Claims to fame: High-profile hackers and what happened next

Claims to fame: High-profile hackers and what happened next

Summary: Some of the most high-profile computing criminals and alleged hackers - and it seems many turn to journalism after.

TOPICS: Security

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  • In 1988 a computer virus infected around 6,000 major Unix machines, replicating itself and slowing the systems down to the point of being completely unusable and reportedly causing millions of dollars in damage.

    The hand behind the virus? Robert Tappan Morris. Whether this virus was the first of its type is debatable -- but one thing is set in stone. Morris became the first person to be convicted under the 1988 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

    Son of former National Security Agency scientist Robert Morris, the 'Morris worm' was coded when he was studying at Cornell. He asserted that the worm wasn't meant to cause any damage; instead, it was intended to 'gauge the size of the Internet'.

    This didn't help, however, and Morris was given three years' probation, 400 hours of community service and a fine of $10,500. After his conviction, Morris began working as a professor at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.

  • Famous as the co-founder of Apple, Stephen "Woz" Wozniak is a little different from other profiles here -- and began a 'white hat' hacking career with 'phone phreaking' -- in other words, ways to bypass a the phone system.

    As a student at the University of California, Wozniak made 'blue box' devices for his friends so they could make free long-distance phone calls -- reportedly, one of these items was also used to call the Pope while pretending to be Henry Kissinger.

    He later left university to begin working on computer designs, forming the Apple computing system with Steve Jobs. Wozniak designed the hardware and the majority of the software for the first Apple prototypes. Wozniak and Jobs sold the first one hundred of the Apple I to a local dealer for $666.66 each.



Topic: Security

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  • It ain't worth it. No way. No how.

    The hackers that do crime have this teflon belief where they have convinced themselves that they are smarter than everyone else. Delusions of grandeur, etc. Everyone makes a mistake. Count on it.
  • A dream

    That guy's a profiler's dream; he ego, narcissism and depravity and lack of conscience show well in his photo. It's the kind of face you'd just love to fill with a jack-boot.
  • Wastes of skin

    Amen; and with egoes to match on top of their narcisism. I'm a profiler of sorts and that photo of that guy shows a total lack of respect for anyone else, an overblown ego, no consience and if not already true could be guilty of heinous crimes and an inability to see where anything he does is wrong. That's typical of these types of people.
  • Charlie, you missed one of your ZDNet guest writers.

    By which I mean Robert Schifreen. At least we know what HE's doing now - he has been writing about it all through May 2012 for ZDNet UK!
  • Mitnick

    They always say Mitnick works as a security consultant, but I've heard no one uses his services more than once. Why hire a guy who will install a back door into your computer when there are thousands who won't? I wouldn't hire him to clean out my pool.
  • Claims to fame: High-profile hackers and what happened next

    these people (hackers not crackers) were kids with more brain processing power than most of us. some of them opted to skirt the law and got caught, others became lucky and still are running wild in their chosen criminal profession. but we should not forget that most of them became the pillar of advancement in computing. kids are kids, they need guidance from home and from society to channel their creative energy for the benefit of us all. mitnick is a security consultant because he knows more about the psyche of a criminal mind, remember the old adage, "you need a thief to catch another thief." anybody can watch "catch me if you can", and see how the government used the talent of a young criminal to secure our checking system. and don't forget the woz. there are millions of them like him out there, working their butt off to understand how computers and networks work, and then use those gained knowledge when they join the job market later.
  • These guys should get laid

    If only these guys had managed to find a woman and something better to do in life besides sitting at a computer all day.. sigh..