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Top Hackers of All Time Who Surprised the World

top hackers

Let’s talk about the top hackers of all time who took part in different hacking activities and leave their mark. Most of them were caught and sentenced.

Their crimes damaged the big businesses and military states as well which includes NASA, banks, Yahoo, Amazon, eBay.

Some of these famous hackers, after being prosecuted, reinvented themselves and start doing the right work.

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✔Kevin Mitnick

kevin mitnick

Kevin Mitnick is a security consultant, bestselling author, and a hacker. It’ll not be wrong if I say he is the king of hackers.

Mitnick did his first hack at the age of 13. He hacked the bus card system and used to travel for free. He has been convicted for hacking. He is notorious for his high-profile arrest and 5 years in prison for different communication and computer-related crimes.

The great thing about him is, now he runs his own security firm “Mitnick Security Consulting”. He is also an active board member of a mobile security company.

✔Jonathan James ‎

Jonathan James

James was passionate about computers.  At his teenage, he used “C0mrade” for hacking purposes. James first hacked into school systems and later when he grabbed the law enforcement attention, he started committing big crimes.

He is the one who hacked NASA and it caused NASA to shut down their systems for at least 3 weeks. After investigation, NASA found James is the boy behind the scene. James is also the first teenage hacker who was sentenced at the age of 17.

His story is tragic, When I was reading about him, his story shocked me!  James didn’t die a natural death. But he committed suicide in 2008.

He left a note before committing suicide in which he has written:

“I have no confidence in the ‘justice’ system — maybe my action today, this letter will send a strong message to the public, but I have lost control of this situation, this is the only way I can recover it.”

If you read about James in detail, you will know the shocking truth about his life and how becoming a teenage hacker led him to commit suicide.


mystery Man

Do you wonder who was Astra? Astra was a mathematician and a hacker who hacked the Dassault Group company and stole their information.

Astra sold the information about weapons data, jet fighters, and military aircraft for 5 years. It was told that the total damage from that hacking was about $360 million.

Nobody knew about ASTRA. The authorities described Astra as a 58-years old mathematician. Astra was caught in Jan 2008 and was sentenced to 6 years in prison.

✔Gary McKinnon

Gary McKinnon

Gary McKinnon was a Scottish systems administrator and hacker. He hacked into the 97 computers of the US military and NASA. He stated that he was just looking for evidence of Free Energy Suppression and want to see the UFO activities and technologies.

US authorities stated that he deleted critical files from the operating systems which caused the US Military District of Washington network (a network of two 2,000 computers) to shut down for 24 hours. It’s also stated that he deleted the weapon logs at the Naval Weapons Station in hi another attack.

He hacked into NASA sites and started discovering the different information which involves images of spaceships and activities about UFO and their technologies.

After being prosecuted and a series of hearings in Britain, Theresa May (Home Secretary) withdrew her extradition order to the US.

Gary McKinnon reinvented himself as the SEO Guru who focus on bringing business websites ranking,

✔Kevin Poulsen

Kevin Poulsen

Kevin Poulse is an American hacker who later reinvented himself as a Journalist. He is best known for getting involved in the telephone lines penetrating the company to win the radio station phone-in-contests.

He took all over the leading telephone lines in Los Angeles radio stations and guarantee that he would be the proper-numbered caller winner.

FBI started looking for him but he escaped for 18 months. After 18 months, he was arrested and was sentenced to 5 years in prison. 5 Years sentence was one of the big U.S. sentences at that time.

After getting released, he reinvented himself as a Journalist. His first magazine went viral.

Court had put a ban on him to not use computers for 5 years. When the court supervision expired, he joined a web startup as a security editorial director and start publishing security and hacking news.

✔Robert Morris

robert morris

Robert Morris (Robert Tappan Morris) is an American computer scientist. He studied at Harvard University and went to graduate school at Cornell. During his first year, he wrote a computer program which later was named as “Morris Worm”.

His worm was a simple program that replicates itself and causes in slowing down of computers. Morris put aside two factors in his program:

  • This program copies itself rapidly
  • The program doesn’t check before download if it already exists in the Computer

Morris’s intentions were not to hack anyone. Rather it was just an experiment. Morris says he wanted to know how big was the internet.  Morris performed all his computer crimes at the MIT Campus.

The cyber laws were changed at that time and Morris became the first hacker under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986.

Morris intentions were not related to any fraud and crime so he was not sent to jail. He got off without spending a single day in Jail. But he was punished and given 400 hours of community services., a fine of $10,000 and 3 years of probation.

✔Albert González

Albert González

González was an American hacker and a computer criminal who stole the ATM and Credit card information and resell it. He was the leader of a hacking group “ShadowCred”.

He used “SQL Injection” in order to use “Packet Sniffing” to steal the data from inner networks.

González operated his own website where more than 4,000 people were registered. They all could buy the credit card information, fake documents and at auction.

When he was enjoying his good times, he himself gave a birthday pay of $75,000. Though his formal houses were modest he used to live in lavish hotels.

At the end González, one of the top hackers was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

✔Vladimir Levin

Vladimir Levin

Levin graduated from St. Petersburg’s Tekhnologichesky University and was a system administrator at AO Saturn, a St. Petersburg trading company.

Levin is one of the top hackers and the leader of a Russian hacking group. He nicely took part in the first revealed international bank robbery.

He used to operate his laptops in London and England to access the Citibnaks user’s data. He got the access to user’s codes and passwords and logged in 18 times over a week to different accounts and transferred money via wire transfer. In that time, people start telling about their amount is decreasing in their accounts.

Levin almost transferred $3.7 million through wire transfer to his group accounts in   Finland, Germany, Israel, Netherland.

When CitiBank noticed these transfer activities, they told the authorities and finally, they found Levin. Levin was arrested at London Airport in March 1995. Citibank could recover only $400,00. Later Levin was moved to the US for trial and sentenced to 3 years in Jail.

✔Michael Calce

michael clace

Michael Clace shut down the internet at his teenage. You may not know about him but he is the one who got the place for himself.

At the age of 15, when studying in Canada, he used to shut down all the famous sites including Amazon, Dell, Yahoo, eBay.  Cacle himself gave a nickname “Maifaboy”. It’s stated that his hacking into different businesses caused $1.7 billion in financial damage.

Calce himself was not sure about what he has done. He had no idea of what’s getting ahead of him.

He was arrested by the FBI and was selected to 8 months in a youth detention center in charge of committing more than 50 hacking crimes. Clace himself admitted his mistakes and said: “I felt guilty.”

Now is a white hat hacker. He learned to form his past experiences and turn to put the white hat/ Now he helps companies to find flaws in their systems and help them improve the security.



Written by Awais Ahmad

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