These are the top eleven hackers of all time, from famous to infamous, in no particular order or rank. You may be surprised to learn which hackers and hacking organizations were included and omitted. In addition to information about the top eleven hackers, you’ll also find links at the end of this article to other websites that dive into deeper detail about some of these famous hackers or their hacks. What did you think of our selection? Did we miss anyone? Let us know in the comments below!
Marcel Lehel Lazar As Guccifer
Marcel Lehel Lazar As Guccifer is one of the top eleven hackers of all time. Marcel was born on November 23, 1971 (age 50 years), in Aleșd, Romania, and he became famous after hacking top online accounts such as Facebook, Yahoo, and Twitter. He went under numerous different names on the internet.
He had hacked many celebrities’ accounts, such as Michael Jackson’s and George W Bush’s, among many others. His first hack was done in 2006 when he targeted a Romanian politician called Corina Cretu by claiming that she had an affair with intelligence official Radu Govaru for ten years. What began as a defamation campaign grew into one that drew attention to corruption across Romania’s ruling class.
Marcel Lehel Lazar was then arrested and sentenced to four years in prison in Arad on January 22, 2014. He had served more than two years when he was freed. Guccifer also got a taste for hacking into high-profile accounts and leaked many different documents after his release from prison.
The hacks included George W Bush’s paintings collection, Colin Powell’s emails, and many other celebrities, including Bill Clinton, George H Bush, and Laura Bush. The top eleven hackers list is still active today, and it will continue as Marcel Lehel Lazar is not done yet with the top hacking accounts worldwide.
Continuing the list of Top eleven hackers, let’s talk about Ryan Collins. For years, Collins hacked into some famous people’s computers—what started as research for his entertainment turned into a profession for six figures a year. So far, he has pleaded guilty to hacking 50 celebrity victims, including Jennifer Lawrence, Kaley Cuoco, Kim Kardashian, and others. Eventually, he was caught and charged in 2015 by US officials; although he originally faced up to five years in prison, he instead pled guilty and will be sentenced next week on October 11.
A former employee at Apple named Jason Colon was also charged with Collins’ case. Colon pleaded guilty to unauthorized access to a protected computer last year and was sentenced to eight months. He will serve his sentence concurrently with his federal probation, which he began serving after pleading guilty to hacking-related charges in 2012.
After hearing about cyber attacks and breaches, most people have an image of a shadowy hacker sitting behind a computer with some impressive technology. Although that is certainly possible, these days, it’s quite common for cybercriminals to be using social engineering methods against their victims instead.
For example, hackers often trick people into giving up information to access their accounts and even entire computers by phishing emails or enticing celebrity targets with leaked nude photos. This takes advantage of our natural curiosity; it’s easier for us to click on things like a mysterious email than not. We hope you learned something from reading about some of the top eleven hackers in history!
One of America’s top eleven hackers, Adrian Lamo, is known for hacking into The New York Times, Microsoft, Yahoo!, and other companies. Lamo was born on February 20, 198. He was a part of two hacker groups. He was awarded two Legends Awards because he tried to alert all different companies about their security systems before performing his hacks.
Although his first attempt at hacking failed horribly and created much public controversy against him, Lamo remains one of the top eleven hackers today. Lamo’s alias is The Homeless Hacker because he usually lives out of motel rooms when traveling.
Although Lamo and fellow hacker David Kernell were arrested for hacking into The New York Times, only Lamo pleaded guilty. He served a year and a day in prison at a low-security facility in Pennsylvania and was released. After being in jail for more than three years, Lamo’s hacking skills did not diminish because he taught himself how to code from his cell phone by studying C++ textbooks. It is easy to tell that Lamo is one of the top eleven hackers of all time because he has hacked into many different companies and was sentenced to prison for his crimes against them.
Levin wasn’t as known for being a hacker but for using his skills to steal over $10 million from ATMs. He would start by gaining access to several bank accounts and transfer small amounts into larger accounts he created. Levin then used cloned ATM cards that could withdraw up to $400 per minute.
