The Most Infamous Hackers of All Time People
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The Most Infamous Hackers of All Time

The most infamous hackers of all time brought down major companies, stole millions of credit card numbers, created viruses and even did some good along the way. These hackers are the pioneers in the computer hacking world and are some of the best at the sport. These are the hackers that made, well stole, millions of dollars from individuals and companies around the world, shut down military systems, toppled companies networks and even provided the first iPhone jailbreak. They may not have intended to do harm but with their actions they've become part of an elite group of the most infamous hacker of all time.

As some of the most well-known hackers of all time, these hackers are also some of the first. Take Robert Tappan Morris for instance. He created the first computer worm, the Morris worm, and spread it across the Internet. Just as Morris was the first charged under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, others were the first prosecuted for their crimes, such as botnet specialist Jeanson James Ancheta who hijacked over a half million computers before he was captured by the FBI.

While some, like Albert Gonzalez who stole over $4.3 million by hacking credit card numbers, wanted to profit from their actions, others actually wanted to do some good. Adrian Lamo spent his time locating security flaws in corporate networks, of which he'd notify the company afterward. Too bad he didn't tell the company ahead of time, which made his actions criminal.

Others have changed how we use our everyday devices, such as George Hotz, who is held in high regard in the hacking world for creating the first iPhone jailbreak.

Sure, many of these hackers spent time in prison for their actions, but nearly as many also came out cleaner and now work to help companies protect against these types of security flaws rather than helping exploit them. That there is a sign of greatness on its own.

Who are examples of infamous hackers? Take a look and see for yourself.

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    Also known across the interwebs as c0mrade, Jonathan James was the first juvenile convicted and jailed for hacking in the United States. At the age of 15, James hacked into several companies back in 1999 including Bell South, the Miami-Dade school system and a little organization called the United States Department of Defense. He didn't really mess much up, but did read sensitive information, including the source code that made the International Space Station work.

    After the intrusion was detected, NASA shut down their computers for three weeks to investigate for a loss of $41,000. James was arrested on January 26, 2000, later plea-bargained and was sentenced to house arrest and probation. He violated that probation by failing a drug test and later served six months in an Alabama prison.

    In 2007, several companies including Boston Market, Barnes & Noble, Office Max and others were victims of a massive computer system hack. While James denied any involvement, he was investigated in connection with the crimes. On May 18, 2008, James was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. According to his suicide note, he was bothered by a loss of faith in the justice system and convinced he would be prosecuted for the newer crimes in which he was not involved.

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