Not all hackers are bad. The good ones are called “white-hat hackers” and use hacking to improve computer security. The ones who are just having fun are called “gray-hat hackers.” But what about the malicious kind you’re thinking of? They’re called “black-hat hackers.” And they can cause a lot of harm, as history has shown. Here are some of the most famous hackers who put the world in awe with their dexterity.
1. Gary McKinnon
Gary McKinnon must’ve been a curious, restless child, for to gain information on UFOs, he thought it is better to get a direct access into the channels of NASA. He infiltrated 97 US military and NASA computers, by installing virus and deleting a few files. It was soon found that McKinnon was guilty of having hacked the military and NASA websites from his girlfriend’s aunt’s house in London. He shut down the US Military’s Washington Network of about 2000 computers for 24 hours, making the hack, the biggest military computer hack of all time!
LulzSec or Lulz Security, a high profile, Black Hat hacker group, gained credentials for hacking into Sony, News International, CIA, FBI, Scotland Yard, and several noteworthy accounts. So notorious was the group that when it hacked into News Corporations account, they put across a false report of Rupert Murdoch having passed away. While the group claims to have retired from their vile duties, the motto of the group, “Laughing at your security since 2011!” stays alive.
3. Adrian Lamo
Adrian Lamo decided to switch careers when he realized the potentials of his skills. He became a news when he hacked into Yahoo!, Microsoft, Google, and The New York Times. This, although culminated into his arrest, later helped him gain the badge of an American Threat Analyst.
4. Kevin Mitnick
The U.S. Department of Justice called him the “most wanted computer criminal in U.S. history. Kevin Mitnick’s story is so wild that it was even the basis for a featured film: Track Down. He hacked the national defense warning system and stole corporate secrets due to which he got imprisoned for 5 years. After fully serving those years, he became a consultant and public speaker for computer security. He now runs Mitnick Security Consulting, LLC.
5. Jonathan James
The first juvenile to be imprisoned for a cyber-crime at the age of 16, Jonathan James or better known as c0mrade. He hacked NASA’s network and downloaded enough source code — assets equalling $1.7 million — to learn how the International Space Station worked. NASA had to shut down its network for three entire weeks while they investigated the breach, costing an additional $41,000.