When authorities first caught Levin, he got out with less than $300 million because they couldn’t prove who did it; however, they eventually found that Levin was behind it all when he tried stealing another $60 million through an additional 3,000 hacked bank accounts. He was sentenced in 1998 to a Dutch prison. With one of these top eleven hackers on your team, you can ensure nobody steals money from your users!
He used these skills in 1997 when he created automated scripts that transferred $10 million from several bank accounts into his own. He then made ATM withdrawals using cloned cards and took his earnings with him as he traveled between Mexico, Switzerland, Spain, and Morocco before being arrested in Spain in 1998.
He was eventually caught in 1998 and sentenced to three years in a Dutch prison; however, he served only two. Levin died from complications from Crohn’s disease in December 2012. He had previously written a novel about his life titled Hacker.
At its peak, Gonzalez headed a hacking ring that stole 130 million credit and debit card numbers from retail giant TJX. Gonzalez was arrested in 2008 and is currently serving time. Due to his actions, he has earned a spot on the top eleven hackers of all time. Gonzalez had successfully attacked seven major retailers before finally being caught by law enforcement officials in 2008.
He was later found guilty of conspiracy, five counts of unauthorized access to computers, and one count of obstruction. His sentence included 20 years behind bars and three years probation following his prison term. Other crew members were also tried for their roles in the cyberattacks; two were sentenced to nine months in prison, and one received six months of house arrest followed by probation.
While Gonzalez is certainly one of the most successful hackers, he’s also one of the most notorious. In addition to TJX, he successfully attacked Heartland Payment Systems, 7-Eleven Inc., Hannaford Brothers, and even Citigroup before his arrest.
He used insider knowledge of vulnerable point-of-sale systems to steal consumer credit card information and defraud banks out of hundreds of millions in cash via wire transfers. One report states that just one month’s worth of his successes netted more than $3 million. That is why we include Albert Gonzalez in our list of top eleven hackers of all time.
One well-known Hacker, Gary McKinnon, took advantage of numerous security breaches in 2002. He gained unauthorized access to 97 US military and NASA systems, searching for information related to UFOs and secret government programs. In his investigation, he accessed secure military computers that only 5% of employees had high enough clearances to do so.
It was estimated he caused $700,000 in damages. What makes him one of the top eleven hackers ever is that he even left a message on one computer saying, ” Your security is crap! The worst part about it all is that no one even knew about it until after four years when an investigator happened upon it.
McKinnon was given several warnings from officials, a self-proclaimed computer nerd with average intelligence, who reminded him that he was committing a serious crime. He took notice and ceased his attack but only made it worse. After admitting his crimes and being taken into custody by Scotland Yard, he began a six-year battle against extradition to the United States. In 2012 he won his fight against extradition and returned home to Britain, where he faced years in prison if convicted in a US court.
The Syrian Electronic Army
A group based in Syria has gained international notoriety for hacking high-profile websites such as The New York Times and Twitter. The group was initially a non-violent, pro-democracy organization focused on empowering civil rights for Syrians. After 2011, however, their goals shifted toward what some call extremist behavior – hacking pro-Syrian organizations, posting pictures with Islamic jihadists, and threatening President Obama.
In 2013 they hacked Facebook’s most-liked pages and reportedly tried unsuccessfully to blackmail officials from PayPal, Western Union, and Citigroup. Despite attempts by Facebook and others, no one has been able to successfully prosecute a member or leader of the Syrian Electronic Army – making them officially one of the top eleven hackers in history!
Although today they’re classified as one of the top eleven hackers in history, their beginnings are humble. The group was originally organized by a student from Damascus University, who joined with other sympathetic students to mobilize against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
After gathering momentum and amassing thousands of followers on Facebook and Twitter, they became one of the most well-known opposition groups during Syria’s Arab Spring – even though members faced torture at Assad’s hands. Eventually, however, internal dissent within their ranks led some faction members towards more extreme methods such as hacking pro-Syrian government sites and social media accounts.
Max Ray “Iceman” Butler
This Hacker, who had international notoriety in his day, was convicted on federal charges and served four years in prison. The government alleged that Butler hacked into NASA’s computers and stole information about military planes and helicopters. He also was charged with attempting to sell trade secrets from McDonnell Douglas, where he’d worked as a computer contractor.
