10 most dangerous hackers in the world

Jeremy Hammond of Chicago is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence for breaking into the email of intelligence agency Stratfor and other organizations that have collaborated with the US government. The extracted data was published on the WikiLeaks website. This is not Hammond’s first term and far from his first arrest: in 2006, Jeremy was sentenced to two years in prison for hacking a computer of a conservative political organization — together with general information, 5, 000 credit card numbers were stolen (although the money, according to Hammond, was not spent ) Previously, a young and talented hacker was repeatedly arrested for disorderly conduct as part of a public rally - during a gay parade (having fought with protesters against the procession), at a rally against the Republican Party Congress, a student rally in Chicago, at a rally against the National Socialist Movement, against Chicago’s bid to host the Olympic Games, etc. In general, the young man combines talents in computer security with an active civic stance and disregard for the law.

Kevin Poulsen, aka Dark Dante, is an honorary retired hacker. A dangerous and mysterious cracker specializing in telephone lines. Among his most famous cases is hacking the telephone lines of the popular KIIS-FM radio station in Los Angeles, thanks to which Poulsen “won” Porshe and other prizes that were raffled on the air. Deciding not to be limited to petty scam, Dark Dante began to use his abilities for good purposes. For example, he tracked and identified MySpace users who searched online for child porn. Soon Poulsen raised the bar: he entered the FBI database, gaining access to secret information about telephone wiretapping. Naturally, the American authorities didn’t really like it, and Kevin Poulsen was caught and sentenced to 5 years. After serving a prison term, the famous hacker turned into an ordinary resident. Today he works as the chief editor of Wired News magazine, where he periodically writes about his past hacking exploits.

Jonathan Joseph James. His fate was not as rosy as the previous heroes. Jonathan made history as the first juvenile hacker to go to jail for breaking sensitive data. At the time of the crime, he was only 15 years old. Jonathan Joseph James was not exchanged for small coins: he penetrated the holy of holies of the Agency for the Reduction of Military Threats under the jurisdiction of the US Department of Defense, and in 1999 attacked NASA databases. The latter led to a major scandal. So, NASA spent $ 1.7 million on software that the young Jonathan managed to kidnap. According to the hacker, the program code did not cost that much money. After serving his sentence, he began to lead a lifestyle of a law-abiding citizen. And in 2007, his name was associated with a wave of hacks by TJX (the stolen data related to customers' credit cards). Denying his involvement, Jonathan Joseph James shot himself at the age of 24.

Operation Aurora was carried out by a group of hackers in 2009. The object of computer geniuses was 34 companies, including Google and Yahoo! Experts in the field of computer security suggest that a series of hacks involved a group of cyber spies, which in English sources was named Elderwood Gang. It is believed that Elderwood Gang is based in Shanghai and is closely linked to the so-called 61398 unit of the People's Liberation Army of China (PLA), which is responsible for operations in the field of computer networks. Google was the first company to publicly announce the theft of their intellectual property, not afraid to demonstrate their vulnerability. Despite the fact that Gmail user accounts were also hacked (and personal data of private individuals stolen), the main goal of the hackers was still the source code of Internet giants. After that, Google left China. And why do we have instead of first and last names only the name of the operation? Because the identities of hackers have not yet been established.

Adrian Lamo, nicknamed "homeless hacker" - he earned that name because he performed his main hacking exploits using a public Internet connection in cafes, libraries, hostels and other public places. Adrian Lamo was known as a person with a complex character. In 2004, he was convicted and sentenced to six months of house arrest and two years of probation for hacking the NY Times. Having penetrated their network, he added himself to the expert database of the prestigious publication. Among the victims of Adrian Lamo's hacker attacks are Yahoo !, Bank of America and other large and reputable companies. Often, Lamo, finding a weak spot in the security of a particular system, hacked it and informed the company about it - so that they knew where and what was the mistake. For such noble gestures, there are completely legitimate schemes of cooperation: however, they do not bring such loud fame. Today, Lamo gives lectures, writes articles and advises on security issues.

