4- Albert Gonzalez
Albert Gonzalez is responsible for masterminding one of the biggest hacks to date. This being 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.