Kevin Mitnick a famous white hat hacker is now a professional security consultant and entrepreneur. His among his exploits are the Pentagon, Nokia, and Motorola. He eventually got convicted and served 5 years in prison. Once he got out he became the rich security consultant we know today. Does crime pay? Perhaps if your reputation precedes you.
Gary Mckinnon hacked into 97 U.S. Military and NASA computers during 2001 and 2002. He was looking for information on UFOs and evidence of a conspiracy that the US government was hiding technologies that could solve the energy crisis. He also shut down 1000 government computers and somehow rendered 300 of the inoperable causing up to $700,000 in damages. Eventually he got caught but he dodged charges because he was Scottish and they denied his extradition.
Jonathan James AKA c0mrade started hacking as a kid and was the first minor to be arrested and sent to prison at the age of 16. He hacked into the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and NASA. He downloaded source code used for the International Space Station. He committed suicide in 2008 because he was afraid he was going to be wrongfully imprisoned for several attacks on corporate networks that he was under suspicion for.
Adrian Lamo would often hack into media sources and change details on the website. He would then notify the owners of the press source and help them fix their security. However when he hacked into the New York Times he got arrested. Though later on in life he eventually ended up helping out law enforcement by turning Chelsea Manning for being a source to WikiLeaks which he now deeply regrets. Fun fact about Adrian Lamo: He had Asperger syndrome.
Ryan Collins was the hacker (or social engineer rather) behind “the fappening” a hilarious exploit where Collins used the standard email phishing attack to gain access to celebrity iCloud accounts where he was then able to obtain a whole bunch of their photos. Many of said photos happened to be sensitive. In fact, they were nude photos of several famous celebrities including Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, and Kirstin Dunst. Several celebrities chose to deny authenticity of the leaks including Ariana Grande.
Albert Gonzalez installed a sniffer in various corporate networks and was able to steal millions of users credit cards and ATM details. Apparently he sold about 170 million pieces of sensitive data resulting in one of the largest cases of identity theft ever.
Astra is said to be a 58 year old greek mathematician who hacked into a french corporation called Dassault Group and he sold sensitive weapons information to various companies over a period of five years. When authorities caught him in 2008 they never revealed his information but just said that he was a 58 year old greek mathematician. It just goes to show how versatile a degree in mathematics really is.
Kevin Poulsen stole wiretap info from the FBI, hacked a radio stations phone lines in order to win a Porsche, helped law enforcement catch 744 sex predators over MySpace and is now a senior editor for Wired. How does your resume compare to that?
I am a hacker, and this is my manifesto. You may stop this individual,
but you can't stop us all... after all, we're all alike.
You may recognize this quote from the hacker manifesto. This famous manifesto was written by none other than Loyd Blankenship. His writings helped to inspire a generation of hackers to drop the controller and pick up a linux distro. He was a member of the Legion of Doom hacker group and has been hacking since the 70s. You could call him one of the fathers of modern hacking. Whatever you call him, he’s definitely an OG.
Julian Assange started hacking when he was 16. He broke into NASA, the Pentagon Citibank, Stanford, and Lockheed Martin. His biggest accomplishment was founding WikiLeaks. He is currently in the Ecuadorian Embasy in London trying to prevent his Extradition.