Top 5 Infamous Hackers

Top 5 Infamous Hackers

May 02, 2018

Data breaches and cyberattacks are unfortunate facts of life for the government, businesses, and individuals with today’s advances in technology and networks. The odds of a cyberattack happening are increasing more each year. The reason for the increase in attacks is due to the overall accessibility of the Internet and the affordable cost of resources. Hacking is at an all-time high today. Today’s hackers have taken notes and influence from some of the past’s most infamous hackers to date to create even more elaborate plans.


1. Kevin Mitnick (“The Condor”)

One of the true original hackers, Mitnick started at a very young age. In 1981, he was convicted with stealing computer manuals from Pacific Bell. Just a year later, he hacked the North American Defense Command. In 1989, he was able to obtain access to the Digital Equipment Corporation’s (DEC) network and make copies of software. The DEC was the leading computer manufacturer at this time.

Even though Mitnick is one of the best hackers of all time, he didn’t exploit any data that he obtained. It was rumored that he had full control of Pacific Bell’s network. However, he wasn’t in the game to make money or exploit any one business. He just wanted to prove it could be done.

Mitnick ultimately went from prison for more than two years but is now working as an executive security advisor.


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2. Vladimir Levin (“Arkanoid”)

Vladimir Levin was a Russian hacker who in 1995, broke into Citibank’s computers and allegedly stole nearly $10 million by re-wiring it to various global accounts. The most famous parVt of Levin’s hack was that he did not use the internet to commit his crime.

Instead, he tapped into the telecommunications systems to listen to customers raffle off their private account information. All but $400,000 of his winnings were able to be recovered by the authorities. Ultimately, he pleaded guilty to just one charge of making $3.7 million in unauthorized transfers.

He was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay back $240,000 to Citibank.


3. Albert Gonzalez (“Segvec” and “J4guar”)

It’s safe to say that Gonzalez was in it for the money. He was charged with stealing more than 180 million payment card accounts from companies including OfficeMax, Dave and Buster’s and Boston Market.

The New York Times magazine notes that Gonzales’s 2005 attack on US retailer TJ Maxx was the first serial data breach of credit information. Using SQL injection, this famous hacker and his team created back doors in several corporate networks and stole an estimated $256 million from TX Maxx alone.


Check it out: Hacking Collectives Infographic


4. Kevin Poulsen (“Dark Dante”)

Poulsen is amazing simply because of the age he started hacking. In 1983, a 17-year-old Poulsen, using alias Dark Dante, hacked into ARPANET, the Pentagon’s computer network, but was soon caught. The government decided not to prosecute Poulsen, who was a minor at the time, and he was let off with a warning.

However, this didn’t stop Poulsen. He continued to hack federal computers and leak confidential government information. In 1990, he made sure he was the 102nd caller on a radio station to win a new Porsche, a vacation, and $20,000.

Poulsen was later arrested and banned from using a computer for 3 years. He is now a lead writer at Wired on computer security issues.


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5. Ryan Collins (“Ryan Collins”)

Collins’s claim to fame was the notorious iCloud hacks, where he obtained revealing photos of famous celebrities by accessing the Apple database.

He would phish celebrities with emails that looked like official password reset notifications from companies like Apple or Google. Then, armed with their passwords, he would use them to download full iPhone backups from iCloud, which came with contacts, text messages, calendars, and photos.


Bonus: Anonymous

Odds are by now, you have heard of these guys. Anonymous got its start in 2003 on 4chan message boards in an unnamed forum. The group exhibits little organization and is loosely focused on the concept of social justice. For example, in 2008, the group took issue with the Church of Scientology and began disabling their website, thus negatively impacting their search rankings in Google and overwhelming its fax machines with all-black images. In 2012, the group even earned a spot in Time’s “100 Most Influential People” list.

The FBI and other law enforcement agencies have tracked down some of the group’s more prolific members. The lack of any real hierarchy makes it almost impossible to eliminate Anonymous as a whole.