The World's Most Famous Hackers
His claim to fame is that this mathematician who graduated from St. Petersburg Tekhnologichesky University was the brain behind the Russian hacker gang that cheated Citibank's computers into giving out $10 million. Although his first use of a computer is unknown Vladimir was allegedly using his office computer at AO Saturn, a computer firm in St. Petersburg, Russia, to break into Citibank computers.
Vladimir Levin was arrested at the Heathrow airport in 1995. Tools used by him included computer, computer games and disks, a camcorder, music speakers and a TV set all of which were found by the Russian police at his apartment. During his trial, Levin alleged that one of his defence lawyers was actually an FBI agent.
He was known to run the world's most popular remailer programme called penet.fi. Surprisingly, this remailer, the busiest in the world, was run on an ordinary 486 with a 200-megabyte hard drive. His other idiosyncrasy was that he never tried to remain anonymous.
The Finnish police raided Johan in 1995 due to a complaint by the Church of Scientology that a penet.fi customer was posting the "church's" secrets on the Net. At that time Johan had to abandon the remailer.
Kevin Mitnick alias on the Net was Condor. As a teenager Kevin Mitnick could not afford his own computer. He would therefore go to a Radio Shack store and use the models kept there for demonstration to dial into other computers.
One of the unusual things about Mitnick was that he used the Internet Relay Chat (IRC) to send messages to his friends. A judge sentenced him to one year in a residential treatment center. There, Kevin enrolled in a 12-step program to rid him of what the judge also termed his "computer addiction". Mitnick was immortalized when he became the first hacker to have his face put on an FBI "most wanted" poster. His repeated offences - and an image of a teenage hacker who refused to grow up - made him The Lost Boy of Cyberspace.
He was known to the Internet community as "rtm". But he was distinguished by much more than his fame as a hacker. He was the son of the chief scientist at the National Computer Security Center -- part of the National Security Agency (NSA), USA. In addition, this graduate from Cornell University rocketed to fame because of the Internet worm, which he unleashed in 1988, practically maiming the fledgling Internet. Thousands of computers were infected and subsequently crashed. Suddenly, the term "hacker" became common in every household in America.
Surprisingly, Robert's father is to be held responsible for introducing him to the world of computers. He brought the original Enigma cryptographic machines home from the NSA. Later, as a teenager, Morris was recognized as a star user at the Bell Labs network where he had an account. This recognition was due to his earlier forays into hacking.
Dennis Ritchie and Ken Thompson
He was also known as dmr and Ken were the legendary coders who designed the UNIX system for mini-computers in 1969. They were the creative geniuses behind Bell Labs' computer science operating group. UNIX really helped users and soon became a standard language. One of the tools used by them included Plan 9, the next-generation operating system, created after UNIX by Rob Pike, their colleague at bell Labs. Dennis also has the distinction of being the author of the C programming language.