After being released from prison, Butler became an evangelist for hacker ethics and became one of the top eleven hackers under age 30 (according to app daily). He taught at various community colleges and wrote books about computer security. Max Ray Iceman Butler died in 2009 from injuries sustained during a bicycle accident.
He had great and intense knowledge of computer hacking methods and techniques. He is apart from other top eleven hackers of all time. He used his knowledge for both positive as well as negative purposes. However, he was prosecuted by law at one point, and after serving a prison term of 4 years, he was released on probation. After being freed, he devoted his life to teaching youngsters about ethics in cybercrime & internet security.
Perhaps one of the best-known top eleven hackers in United States history, Kevin Poulsen is a former convict who spent time behind bars for hacking and phone fraud. He was also a phone phreak who, according to news reports, even hacked into two competing radio stations by mimicking telephone operators. Poulsen later went on to help law enforcement agencies as an informant and cybercrime researcher.
His reputation helped him gain access to hacker groups that were considered off-limits by most people at that time, including some pretty big names like L0pht Heavy Industries and CULT OF THE DEAD COW (CDC). During his career, he received five nominations for major industry awards (including for Person Of The Year), won two, and created another two himself.
The CDC was a controversial hacker group that consisted mainly of members who had been arrested and served time in prison. The CDC, originally just known as the cow, did not approve of Poulsen for fear that he would bring law enforcement agencies down on them all at once.
But by going out of his way to gain their trust, Poulsen was allowed access into their community and eventually wrote about his experience with them in an underground magazine called Phrack. He received a lot of backlash from other prominent hackers and from law enforcement agencies for doing so, but it led him on a path to becoming one of the most notable top eleven hackers ever.
11th-century Arabic woman hacker. Astra reportedly hacked into her government’s computer systems and gave birth to her son without leaving any trace. Over a thousand years later, she is recognized as one of history’s top eleven hackers and an important figure in information security and women in technology. Astra is of the top eleven hackers because she was such a great hacker for her time that no one even noticed until it was too late.
She is considered an inspiration for women everywhere who want a career in hacking, which remains largely dominated by men today. Even though much has changed about computers since 11th century Baghdad, there are still many resources out there for learning how to code and get started in software development—and many more women are doing just that today than ever before!
Though a woman breaking into computers today is not nearly as exciting or unusual as in Astra’s time, there are still many ways women can get involved with information security and software development. These days, you don’t have to be an Arabic woman living in Iraq or a genius to start your own business in hacking.
Topping our list of top eleven hackers is Kevin Mitnick, whose criminal activities included:
- A two-year prison stint.
- Twelve years as a fugitive.
- An FBI Most Wanted fugitive.
Mitnick reportedly obtained unauthorized access to several computer systems by placing himself into their phone company networks. He was indicted on fifteen counts, convicted on four, and pled guilty to one charge. Nowadays, Mitnick offers his expertise as an information security consultant. He also wrote two books about his past misdeeds—The Art of Deception and Intrusion—New York Times bestsellers since publication.
Mitnick’s life was defined by a profound love for computer hacking, beginning at age 12. He soon found a place for himself on Omen Tech Model Railroad Club’s (OTMC) bulletin board system. With his knack for computers, he became an officer on OTMC after a year or so, when it hosted its own BBS and eventually went commercial as a teleconferencing business. Mitnick then moved on to bigger organizations, where he gained access by tapping into voice-mail boxes. In one of his many big breaks, he got access to the Pacific Bell telephone network via answering machine tape storage centres with two friends who were not involved in any hacking activity. Still, we’re charmed by Mitnick’s skills.
Maybe it’s a sign of our times, but hackers these days are some of history’s most famous (and infamous) characters. Consider someone like Edward Snowden. Yes, there’s all sorts of legal stuff up in arms about him at present—but we can’t ignore that he made serious waves during his time as a hacker and gave us a glimpse into how our personal information is stored and used by big businesses and governments alike.