Written By Unknown on Friday, April 11, 2008 | 4:41 AM

Kevin Lee Poulsen (born 1965 in Pasadena, California, U.S.) is a former black hat hacker. He is currently a senior editor at Wired News.

Kevin Lee Poulsen

Before segueing into journalism, he had a notorious career in the 1980s as a cracker whose handle was Dark Dante. He worked for SRI International by day, and hacked at night.
During this time, Poulsen taught himself lock picking, and engaged in a brash spree of high-tech stunts that would ultimately make him one of America's best-known cyber-criminals.
Among other things, Poulsen reactivated old Yellow Page escort telephone numbers for an acquaintance that then ran a virtual escort agency.

His best-appreciated hack was a takeover of all of the telephone lines for Los Angeles radio station KIIS-FM, guaranteeing that he would be the 102nd caller, and netting him a Porsche 944 S2.

When the FBI started pursuing Poulsen, he went underground as a fugitive. When he was featured on NBC's Unsolved Mysteries, the show's 1-800 telephone lines mysteriously crashed. He was finally arrested in April 1991.
In June 1994, Poulsen pleaded guilty to seven counts of mail, wire and computer fraud, money laundering, and obstruction of justice, and was sentenced to 51 months in prison and ordered to pay $56,000 in restitution. At the time, it was the longest sentence ever given for cracking. He also pleaded guilty to breaking into computers and obtaining information on undercover businesses run by the FBI.

Poulsen enjoyed brief celebrity in the tech world upon his release from federal prison, and was the subject of the book Watchman: The Twisted Life and Crimes of Serial Hacker Kevin Poulsen, a work which Poulsen himself has decried.
Poulsen has reinvented himself as a journalist since his release from prison, and sought to distance himself from his criminal past. Poulsen served in a number of journalistic capacities at California-based security research firm SecurityFocus, where he began writing security and hacking news in early 2000.
Despite a late arrival to a market saturated with technology media, SecurityFocus News became a well-known name in the tech news world during Poulsen's tenure with the company and was acquired by Symantec. His original investigative reporting was frequently picked up by the mainstream press. Poulsen left SecurityFocus in 2005 to freelance and pursue independent writing projects. He became a senior editor for Wired News in June 2005, which hosts his recent (as of 2006) blog, 27BStroke6, which has since been renamed Threat Level.

In October 2006, Poulsen released information detailing his successful search for registered sex offenders using MySpace to solicit sex from children. His work identified 744 registered persons with MySpace profiles, and led to the arrest of one, Andrew Lubrano.