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When people hear about the word ‘hacker’, they tend to think of those who are considered black hat hackers. Unlike white hat hackers, who hack into computer systems to help fix security flaws, black hat hackers hack for more illicit profit. Whether it’s for money, personal information, or just emotion, black hat hackers wreak havoc on computer systems and often leave a trail of victims.

In this post, we will briefly look at the Lives, Motivations and Results of 10 Hackers that have made headlines by attacking and hacking large organizations and even governments. Some mean well, while others have no qualms about hacking for personal gain, but no matter what your reasoning is, these are hackers who keep major organizations on their toes when it comes to the security measures they employ on their systems.

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1. Héctor Xavier Monsegur (Sabu)

Sabu is well known as one of the founders of LulzSec, the infamous group of black hat hackers who broke in and stole information from government and corporate websites, all primarily “for the lulz” or, in other words, entertainment. His true identity was eventually discovered by the FBI and he was given a choice: become an informant or go to jail.

Monsegur chose the former and cooperated with the FBI, hacking with his Lulzsec team while monitoring their activities and reporting to the feds. This eventually led to the capture of the other members and the end of Lulzsec. Monsegur spent just 7 months in jail due to his cooperation. Consider him lucky because his original sentence was supposed to be 26 years.

Image source: SiliconBeat

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2. Kevin Mitnick

Kevin Mitnick was a hacker before computers were cool or mainstream. His first stunt he did when he was 15 years old, in 1978, through a method known as social engineering, which involved a ticket puncher and a trash can. Basically he could get all the free bus rides you’d like with a counterfeit punch card.

His first hack was to unauthorized access to the computer systems of Digital Equipment Corporation. He was imprisoned for 12 months plus a 3-year supervised release. He broke the 3-year agreement when he hacked into Pacific Bell’s voicemail computers and an arrest warrant was issued in his name, which he managed to avoid for 2.5 years.

During his time on the run, he embarked on a hacking wave, using cloned cell phones to hide his location and breaking into the systems of some of the largest cell phone and computer companies. He was finally caught and made to serve 5 years in prison. Now he runs a computer security company, Mitnick Security Consulting.

Image Source: Computing.co.uk

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3. Gary McKinnon (soloist)

According to US prosecutors, Scottish hacker Gary McKinnon was responsible for committing the “The Greatest Military Computer Hack of All Time” – Hacked 97 US NASA and military computers in 2002. And it wasn’t just a robbery, as the incident occurred less than a few months after 9/11.

It did real damage to the US military infrastructure, stopped the supply of munitions to the US Navy’s Atlantic Fleet, and for whatever reason left mocking and anti-American messages on computers. McKinnon have Asperger syndrome and when he was captured, McKinnon, claimed he was only looking for evidence of UFOs, antigravity technology, and free energy suppression.

The United States government tried to extradite him for trial, but was unable to do so due to his health and the fact that medical experts consider it a suicide risk in case you are forced to leave the UK to stand trial. At the end of a 10-year tug-of-war, prosecutors decided to abandon any plans to prosecute him on British soil due to the complications of him being in the UK and the evidence and witnesses in the US..

Image source: The Guardian

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4. Ehud Tenenbaum (The Analyzer)

At the age of 19 in 1998, the Israeli hacker Ehud Tenenbaum was the head of a group of hackers who managed to break into the computer systems of NASA, the US and Israeli Armyand several American and Israeli universities. They installed back doors to obtain classified information. Then-US Defense Deputy John Hamre called it “the most organized and systematic attack to date.” they thought the hack was done by the Iraqi government.

To stop the attacks and capture the hackers, various branches of the United States government brought their agents together and began an investigation (codenamed Solar Sunrise). They finally manage to capture the Tenenbaum and his team. In 2001, he was sentenced to 18 months in prison, of which he served only 8 months.

He was later arrested again in 2008 for hacking into financial institutions and stealing credit card numbers; damages amounted to about $ 1.5 million. He pleaded guilty Y accepted an agreement with the prosecution for their cooperation in the investigation.

Image source: wiring

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5. Jonathan James (c0mrade)

When he was 15 years old, Jonathan James was caught breaking into the BellSouth and Miami-Dade school systems. This led to the discovery that he had back door access to a division of the US Department of Defense, basically he had access to thousands of employee messages.

