Saturday, November 7, 2009

5 Hackers of All Time

“Woz” is famous for being the “other Steve” of Apple. Wozniak, along with current Apple CEO Steve Jobs, co-founded Apple Computer. Woz got his start in hacking making blue boxes, devices that bypass telephone-switching mechanisms to make free long-distance calls. After reading an article about phone phreaking in Esquire, Wozniak called up his buddy Jobs. The pair did research on frequencies, then built and sold blue boxes to their classmates in college. Wozniak even used a blue box to call the Pope while pretending to be Henry Kissinger.

Also known as Dark Dante, Poulsen gained recognition for his hack of LA radio’s KIIS-FM phone lines, (taing over all of the station’s phone lines) which earned him a brand new Porsche, among other items. Law enforcement dubbed him “the Hannibal Lecter of computer crime.”Authorities began to pursue Poulsen after he hacked into a federal investigation database. During this pursuit, he further drew the ire of the FBI by hacking into federal computers for wiretap information.His hacking specialty, however, revolved around telephones. Poulsen’s most famous hack, In a related feat, Poulsen also “reactivated old Yellow Page escort telephone numbers for an acquaintance who then ran a virtual escort agency.” Later, when his photo came up on the show Unsolved Mysteries, 1-800 phone lines for the program crashed. Ultimately, Poulsen was captured in a supermarket and served a sentence of five years.Since serving time, Poulsen has worked as a journalist. He is now a senior editor for Wired News. His most prominent article details his work on identifying 744 sex offenders with MySpace profiles.

Morris, son of former National Security Agency scientist Robert Morris, is known as the creator of the Morris Worm, the first computer worm to be unleashed on the Internet. As a result of this crime, he was the first person prosecuted under the 1986 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.


Morris wrote the code for the worm while he was a student at Cornell. He asserts that he intended to use it to see how large the Internet was. The worm, however, replicated itself excessively, slowing computers down so that they were no longer usable. It is not possible to know exactly how many computers were affected, but experts estimate an impact of 6,000 machines. He was sentenced to three years’ probation, 400 hours of community service and a fined $10,500.Morris is currently working as a tenured professor at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. He principally researches computer network architectures including distributed hash tables such as Chord and wireless mesh networks such as Roofnet.

The Department of Justice describes him as “the most wanted computer criminal in United States history.� His exploits were detailed in two movies: Freedom Downtime and Takedown. He started out exploiting the Los Angeles bus punch card system to get free rides. Then, like Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, dabbled in phone phreaking. Although there were numerous offenses, Mitnick was ultimately convicted for breaking into the Digital Equipment Corporation’s computer network and stealing software.Today, Mitnick has been able to move past his role as a black hat hacker and become a productive member of society. He served five years, about 8 months of it in solitary confinement, and is now a computer security consultant, author and speaker.

Dubbed the “homeless hacker,� he used Internet connections at Kinko’s, coffee shops and libraries to do his intrusions. In a profile article, “He Hacks by Day, Squats by Night,� Lamo reflects, “I have a laptop in Pittsburgh, a change of clothes in D.C. It kind of redefines the term multi-jurisdictional.�Dubbed the “homeless hacker,� he used Internet connections at Kinko’s, coffee shops and libraries to do his intrusions. For his intrusion at The New York Times, Lamo was ordered to pay approximately $65,000 in restitution. He was also sentenced to six months of home confinement and two years of probation, which expired January 16, 2007. Lamo is currently working as an award-winning journalist and public speaker

The youth, known as "cOmrade" on the Internet, pleaded guilty to intercepting 3,300 email messages at one of the Defense Department's most sensitive operations and stealing data from 13 NASA computers, including some devoted to the new International Space Station. James gained notoriety when he became the first juvenile to be sent to prison for hacking. He was sentenced at 16 years old. He installed a backdoor into a Defense Threat Reduction Agency server. The DTRA is an agency of the Department of Defense charged with reducing the threat to the U.S. and its allies from nuclear, biological, chemical, conventional and special weapons. The backdoor he created enabled him to view sensitive e-mails and capture employee usernames and passwords.James also cracked into NASA computers, stealing software worth approximately $1.7 million. According to the Department of Justice, “The software supported the International Space Station’s physical environment, including control of the temperature and humidity within the living space.� NASA was forced to shut down its computer systems, ultimately racking up a $41,000 cost.
Famous Three Master Hackers

Gary McKinnon, 40, accused of mounting the largest ever hack of United States government computer networks -- including Army, Air Force, Navy and NASA systems The court has recommended that McKinnon be extradited to the United States to face charges of illegally accessing 97 computers, causing US$700,000 (400,000 pounds; euro 588,000) in damage.

Levin accessed the accounts of several large corporate customers of Citibank via their dial-up wire transfer service (Financial Institutions Citibank Cash Manager) and transferred funds to accounts set up by accomplices in Finland, the United States, the Netherlands, Germany and Israel.In 2005 an alleged member of the former St. Petersburg hacker group, claiming to be one of the original Citibank penetrators, published under the name ArkanoiD a memorandum on popular Provider.net.ru website dedicated to telecom market.According to him, Levin was not actually a scientist (mathematician, biologist or the like) but a kind of ordinary system administrator who managed to get hands on the ready data about how to penetrate in Citibank machines and then exploit them.ArkanoiD emphasized all the communications were carried over X.25 network and the Internet was not involved. ArkanoiD’s group in 1994 found out Citibank systems were unprotected and it spent several weeks examining the structure of the bank’s USA-based networks remotely. Members of the group played around with systems’ tools (e.g. were installing and running games) and were unnoticed by the bank’s staff. Penetrators did not plan to conduct a robbery for their personal safety and stopped their activities at some time. Someone of them later handed over the crucial access data to Levin (reportedly for the stated $100).

