giga Information Group, is expected to draw 350 to 400 people.

"I'd like to help organizations and entities better understand what risks and vulnerabilities that are out there," Mitnick said in an interview, adding that he hopes to provide insight into the mind-set of hackers and how persistent they can be.

"I intend to inform the audience of risks and get people to think like a hacker," he added.

Mitnick said that although he will not be discussing his own experiences in breaking into computer systems, he plans to talk about ways to minimize security risks and to protect privacy, particularly financial information.

Early this year, Mitnick, 36, was released from a California prison after serving nearly five years for hacking into computer systems of major corporations--including Sun Microsystems, Motorola and Nokia--as well as the University of Southern California.

Under the conditions of Mitnick's parole, he was prohibited from speaking or writing about computer-related topics as well as from using a broad range of devices, including computers, modems, electronic organizers and televisions with network connections.

Last month, however, Mitnick received federal permission to pursue the speaking engagement as well as other computer-related work, such as writing for an online magazine and consulting on computer security.

The conference will focus on how to make e-business applications easily accessible and how to implement and maintain security.

The amount paid to Mitnick for his speaking engagement was undisclosed.