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Mitnick Attack Lab


Kevin Mitnick was probably one of the most famous hackers in the history. In 1994, he successfully launched an attack on Shimomura's computer, by exploiting the vulnerabilities in the TCP protocol and the trusted relationship between two of Shimomura's computers. The attack triggered a dramatic showdown between the two people, and it eventually led to the arrest of Kevin Mitnick. The showdown was turned into books and Hollywood movies later. The attack is now known as the Mitnick attack, which is a special type of TCP session hijacking attack.

The objective of this lab is to recreate the classic Mitnick attack, so students can gain the first-hand experience on such an attack. We will emulate the settings that was originally on Shimomura's computers, and then launch the Mitnick attack to create a forged TCP session between two of Shimomura's computers. If the attack is successful, we should be able to run any command on Shimomura's computer.

Tasks (PDF)

Time (Suggested)

  • Supervised (closely-guided lab session): 2 hours
  • Unsupervised (take-home project): 1 week

SEED Videos

SEED Books (English) (Chinese)

  • Computer & Internet Security: A Hands-on Approach, 2nd edition (§ 16)
  • Internet Security: A Hands-on Approach, 2nd edition (§ 2)
  • Chinese version, 1st edition (§ 13)

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