He had also hacked into NASA and obtained the source code for life support functions on the International Space Station. The intrusion caused NASA to shut down its computers for three weeks and $ 41,000 to patch the system. James was arrested and forced to serve 6 months in a federal correctional facility.

Later, in 2007, James was under suspicion of helping some of his hacker friends commit a massive hacking wave that compromised the credit information of millions of people. He repeatedly denied his involvement, but was raided by the Secret Service anyway. In 2008, he committed suicide bullet to the head, believing that he would not receive adequate justice.

Image source: Tom’s Hardware

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6. Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden became a household name by blowing up the cover of the NSA spy program. The agency had been spying on regular Americans on an unprecedented massive scale. How did Snowden obtain evidence to prove this accusation? Well, you really didn’t need to rely on hacking tools. Like Mitnick, all he had to do was use social engineering, oh, and he took advantage of a broken security policy to access files.

You see, Snowden was working as a systems administrator for the NSA and was able to access most of their top-secret documents, and basically no one audited him for possible leaks. If you couldn’t get a document, all you had to do was get the credentials of someone who had access; people already assume that sysadmins already had access to them.

After the revelations, Snowden he fled to Russia where he obtained political asylum.

Image source: CNET

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7. Andrew Auernheimer (weev)

weev is a gray hat hacker and internet troll, first gaining notoriety for claiming responsibility for a hack conducted on Amazon where books on gay topics were reclassified as pornography. He is well known for his trolling antics, once he became president of a group dedicated to trolling the web with malware, website hacking, and shocking images.

From this group emerged Goatse Security, a gray-hatted group created to distance itself from the former’s trolling antics. , helped find a vulnerability on the AT&T website that exposed the emails of iPad users, some of which include those owned by celebrities and military officials.

While they eventually turned the exploit over to AT&T, they first went to a news agency to share their discovery. This led to a criminal investigation where he was charged by the FBI for the hacking and given 41 months. time in jail.

Image source: The Guardian

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8. Julian Assenge (Mendex)

Today, Julian Assenge is known as the creator and public face of Wikileaks, the online organization that publishes leaked government and corporate documents. But before all that, in the late 1980s, at the young age of 16, he was known as Mendex and together with two other hackers they formed International Subversives., what they consider to be an ethical hacking group.

He went on to hack various high profile targets such as the US Department of Defense, NASA, Lockheed Martin, just to name a few. Eventually it was Captured while hacking Nortel in 1991 at the age of 20. He pleaded guilty to 35 loads. He managed to avoid heavy penalties due to the perception of non-malicious intent and a disrupted childhood, caused by his mother being part of a controversial New Age group and moving around frequently.

Image source: Wikipedia

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9. Jeremy Hammond

Jeremy Hammond is a political activist and uses her hacking skills to aid her activism. For example, during DEFCON 2004, he encouraged “Electronic civil disobedience” to the audience as a form of protest against the annual Republican National Convention.

She founded HackThisSite, a way to train hackers with all the tools of the trade, describing herself as “a non-profit organization that strives to protect a good security culture and learning environment.” He mostly got in trouble with the law with his activism, from refusing to follow police orders when protesting.

But what ultimately arrested him (and a 10-year sentence) was the hacking of the private intelligence firm, Stratfor. He had leaked a list of clients obtained for Wikileaks Y donated an additional million dollars through stolen credit cards to various charities. An interesting fact that you might like was that Hammond was captured by Sabu (from # 1) who was working with the FBI as an informant at the time.

Image source: RT

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10. The Jester

The Joker is an internet vigilante and a self-describing gray hat hacktivist. His true identity is unknown except for the fact that he is a former soldier who had toured Afghanistan and elsewhere. The jester made a name for himself hacking various websites that he perceives as anti-American.

His first public attack was against the Taliban and other related jihadist groups on the Internet. He also hacked the Westboro Baptist Church website for disrespecting funerals for US troops. He also has several DDoS websites which he claims are endanger US troops abroad, like Wikileaks.

Not only that, it has hacked countries showing support for Snowden, like Ecuador, DDoS -ing their stock market and tourism website. The jester is still active on Twitter and his blog, where he gives his opinions regularly.

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