- The internet has undoubtedly made things easier for us. But, it has a dark side too and that dark side is filled with hackers who are waiting for one opportunity to hack into important systems. You will be surprised to know that hacking started as early as the 1970s and is still continuing. There’s one thing that is common in all hackers and that is the passion for technology. Their actions have not only led to legal steps against them but also have given rise to regulatory frameworks in the world of cybersecurity.
- If you swear by technology and things related to technology, this blog post will be of much interest to you.
- In this post, we will be talking about the top 10 hackers in the world and their actions.
List of the top 10 Hackers in the World
You may ask, “Who are the world’s most famous hackers, and what were their actions?” We have the answer to your question in the form of a list which is given below:
1) Kevin Minick – Kevin Mitnick is the first name on our list of the top 10 hackers in the world because of his notorious cybercrimes. He had hacked into the network of Digital Equipment Corporation and was allowed a three-year supervisory release after having served 1 year in prison. However, he had fled before the completion of three years and went on to be involved in a series of hacking crimes that included a breach of the national defense warning system and a theft of corporate secrets. He had to serve a prison sentence of 5 years after which he turned into a computer security consultant and public speaker and now is the owner of Mitnick Security Consulting, LLC.
2) Jonathan James – Jonathan James entered into the hacking world when he was still a minor. He is known for his infamous action of hacking into NASA’s network and downloading assets worth $1.7 million to learn about the way NASA functioned. His action led to the shutting of NASA for three weeks to investigate the breach and an additional expense of $41,000. He was suspected and investigated for various cyber-attacks that rocked the world of many high-profile companies in 2007. Fearing conviction of crimes he was not a part of, he committed suicide.
3) Albert Gonzalez – Albert Gonzalez is the next name on our list of the best hackers in the world. He is known to have been involved in identity theft crimes like fraudulent passports, birth certificates, etc., and credit card thefts owing to his role as the head of the hacking group, ShadowCrew. Within a period of two years, he is said to have gathered as many as 170 million credit card and ATM card numbers. His next credit card theft involved stealing the databases of TJX companies and Heartland Payment Systems. He is supposed to be released in 2025 after serving a term of 20 years in prison.
4) Kevin Poulsen – Kevin Poulsen a.k.a “Dark Dante” is one of the most famous hackers in the world, known for hacking into federal systems and stealing wiretap information. He was sentenced to prison and fined $56,000. After being released in 1995, he mended his ways and is now working as a journalist and as the contributing editor of Wired. In 2006, he played a key role in identifying 744 sex offenders on MySpace.
5) Gary McKinnon – Gary McKinnon of Scottish descent, is known to have hacked into the computers of NASA and US Armed forces on the pretext of searching for information related to free energy suppression and cover-ups on the issue of UFOs. However, his action led to 300 computers being dysfunctional and damages amounting to $7, 00,000. He was supposed to be extradited but his extradition was blocked by the then British Prime Minister, Theresa May, as he was said to be “seriously ill”.
6) Robert Tappan Morris – He is infamous in the hacking world for creating the world’s first computer worm, Morris Worm in 1988. He created the worm to figure out the size of the internet but it infected computers in such a way that they became slow over time and as many as 6,000 computers became unusable. After being sentenced to 3 years on probation, a community service of 400 hours, and a fine of $10,050, he went on to found Y Combinator. He now works as a tenured professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
7) Loyd Blankenship – He is one of the top hackers in the world, starting as a hacker in the 1970s. He wrote an essay on hacking, “Mentor’s Last Words”. His home was raided in 1990 by the US Secret Service and what was discovered? The rulebook of the game, GURPS Cyberpunk. The rulebook was touted as the “handbook for computer crime”. After giving up hacking, he is now working as the head of product research and design at McAfee.
8) Julian Assange – He is known to have created a platform for posting news leaks and classified documents, called Wikileaks in 2006. He was arrested in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and is currently serving his sentence in prison.
9) Guccifer 2.0 – Guccifer 2.0 features next on our list of the top hackers in the world. Many believed they had links with Russian Intelligence and were involved in the hacking of the network of the Democratic National Convention during the US Presidential Election in 2016. They have maintained they are Romanian and not Russian and had last surfaced in 2017.
10) Anonymous – Anonymous emerged in the hacking world in 2003. They have hacked into the systems of Amazon, Paypal, and even Governments of India, the United States, Australia among others. It continues its notorious activities even now and has two related groups that are also involved in hacking – LulzSec and AntiSec.
Fight against Hacking
To ward off hackers who are after your personal data, it is advisable to upgrade your security software from time to time.