The most dangerous hackers of all time
The most dangerous hackers of all time didn't start yesterday, some of these brains were there even during the early days of the computer. That said, not all hacking is dangerous.
The most dangerous hackers of all time
There are software engineers who work day and night seeking out disintegrations in order to fix them. They are called white hat hackers. Besides, they do not have any bad motives. Then there are black hat hackers. This is a special group of individuals whose activities on the internet are questionable. So in this article, we will discuss 5 of the most dangerous hackers of all time.
If we may spare a second, or two and ask you to name some of the most notorious hackers you know, most of you will mention Kevin Mitnick. Now, it seems like the Van Nuys native was born into the role. This is a man who lives ahead of time.
Mitnick first shocked the world when he was only 12 years old. He used social engineering and dumpster diving to get tickets for the Los Angeles bus system. Mitnick could therefore ride any bus of his choice in the greater Los Angeles area. Additionally, he got to the limelight in 1995 after his arrest for various computer related crimes. Following the arrest and prosecution, Kevin spent five years in prison.
Today, he works as the Chief Hacking Officer and part owner of KnowBe4 and also helps with the management of Mitnick Security Consulting, LLC.
2. Albert Gonzalez
Here is another man to watch in this list. And if there is a name which is mostly notorious with the word "hacking" then it's probably Albert Gonzalez. The thing about the South Miami Senior High School alumni is that he wasn't just a cyber thief. Gonzalez was also a criminal mastermind who ran a criminal operation. Furthermore, his operation had thousands of members across the globe.
He founded Shadowrew.com which amassed a group of 4,000 members within a very short period of time. Due to the large number of followers, Gonzalez had connections across the world. Consequently, he could easily acces some of the most granular of details like ATM numbers.
As we speak, Gonzalez is in prison serving a 20 year sentence. He was accused of masterminding unauthorised access to more than 100 million credit cards between 2005 and 2007. This became the biggest such fraud in human history.
3. Adrian Lamo
Coming in at number three is Adrian Lamo. Adrian is arguably one of the most dangerous hackers of all time. Infact, he is very famous in the American hacking scene.
One funny thing about Adrian is that he didn't know how to keep his narratives for himself. He always wanted the press involved, and he knew how to twist the stories. And as if that's not enough, Adrian was also known as a "homeless hacker". But why? He mostly operated from libraries and coffee shops.
He attracted public attention after he reportedly got into the servers of The New York Times. The authorities really had a hard time tracing him. His narrative however changed when he started exchanging messages with a U.S Army intelligence analyst who was investigating him. He was later apprehended, fined, and put under home detention for six months. Adrian died in 2018. May God group his soul with those of other legends.
4. Vladimir Levin
Ladies and gentlemen, there are IT gurus then there is Vladimir Levin. The St. Petersburg resident became the first person to make an attempt to conduct an online bank robbery. Most of Levin's operations were usually conducted from within the confines of his ST. Petersburg apartment.
Levin was first accused in 1994 of cracking into the accounts of several major corporate customers at Citibank. He reportedly accessed the accounts through their dial-up wire transfer service. Levin then transferred the funds to accounts in other countries like Finland, which had been set up by his accomplices.
During this time, people only knew him as a mathematician and biochemist graduate from Saint Petersburg State Institute of Technology. The world came to recognize him after three of his gang members were arrested in Rotterdam. They were trying to withdraw some of the "unclean money" from an ATM. On further interrogation after being caught, they directed the authorities to Levin.
Now, because his country, Russia, always protected him, Levin escaped punishment on several accounts. Then he made a grave mistake by taking a flight that had a break in London. Then what next? He was extradited to the US, put behind bars and slapped with a three-year sentence in prison.
5. Gary McKinnon
Our list would have been incomplete without the name of Gary McKinnon. Also known as Solo, meet the man who accessed the US computer systems shortly after the World Trade Center attack. Besides, he has been accused of gaining unauthorised access into more than 100 American Military and NASA servers.
That's not crazy. What makes his story a bit lunatic is that he conducted all of his operations from his girlfriend's aunt's residence in London. McKinnon managed to delete several crucial pieces of information from the military's servers. Consequently, the US spent more than $700, 000 to recover the information that he had tampered with.
In 2012, he won a case on charges that he had gotten into the servers of Pentagon computers in the US. As of the writing of this article, Solo lives in Britain, and there's nothing you, and I can do about it.
One last thing
Of all the five hackers in our list, only Albert Gonzalez is in prison. Adrian Lamo died in 2018, while the remaining three are out there on the streets.