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Famous Computer Hackers


About :


  • What was this case about?
  • Who are the parties involved?
  • Did any prosecutions result?

mitnickKevin David Mitnick (born August 6, 1963) is a computer security consultant and author. He was a world-famous controversial computer hacker in the late 20th century, who was, at the time of his arrest, the most wanted computer criminal in United States history.

What was this case about?

This case is about the following:

Mitnick gained unauthorized access to his first computer network in 1979, when a friend gave him the phone number for the Ark, the computer system Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) used for developing their RSTS/E operating system software. He broke into DEC’s computer network and copied DEC’s software, a crime he was charged and convicted for in 1988. He was sentenced to twelve months in prison followed by a three year period of supervised release. Near the end of his supervised release, Mitnick hacked into Pacific Bell voice mail computers. Mitnick fled after a warrant was issued for his arrest, becoming a fugitive for the next two and a half years.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice while a fugitive Mitnick gained unauthorized access to dozens of computer networks. He used cloned cellular phones to hide his location and, among other things, copying valuable proprietary software from some of the country’s largest cellular telephone and computer companies. Mitnick also intercepted and stole computer passwords, altered computer networks, and broke into and read private e-mail. Mitnick was apprehended in February 1995 in North Carolina. When arrested he was found with cloned cellular phones, over one hundred clone cellular phone codes, and multiple pieces of false identification.[4]

Who are the parties involved?

Did Any Prosecution Result?

After a well-publicized pursuit, the FBI arrested Kevin Mitnick in February of 1995 at his apartment in Raleigh, North Carolina, on federal offenses related to a 2½-year computer hacking spree. [2]

In 1999, Mitnick confessed to four counts of wire fraud, two counts of computer fraud and one count of illegally intercepting a wire communication, as part of a plea agreement before the United States District Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles. He was sentenced to 46 months in prison in addition to 22 months for violating the terms of his 1989 supervised release sentence for computer fraud. He admitted to violating the terms of supervised release by hacking into PacBell voicemail and other systems and to associating with known computer hackers, in this case co-defendant Louis De Payne.

Mitnick served five years in prison, four and a half years pre-trial and eight months in solitary confinement, because law enforcement officials convinced a judge that he had the ability to “start a nuclear war by whistling into a pay phone”.[3] He was released on January 21, 2000. During his supervised release, which ended on January 21, 2003, he was initially restricted from using any communications technology other than a landline telephone. Mitnick fought this decision in court, eventually winning a ruling in his favor, allowing him to access the Internet.

As per the plea deal, Mitnick was also prohibited from profiting from films or books that are based on his criminal activity for a period of seven years.

Mitnick now runs Mitnick Security Consulting LLC, a computer security consultancy.

The case was actually solved when a jilted girlfriend of one of the gang went to the police…


Raphael Gray was just 19 when he hacked computer systems around the world over six weeks between January and February 1999 as part of a multi-million pound credit card mission. He then proceeded to publish credit card details of over 6,500 cards as an example of weak security in the growing number of consumer websites.


180px-John_lee_modMasters of Deception (MOD) was a New York-based hacker group. MOD reportedly controlled all the major telephone RBOC‘s and X.25 networks as well as controlling large parts of the backbone of the rapidly emerging Internet.

The original Masters of Deception included: Mark Abene (“Phiber Optik”), Paul Stira (“Scorpion”), Eli Ladopoulos (“Acid Phreak”), HAC, John Lee (“Corrupt,” a.k.a. “Netw1z”), and Julio Fernandez (“Outlaw”).

Additional members whose real names are unknown include: Supernigger (also of DPAK), Wing, Nynex Phreak, Billy_The_Kid, Crazy Eddie, The Plague, ZOD, Seeker, Red Knight (who was also a member of Cult of the Dead Cow), Lord Micro, Silverblade, n00gie and peaboy (aka, MCI Sprinter).

What was this case about?

MOD reportedly controlled all the major telephone RBOC‘s and X.25 networks as well as controlling large parts of the backbone of the rapidly emerging Internet.

Did Any Prosecution Result?

As a result of a major nationwide investigation by a joint FBI/Secret Service task force, five of MOD’s members were indicted in 1992 in federal court. Within the next six months (in 1993), all five pleaded guilty and were sentenced to either probation or prison.

Michael CalceMichael Calce was 15 years old when he made headlines around the world by launching online attacks that brought down the websites of Yahoo!, eBay, CNN and other Internet giants. After being apprehended in a late night raid by law enforcement, he eventually plead guilty to 56 charges and served eight months in a group home facility. In 2005, he began writing a computer security column for Le Journal de Montreal to help educate people about online threats and offer advice for staying secure online. The column was also published in English in the Toronto Sun, Ottawa Sun and on Canoe.ca, one of Canada’s most-trafficked websites. He has also worked for one of Canada’s largest retail computer companies. Michael is now focused on sharing his knowledge and expertise to help people and businesses protect themselves online.
He lives in Montreal.

Did Any Prosecution Result?

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police first noticed Mr. Calce when he started claiming in IRC chatrooms that he was responsible for the attacks. He became the chief suspect when he claimed to have brought down Dell’s website, an attack that had not been publicized at that time.[citation needed]

Mr. Calce initially denied responsibility but later pled guilty to most of the charges brought against him.[6] His lawyer insisted the child had only run unsupervised tests to help design an improved firewall, whereas trial records indicated the youth showed no remorse and had expressed a desire to move to Italy for its lax computer crime laws.[7] The Montreal Youth Court sentenced him on September 12, 2001 to eight months of “open custody,” one year of probation, restricted use of the Internet, and a small fine.


The Legion of Doom (LOD) was a very influential hacker group that was active from the 1980s to the late 1990s and early 2000. Their name appears to be a reference to the main antagonists of Challenge of the Superfriends.

200px-Robert_Tappan_MorrisRobert Tappan Morris, also known as rtm, (born November 8, 1965), is an associate professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in the Institute’s department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.[2] He is best known for creating the Morris Worm in 1988, considered the first computer worm on the Internet.[3] He is the son of Robert Morris, the former chief scientist at the National Computer Security Center, a division of the National Security Agency (NSA).

On November 2, 1988, Robert Morris, Jr., a graduate student in Computer Science at Cornell, wrote an experimental, self-replicating, self-propagating program called a worm and injected it into the Internet. He chose to release it from MIT, to disguise the fact that the worm came from Cornell. Morris soon discovered that the program was replicating and reinfecting machines at a much faster rate than he had anticipated—there was a bug. Ultimately, many machines at locations around the country either crashed or became “catatonic.” When Morris realized what was happening, he contacted a friend at Harvard to discuss a solution. Eventually, they sent an anonymous message from Harvard over the network, instructing programmers how to kill the worm and prevent reinfection. However, because the network route was clogged, this message did not get through until it was too late. Computers were affected at many sites, including universities, military sites, and medical research facilities. The estimated cost of dealing with the worm at each installation ranged from $200 to more than $53,000.


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