Infamous Hackers (Our Top 5)

Posted by Alex Willis on May 2, 2017 10:22:18 AM

In Hacked, Cybersecurity


Top 5 Hackers.pngNo one ever wants to be on the receiving end of a hacking but boy do we love to hear a good hacking story. 

According to Venture Beat, the likely hood of cyber-attacks has been on a steep increase. This is due to the overall accessibility of the internet. An amateur hacker can find all the tools they need online at little to no cost. However, that is the new era of hacking. To get to this point it took years of elaborate schemes and was pioneered by some of the most infamous criminals of all time.


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 (DEC was the leading computer manufacturer at the 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 to prison for more than two years but is now working as an executive security advisor.


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 part of Levin's hack was that he did not use the internet to commit his crime.

Instead, he tapped into telecommunications systems to listen to customers rattle 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 Gonzalez's 2005 attack on US retailer TJX 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 TJX alone.


4. Kevin Poulsen ("Dark Dante")

Poulsen is amazing simply because of the age he started seriously hacking. In 1983, a 17-year-old Poulsen, using the 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 claim to fame was the notorious iCloud hacks where he obtained revealing pictures of famous celebrities by accessing the Apple database. 

LancasterOnline obtained information on exactly how Ryan received access: 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

I am guessing that 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 begin disabling their websites, thus negatively impacting theirs search rankings in Google and overwhelming its fax machines with all-black images.

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.


Sources: Business Insider, Kaspersky, Wired

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