6 Most Dangerous Hackers In The World

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In this age of technology, some of the most dangerous criminals can carry out their crimes from behind their laptop screens.

Here’s a list of the 6 most dangerous hackers in the world.

1- Jeanson James Ancheta

One of the most popular forms of hacking is when hackers take over other people’s devices. A technical term for hijacked devices is botnets. Hackers can then use stranger’s computers to carry out crimes without risking exposure. Jeanson was successful in hijacking 500,000 devices in less than a year. He later worked for numerous companies and individuals, conducting cyber-attacks on various websites. But eventually, an FBI investigation found Jeanson guilty making him the first person convicted of this crime. The result was a sentence of 60 months in prison.

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2- Adrian Lamo

Adrian Lamo is best known for targeting high profile organizations. His marks included companies like Microsoft, Yahoo, WorldCom, LexisNexis and The New York Times. His crimes included stealing and altering information. In order to protect his identity, Lamo carried out his crimes through public computers in libraries and internet cafes. Later Lamo regained his place in the spotlight for reporting Chelsea Manning to the US army. Manning was responsible for leaking more than 250,000 confidential government documents to WikiLeaks.

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3- Owen Walker

In 2008 Owen Walker admitted to conducting cyber-attacks on multiple organizations over many years as well as leading an international hacking organization. He was also responsible for creating a virus that allowed him to take over millions of people’s computers. These hijacked devices made conducting criminal activities easy and untraceable.

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According to experts, between his virus and the attacks he conducted, Walker cost his target organizations an approximate $26 million in damages. However, despite his multiple crimes Owen Walker has yet to be convicted. The judge taking into consideration his young age opted to discharge him.

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4- Albert Gonzalez

Albert Gonzalez is responsible for masterminding one of the biggest hacks to date. This is the biggest credit card and ATM number fraud till now. Gonzalez’s operation was active between 2005 and 2007. According to recent investigations, Gonzalez was responsible for illegally hijacking computers, altering parts of the code and stealing over 170 million credit card details. This allowed him to conduct fake transactions and steal money from other people’s accounts.

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He and his team of hackers named ‘the ShadowCrew group’ were also running a website offering all kinds of illegal services. For example, the procurement of counterfeit credit cards, debit cards, drivers’ licenses, passports, college IDs, birth certificates, health insurance or social security cards. And an entire section on tutorials teaching the working of cryptography with relation to ATM cards.

Through his criminal activities, Gonzalez stole about $200 million. The Secret Service, in collaboration with multiple other countries, arrested Gonzalez. Also seizing $1.6 million in cash. He is currently serving a 20-year sentence.

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5- Astra

The actual name of this mysterious hacker has never been realized by authorities. However, according to information received from the Greek police Astra was a 58-year-old mathematician. Living in Athens at the time Astra had been conducting cyber-attacks since 2002. He is known popularly for hacking Dassault, a French military and aviation company. He spent the next 5 years stealing and selling sensitive information about aircraft and military technology to foreign countries. This attack cost the company over $360 million in damages. And led to a sentencing of 6 years in prison for Astra.

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6- Jonathan James

Jonathan James is known for receiving the first American juvenile hacking conviction. At 15 he was responsible for hacking into Bell South school system, the Department of Defense and NASA. In addition, he was stealing source code from the International Space Station. This resulted in NASA shutting down its systems for 3 weeks and losing $41,000. Moreover, he was also guilty of stealing and selling $1.7 million worth of private government software. His punishment was 6 months of house arrest, a year of probation, and apologies to all wronged organizations.

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James might have turned his life around if not for what happened next. When Albert Gonzalez was found guilty of stealing thousands of credit cards Jonathan James got pulled into the investigation. He insisted he was innocent. But feared he the prosecution would rule against him because of his past record. In May 2008 Jonathan James killed himself, with his suicide note citing his lack of faith in the courts and his fear as his primary motivators.

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