Every Geek wants to hack into other’s computer. But being hacker is not so easy and simple. You have to learn many programming languages, networking tricks etc. Well, if you like hacking, you should meet top hackers first.
Here is the list of Top 10 Hackers of All times.
1 – Gary McKinnon
Gary McKinnon must’ve been a curious, restless child, for to gain information on UFOs, he thought it 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. All the efforts to satisfy his curiosity, but, alas, curiosity killed the cat. 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. While entering and deleting the files from these websites wasn’t enough, McKinnon thought of shaming the security forces by putting out a notice on the website that said, “Your security is crap.” Well, looks like McKinnon was something, if he could 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!
2 – Adrian Lamo
Adrian Lamo was known as the “homeless hacker” for his transient lifestyle. Despite that, he was able to hack into the internal computers of The New York Times in 2002. This hack gave Lamo access to private databases, including one that had the private information of more than 3,000 people who had contributed to the paper’s Op-Ed section. He was sentenced to two years of probation and fined nearly $65,000. Most recently, Lamo was back in the headlines for turning in Chelsea Manning for leaking classified US Army documents.
3 – Kevin Mitnick
Kevin Mitnick was once the most wanted cyber criminal in the world. He had an obsession with computers that escalated into a two and half year hacking spree where he stole millions of dollars of corporate secrets from IBM, Motorola, telecom companies and even the National Defense warning system. He was caught twice in jail twice for his crimes, but now he is a computer security consultant.
4 – Vladimir Levin
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, the Wall Street Journal reported. He was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay back $240,000 to Citibank.
5 – Mathew Bevan and Richard Pryce
Targeting the over-sensitive nerves, what Mathew Bevan along with his alleged partner Richard Pryce did, could have triggered great many issues between USA and North Korea. The duo hacked the US military computers and used it as a means to infiltrate the foreign systems. The crucial contents of Korean Atomic Research Institute were dumped into USAF system. However, the contents were majorly relevant to South Korea and hence, less volatile. But this, nonetheless, could have led to a huge international issue.
6 – Michael Calce a.k.a MafiaBoy
Michael Calce, a Canadian Hacker was responsible for a series of high profile cyber attacks in 2000. Project Rivolta a project name he called it meaning riot in Italian was a distributed denial of service attack that took down major websites Yahoo, FIFA, Amazon, eBay, CNN, and Dell among others. He was caught after bragging about the attacks in an IRC chat room for which he got eight months in jail. Why such a short sentence? Michael was only in high school at the time.
7 – Astra
Astra, a Sanskrit word for weapon was the penname of a hacker who dealt in the weapon stealing and selling. A 58-year-old Greek Mathematician hacked into the systems of France’s Dassault Group, stole vulnerable weapons technology data and sold it to different countries for five long years. While the real identity of the ASTRA remains untraced, officials have said that he had been wanted since 2002. Astra sold the data to approximately 250 people from around the globe, which cost Dassault $360 millions of damage.
8 – Richard Stallman
Stallman was a student and programmer at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab. He was already open source and retaliated at MIT against the restriction of computer use in the laboratory. In the university a password-protected computer system was established for students. He decrypted the passwords and sent to the users in plain text, and proposed to give up the password to again in the future to enable anonymous access. Later Stallman developed the GPL General Public License and the GNU operating system, a completely free Unix system.
9 – Jeanson James Ancheta
Jeanson James Ancheta has been first hacker ever to create a botnet a group hijacked computers that work together for a legal means. In 2004 he started to work with botnets rxbot, a computer worm that can spread his net of infected computers which gave him control to 500,000 computers including US military computers. He was forced to give up his BMW, pay more than $58,000 and serve 60 months in prison.
10 – Albert Gonzalez
How safe is internet banking? When we browse through the profile of this mastermind, we are certain that one ought to use the World Wide Web with immense care. For two long years, Albert Gonzalez, stole from credit cards of the netizens. This was recorded to be the biggest credit card theft in the history of mankind. He resold approximately 170 million credit cards and ATM numbers. He did so by installing a sniffer and sniffing out the computer data from internal corporate networks. When arrested, Gonzalez was sentenced to 20 years in Federal prison.
There are lots of hackers other than mentioned above. Some of them get caught and become cover-story and many of them are still not known.