1. Kevin Mitnick
The “most wanted computer criminal in U.S. history” The U.S. Department of Justice called him — that’s how notorious he was.!
Known For :
After spending one year in prison for hacking into the Digital Equipment Corporation’s network, he was let out for three years of supervised release. But near the end of that period, he fled and went on a 2.5-year hacking spree that involved breaching the national defense warning system and stealing corporate secrets.
2. Jonathan James
The story of Jonathan James, known as “comrade,” is a tragic one. He began hacking at a young age, managing to hack into several commercial and government networks and being sent to prison for it.
Known For :
James eventually hacked into NASA’s network and downloaded enough source code — assets equaling $1.7 million — to learn how the International Space Station worked. NASA had to shut down its network for three entire weeks while they investigated the breach, costing an additional $41,000.
3. Albert Gonzalez
Gonzalez started off as the leader of a hacker group called ShadowCrew. In addition to stealing and selling credit card numbers, ShadowCrew also fabricated fraudulent passports, health insurance cards, and birth certificates
Albert Gonzalez paved his way to internet fame when he collected over 170 million credit card and ATM card numbers over a period of two years. He then hacked into the databases of TJX Companies and Heartland Payment Systems to steal all of their stored credit card numbers as well.
4. Kevin Poulsen
Kevin Poulsen, also known as “Dark Dante,” earned his 15 minutes of fame by utilizing his intricate knowledge of telephone systems.
Known For :
Poulsen got himself onto the FBI’s wanted list when he hacked into federal systems and stole wiretap information. He was later captured in a supermarket (of all places) and sentenced to 51 months in prison and a bill for $56,000 in restitution.
5. Gary McKinnon
Gary McKinnon, known as “Solo” on the internet, allegedly coordinated what would become the largest military computer hack of all time.
Over a 13-month period from February 2001 to March 2002, McKinnon illegally accessed 97 computers belonging to the U.S. Armed Forces and NASA. He claimed he was only searching for information on free energy suppression and UFO cover-ups, but according to U.S. authorities he deleted a number of critical files and rendered over 300 computers inoperable, resulting in over $700,000 in damages.