As the world moves towards the internet connectivity, we remain on tenterhooks of losing our valuable data and money as everything important in the world is now connected to the internet. Hacking is a skill that has the power to literally change the world. Hackers are now affecting election results, making or breaking heroes, creating public opinions and much more. In this article we will talk about the most famous, dangerous and powerful hackers in the world.
Jonathan James started getting fame as a hacker when he was just 15 years old. His internet name was “cOmrade”. James breached into the networks of BellSouth and the Miami-Dade school system. James came on the radar of US authorities when he hacked Defense Threat Reduction Agency, one of the most secret and sensitive institutions in the US national security apparatus. James also hacked NASA’s critical life-sustaining systems, which used to control the temperature and humidity within the living space. NASA had to spend over $41,000 to check and fix its systems after the detection of this breach. James was arrested in 2001. He shot himself to death in 2008.
Kevin Mitnick is a journalist-turned hacker who was arrested in 1997. He was imprisoned for five years. He was the most wanted computer criminal in the US justice department. What did Kevin do? Well, when he was 13, he hacked into the bus system and used free rides for years before getting caught. He also hacked into Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) used for developing their RSTS/E operating system software. He also hacked Pacific Bell voice mail computers. Kevin is now a law abiding citizen, and works as a cybersecurity consultant.
Albert Gonzalez is an American hacker who spearheaded the biggest credit card and ATM data theft (2005-2007). He is currently serving 20 years in prison at the Federal Correctional Institution, Yazoo City, a low security U.S. penitentiary. Albert used the famous SQL injection method to sniff data and transfer people’s money to his accounts. He was arrested in 2008 after the investigation regarding Dave & Buster’s corporate network point of sale hack led the authorities to him. Albert had stolen 5 thousands card numbers and stole a whopping $600,000.
Adrian Lamo is a famous hacker who told the US army with evidence that it was Chelsea Manning who’d leaked secret US documents to the Wikileaks. Lamo also gained a notoriety after hacking famous websites like The New York Times, Yahoo!, and Microsoft. He was arrested in 2003. President Obama dwindled Lamo’s prison time to just seven years from 35 years. Lamo is also known as the “Homeless Hacker” due to his nomadic lifestyle.
Kevin Poulsen is also known as “Dark Dante. He got his fame for hacking into telephone systems. At one point, he hacked a radio station’s phone lines and won a Porsche as a price. He is also known as the “Hannibal Lecter of computer crime.”
Raphael Gray is a 34-year old British hacker, who is also known as the Bill Gates hacker after he hacked the billionaire’s address and sent him Viagra tablets by post. Gray got fame when he hacked credit card information worth of millions over six weeks and then humiliated the law enforcement agencies publicly.
Nahshon Even-Chaim is the first computer hacker to be convicted in Australia. He was a member of the famous computer hacking group, The Realm. Nashon was arrested in early 1990s. Nashon usually targeted critical defense and nuclear weapons research networks, NASA, universities and NGOs.