Robert Teppan Morris is the patriarch of hacking. After graduating from Harvard University in 1987, Morris developed the idea of ​​a worm as a tool when working with arrays. But for this innocent purpose, the Morris Worm was too dangerous. Deadly dangerous. The worm selected passwords for accounts and in 1988 paralyzed the work of 6 thousand computers in the United States. A year later, Robert Tappan Morris became the first person to be accused of computer fraud. After the term of probation, the performance of community service and the payment of a fine, Morris returned to scientific activity, and today his lectures can be heard at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Cody Kretsinger, a member of the hacker group LulzSec, pleaded guilty to hacking Sony Playstation in 2011. Kretsinger gained access to the personal data of 77 million users, because of his attack, Sony Playstation was forced to suspend the network for 24 days. The LulzSec group itself is often criticized for the lack of motivation for their actions: hackers should be ideological people, and not just engage in demonstrating their own skills. On account of LulzSec hacks of companies such as Mantech International, Sony, Nintendo and others. It is comforting that not one of the LulzSec members has used their skills for financial fraud. Cody Kretsinger served a year in prison, and the identities of his other “colleagues” have not yet been established.

Jacob Applebaum - you could hear about him in the context of WikiLeaks (he represented them at the HOPE conference in 2010), in connection with the Snowden case (as journalist Applebaum makes a great contribution to the publication of documents published by Snowden) or as a key figure in the Tor project ( systems for anonymous communication). Jacob Applebaum is a man of difficult fate. At 6 years old, he was taken from a dysfunctional family, at first he lived with relatives, then he was sent to an orphanage, a few years later his heroin-dependent father returned the right to guardianship. Familiarity with computer and information technology, as Applebaum claimed, saved his life. Applebaum was not accused of hacker attacks, but this does not prevent him from being one of the threats to the information security of the American government. So, he is regularly detained at airports in the world, he is being monitored and searched.

Kevin Mitnik received the title of “most dangerous hacker in the world” for his many years of virtuoso hacking activity. The peak of the “career” of Kevin Mitnik occurred in 1980−90. His hobby is a telephone hack. Several convictions and prison sentences, a compulsory course of treatment "from computer addiction", a ban on getting closer to the phone and computer - and repeated violation of the law again and again. When in 1990, Mitnik was released from a regular prison for a trial period, he could not resist the possibility of playing a trick: his supervisor’s phone number suddenly turned out to be blocked, the judge’s bank account healed, and all information about the hacker disappeared from the judicial computer database. The story of Tsutumu Shimomura, a leading American computer security specialist, is also noteworthy. Mintin masterfully hacked Simomura's computer. Needless to say, the defense of honor for any Japanese is a matter of principle? Simomura made a real hunt for the joker Mitnik, and in the end the latter was caught with the help of several police outfits. After his release from prison (of course, he was again convicted), Mitnik returned to a law-abiding life: from the beginning of the 2000s he was not seen in hacker attacks, runs his own business (his company specializes in computer security) and works with the police.

Gary Mackinon, a Scottish hacker who eclipsed Kevin Mitnick at a hacker Olympus. For almost 15 years, the fate of Gary Mackinon has been hanging by a thread: the US authorities are actively seeking his extradition, and the UK uses various tricks to not betray his subject. In 2001-2002, Gary Mackinon hacked into hundreds of NASA computers and various departments related to the US Department of Defense. Hacking the Pentagon’s networks, Mackinon left a message: “Your security is crap.” He blocked more than 2 thousand computers in the military district of Washington for a day, suspended the supply of ammunition, and deleted, according to sources in the United States, critical files. His activity was called the largest hacking of military computers in history. The hacker himself denies his interference in U.S. military affairs, citing UFO related material as his main focus. In the UK, computer-related offenses are not subject to extradition, but if the US authorities still win this endless process, then Mackinon faces up to 70 years in prison. Moreover, it is possible that the prison may be Guantanamo Bay.

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