A Japanese-American scientist and computer security expert based in the United States, who gained fame when he, together with computer journalist John Markoff, tracked down and helped the FBI arrest hacker Kevin Mitnick.

He was the founder of GNU Projects. Stallman, who prefers to be called rms, got his start hacking at MIT. He worked as a “staff hacker” on the Emacs project and others. He was a critic of restricted computer access in the lab. When a password system was installed, Stallman broke it down, resetting passwords to null strings, then sent users messages informing them of the removal of the password system.

David Smith, the author of the e-mail virus known as Melissa, which swamped computers around the world, spreading like a malicious chain letter. He was facing nearly 40 years in jail . About 63,000 viruses have rolled through the Internet, causing an estimated $65 billion in damage, but Smith is the only person to go to federal prison in the United States for sending one.

Father of Linux is a good hacker of all time.

Johansen, who became a hero to computer hackers and was deemed a villain by Hollywood, is on trial for writing and distributing a program called DeCSS, software which makes it possible to copy protected DVD films. Prosecutors have asked to have his computers confiscated and called for him to pay $1,400 in court costs.


Moran, known on the Web as “Coolio,” pleaded guilty to hacking into national computer sites last year belonging to the Army, the Air Force and the anti-drug Dare.com.

A Filipino computer student, Greatest Hacker of all time. He was creator of "Love Bug" virus that crippled computer e-mail systems worldwide.

This new bug is distributed as an attachment to an e-mail message entitled, "I Love You." If you open the attachment, the virus sends copies of the same e-mail to everyone listed in your address book. It then looks for files with .jpeg, .mp3, .mp2, .jpg, .js, .jse, .css, .wsh, .sct, and .hta extensions and overwrites them with itself, changing the extensions to .vbs or .vbe. These files must then be restored from backups- they cannot be retrieved or used again.

Sklyarov was a PhD student researching cryptanalysis and an employee of the Russian software company ElcomSoft, where he created "The Advanced eBook Processor" (AEBR) software. On July 16, 2001, due to a complaint from Adobe Systems, a US company, that copy prevention arrangements in its e-book file format were being violated by ElcomSoft's product, Sklyarov was arrested after giving a presentation called "eBook's Security — Theory and Practice" at the DEF CON convention in Las Vegas. He was charged with distributing a product designed to circumvent copyright protection measures, under the terms of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and arrested by the FBI as he was about to return to Moscow.

The day after his arrest several web sites and mailing lists were started to organize protests against his arrest, many of them under the slogan "Free Dmitry" or "Free Sklyarov". The main point of these campaigns was that no DMCA violations were committed at DEF CON, and the DMCA does not apply in Russia, so Sklyarov was being arrested for something that was perfectly legal in his jurisdiction. A campaign to boycott Adobe products was also launched[1].

On July 19, 2001, the Association of American Publishers issued a press release announcing their support of his arrest. Adobe initially supported the arrest, but after a meeting with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, they issued a joint press release on July 23, 2001, recommending his release. However, Adobe still supports the case against ElcomSoft.

After Sklyarov was arrested he was held briefly in a local jail in Las Vegas; then he was held in the Oklahoma City Federal Prisoner Transfer Center until August 3, 2001, when he was transferred to the Federal building in San Jose, California.

On August 6, 2001, Sklyarov was released on a US$50,000 bail and was not allowed to leave Northern California. The charges against Sklyarov were later dropped in exchange for his testimony. He was allowed to return to Russia on December 13, 2001.
Abene (born 1972), better known by his pseudonym Phiber Optik, is a computer security hacker from New York City. Phiber Optik was once a member of the Hacker Groups Legion of Doom and Masters of Deception. In 1994, he served a one-year prison sentence for conspiracy and unauthorized access to computer and telephone systems.

Phiber Optik was a high-profile hacker in the early 1990s, appearing in The New York Times, Harper’s, Esquire, in debates and on television. Phiber Optik is an important figure in the 1995 non-fiction book Masters of Deception — The Gang that Ruled Cyberspace.

e was the creator of one of the deadly virus of all time "Chernobyl computer virus " which had melted down many computers worldwide.
The virus, named "Chernobyl" by the media as it was programmed to activate its destructive payload on the thirteenth anniversary of the Chernobyl reactor meltdown, was able to wipe the data from users' hard disks and overwrite the computer BIOS chip, making the computer unusable.

"The Chernobyl virus opened a new chapter in the severity of computer malware," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "It could effectively turn your computer into a useless lump of plastic - the only way to get your PC working again was to open it up and replace the chip."

Once the BIOS chip of infected computers was overwritten by the Chernobyl virus, users found they were unable to use their computers at all. Repair involved physically removing the BIOS chip and replacing it with a fresh one. On some computers, the BIOS chip is not removable, and so it could only be replaced by swapping the entire motherboard.


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