Hackers come in three different hats: black, white, and gray. But the black hat hackers always seem to get the most notoriety for their mischievous deeds. Black hats use viruses, malware, phishing scams, and anything to boost their cred or their pocket book. When they’re successful, they usually end up on the news and force you to change your passwords. But who among them are the elite? Here are 25 Most Notorious Hackers In History.
Adrian Lamo received notoriety for breaking into media and technology systems, including The New York Times, Yahoo, and Microsoft. Later, he became known as the hacker that informed on Chelsea Manning to Army Counterintelligence for leaking confidential documents to Wikileaks.
Teen hacker Sven Jaschan created the internet worm “Sasser” which caused millions of dollars in damage. After being caught and convicted, he was sentenced to 21-month suspended sentence and community service because he was a minor. Exploiting a flaw in Windows 2000 and XP systems, Sasser continually made computers to crash and reboot.
More often than not, hacking ends up being a young man’s game, but in this case, ASTRA was a 58-year-old man. Arrested in Greece, ASTRA was accused of hacking into the computer systems of French Dassault Group, stealing confidential weapons information, and selling it to other countries across the globe.
A British hacker, Matthew Bevan, also known as Kuji, is one of the two hackers who came close to starting World War 3. (Think sensitive government data and North Korea.) Using a Commodore Amiga loaded with a program called Roxbox, he hacked into a United State Air Force research facility intent on finding proof of extraterrestrials. Instead, he was arrested in 1996 at the age of 21.
Robert Tappan Morris
While a student at Cornell, Robert Tappan Morris created a computer worm that infected 6,000 computers. He created it to see how big the internet was but realized what he was doing was wrong. Using public computers, he tried to cover his tracks but was eventually caught. He could have served jail time up to 5 years but didn’t serve any. Instead, he was sentenced to community service and a $10,000 fine.