Most Popular Hackers of All the Time and Their Work!

In this article, we have compiled list of Some Popular Hackers of all the time (with their work). We often hear news on TV and social networking sites updating about hackers/hacking groups and their act. Most of them had done something bad, stolen, theft or tricked mass group or any VIP or celebrity.

But not all hackers are bad, moreover these news are about ‘crackers’ whom they loosely refer as ‘hackers’. History has seen some highly exceptional hackers. Some of hackers and their work is highly hyped by media and authorities. Here is a list, we had compiled for you.

Let’s begin with some Hackers and their Work!

Jonathan James

Jonathan James (Hacker)Also known as “c0mrade”. At the age of just 16, he was jailed for his hacking act.  In an interview, he said, “I was just looking around, playing around. What was fun for me was a challenge to see what I could pull off.”

James’s created and installed a backdoor into a Defense Threat Reduction Agency server. This agency of the DOD was in charge of reducing nuclear, biological, chemical, conventional and special weapons threats to the U.S and its allies.

James was also charged for cracking into NASA computers, stealing software worth approx. $1.7 million.

Adrian Lamo

Adrian Lamo

Also known as “homeless hacker”, because of his habit of using public computers at libraries and internet cafes to carry out his hacking attempts. His habit of using public computers made it a difficult task for authorities to track him.


This “homeless hacker” claimed to break-into high profile organizations like The New York Times, Worldcom, Bank of America, Citigroup, AOL, Yahoo, Microsoft and many others.

Adrian Lamo used to pen-test different systems and online websites from public computers. Then, he exploits them and reports his findings and flaws to the companies.

Lamo is currently working as an award-winning journalist and public speaker. 

Kevin Poulsen

Kevin PoulsenAlso known as “Dark Dante”. Poulsen gained attention for his hack of LA radio’s KIIS-FM phone lines during a contest; he jammed all the phone lines of the radio station in such a way that he becomes the 102th caller and won the brand new Porsche, among other items.

He also hacked into a federal investigation database, also pulled the ire of the FBI by hacking into federal computers for wiretap information. His hacking specialty, revolved around telephones.

After serving jail time and giving up on hacking, now he works as a journalist and is now a senior editor for Wired News. 

Linus Torvalds

Linus Torvalds

He is considered a hacker (white hat hacker) for his efforts and intelligence behind the development of Linux Kernel.

He’s the creator and principal developer, of the Linux kernel. The Kernel later became the core for many operating systems (such as Linux Distributions) and years later Android and Chrome OS.

Kevin Mitnick

He is more than a hacker, he’s a social engineer. He had mastered the art of manipulation and human hacking.Kevin Mitnick

He is also recognized as “the most wanted computer criminal in United States history by The Department of Justice.

His exploits were detailed in two movies: Freedom Downtime and Takedown.

During his college days, he used to get free rides in Los Angeles public transport by exploiting the bus punch card system.

After pleading guilty to numerous fraud charges, he served five years in prison and now works as a professional security consultant. He remains active today, especially on Twitter.

Konrad ZuseKonrad Zuse

The very first computer hacker. He might not be in the literal sense, but no hacker could make a difference without his work at all.

Zuse Z3 has developed the first programmable computer in the world. He’s often regarded as the inventor of modern computer. 

Robert Tappan MorrisRobert Tappan Morris

When he was a student, he wrote a worm to estimate the size of Internet. This was the first worm ever launched on the Internet. However, things went wrong- this worm replicated itself excessively, slowing computers down so that they were no longer usable.

This worm infected around 6,000 systems which were 10% of the total size of Internet.

He was sentenced to three years’ probation, 400 hours of community service and a fine of $10,500. 

Gary McKinnon

Gary McKinnon

He was curious to know about existence of UFOs and hacked into the channels of NASA and 97 US military computers.

He had used his girlfriend’s aunt’s house in London for hacking NASA and Military. But later caught and found guilty of hacking. After hacking, he even left a message for them, “Your security is crap.”

Mathew Bevan and Richard Pryce

Mathew Bevan and Richard Pryce

They hacked into the US military computers and used it as a means to infiltrate the foreign systems. They dumped the crucial contents of Korean Atomic Research Institute into USAF system.

Targeting the over-sensitive nerves, what they did, could have triggered great many issues between USA and North Korea.

Albert Gonzalez:

Albert Gonzalez

He did the something which is called the biggest credit card theft in the history. He resold approx. 170 million credit cards and ATM numbers.

When arrested, Gonzalez was sentenced to 20 years in Federal prison. 


Mark Abene

Mark Abene - HackerHe’s member of hacking group known as “Masters of Deception” also known as “PhiberOptik”. He hacked and crashed the AT&T system and 60,000 customers remained without a phone for about 9 hours. He was quickly identified as the culprit.

The Secret Services seized Abene’s equipment. Later, AT&T admitted that the crash was due to an error. But, Abene was convicted and landed for a year in jail.

John Draper

John Draper

He is popular as Captain Crunch, started hacking long before computers were actually evolved. He implemented the programming language Forth and the first word processor for Apple computers, called “Easy Writer”.

He developed Blue Box, a well-known device of that time that could be used to make free unlimited calls. This device could produce numerous analog tone sequences which were then used telecom companies to control their phone systems. This hack technique was called “phreaking”. 

Steve Wozniak

Steve Wozniak

An American inventor, electronics engineer, programmer and technology entrepreneur who co-founded Apple Inc. He also knew phreaking as well.

Draper created his own version of Blue Box and published details on a computer club meeting. Steve Jobs recognized the market potential of the device. From the sale of Wozniak HP calculators they gained enough revenue to build the Apple I.

James Kosta and partners

They hacked high profiled businesses and military computers, including major banks, General Electric and IBM. He was 14-year-old when convicted of 45 counts of technical burglary and 45 years in prison.


He instead joined the Navy at 18 years-old as intelligence analyst. At 20 he joined the CIA, and at 24 he sold his first dotcom company for millions of dollars. Today he mentors “troubled youth” to tap their full potential.

David Smith

David Smith

He authored the Melissa worm virus. The first successful email-aware virus distributed in a discussion group called

He was arrested and sentenced for causing more than $80 million in damage. David served 20 months in jail and remains one of the world’s most notorious hackers.



Astra – a pseudonym, stands for a Greek hacker who gained access to French aviation company- Dassault Group computers, stealing weapons technology data for more than five years.

Astra sold information about jet fighters and military aircrafts to countries during the period spanning the hacks.

Astra’s infiltration of Dassault computers apparently cost the company more than $360 million. Astra was never identified, but is described by authorities as a 58-year old mathematician. Caught in January 2008, Astra was sentenced to six years in jail.


The best hacker is the one who is never caught and never identified. Many hackers leave no traces and no one notices their act.

There are a lot of notable hackers; Some of them are white hat while others are just black hat. The hacker’s list is literally long.

To name a few such as

  • Max Ray “Iceman” Butler (ran up over $86 million in fraudulent charges),
  • Jeremy Hammond (Anonymous Group)
  • Albert Gonzalez (hack of TJ Maxx and other retailers).

Of course, there are entire hacker groups, such as Anonymous, as well.

Conclusion: Hacking and Hackers v/s YOU!

  • Hacking (unethical and illegal aka black hat) is dangerous for your health! If done in an uncontrolled environment (home) without supervision of seniors. HahA 😉
  • Going Black hat is a quick way to book a JAIL Trip – The END!
  • Please read tutorials, warning and disclaimer carefully and perform ethical hacking only (i.e. on the devices and networks you own).

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