There are many famous hackers around the world. Here we make a list of the top 10 most notorious hackers of all time.
10 Of The Most Notorious Hackers Of All Time
10. Julian Assange
Today, Julian Assange is known as the creator and public face of Wikileaks, the online organization that publishes leaked government and corporate documents. But before all that, way back in the late 80’s at the young age of 16, he was known as Mendex and together with two other hackers formed International Subversives, what they consider to be an ethical hacking group.
He went on to hack into several high-profile targets such as the US Department of Defence, NASA, Lockheed Martin, just to name a few. He was eventually caught while hacking into Nortel in 1991 at the age of 20. He pleaded guilty to 35 charges. He managed to avoid heavy penalties due to perceived non-malicious intent and a disrupted childhood, caused by his mother being part of a controversial New Age group and frequently moving about.
9. John McAfee
To get back at the Belize government for seizing his property, McAfee hacked all of the computers from bureaucracies to prove that the government was corrupt.
8. James Kosta
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When he was just 14, Kosta hacked military and big business computers with his partners. Some of the businesses he hacked were IBM and General Electric, along with major banks. When he was 18, he joined the Navy to work as an intelligence analyst instead of spending 45 years in prison.
7. Gary McKinnon
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McKinnon is a Scottish hacker who, between 2001 and 2002, got access to 97 United States military networks. He hacked the military to try to prove that UFOs exist. The U.S. was unable to extradite him.
6. Adrian Lamo
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Lamo is known as the ‘homeless hacker’. In 2002, he hacked the computer at ‘The New York Times’ and was fined $65,000 and sentenced to two years probation. However, he really became hated because he turned in Chelsea Manning. Manning had leaked United States Army documents.
5. Jonathan James
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James was 15 years old when he earned the hacker nickname ‘Comrade’. In 1999, he hacked into the Department of Defense. He also hacked into the Miami-Dade school system and Bell South. When he hacked into the Department of Defense, he had access to the source code that operated the International Space System as well as other important information. He was later sentenced to probation and house arrest. On May 18, 2008, he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, which followed his being investigated for a massive hacking attack in 2007 that he said he was not involved with. He wrote in his suicide note that he thought he was going to be prosecuted for new crimes he didn’t commit.
4. Jeanson James Ancheta
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Ancheta used a computer worm called ‘rxbot’ in 2004 to control 500,000 computers, including U.S. military computers, to take down major websites. He was caught in 2005 and had to serve 60 months in prison, pay back $16,000 and give up $58,000 he earned from his hacking services.
3. Kevin Poulsen
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Kevin Poulsen, known as Dark Dante in the hacker community, specialized in hacking phone systems, particularly radio stations. This talent allowed only calls originating from his house to make it through to the station, assuring him of wins in listener radio contests. His iconic 1991 hack was a takeover of all of the telephone lines for the Los Angeles KIIS-FM radio station, guaranteeing that he would be the 102nd caller and win the prize of a Porsche 944 S2. The bold Poulsen was wanted by the FBI for federal computer hacking at the same time he was winning the Porsche and $20,000 in prize money at a separate station. Poulsen spent 51 months in a federal prison, the longest sentence of a cyber criminal at that time. Once he got out, he was banned from using computers and the internet for three years.
2. Kevin Mitnick
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Kevin David Mitnick is one of the most notorious hackers of the 20th century. Mitnick started hacking when he was 15. He hacked into big companies like IBM, Pacific Bell, Motorola and Nokia. He got involved in several computer and communications-related crimes and even became one of the most wanted computer criminals in the United States.He was arrested in 1995 and served one year with three years of supervised release. He continued hacking and went on the run for about three years. In 1999, he was sentenced to four years in prison. Today, he is a security consultant and has written two books.
1. Michael Calce
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At the start of the millennium, Calce launched denial-of-services attack against Yahoo!, Amazon, eBay, CNN and Dell. He was sentenced to eight months of open custody in 2001. He was also given a small fine and wasn’t allowed to use the internet. He was in high school at the time of the attack.
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