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Albert Gonzalez was accused of being the orchestrator of one of the biggest fraud operations in history -- credit card theft and reselling details from 2005 to 2007 through the use of SQL database injections. Over 170 million card and ATM numbers were stolen through malware backdoors on corporate systems.
These backdoors were able to launch ARP Spoofing attacks -- which in turn granted the opportunity to steal sensitive data.
During the operation, Gonzalez is reported to have thrown himself a $75,000 birthday party and enjoyed a cash-filled lifestyle -- often staying at lavish hotels. However, in 2008, he was arrested after hacking into the Dave & Buster's corporate network from a sales point in New York, where approximately 5,000 card numbers were stolen.
In raids, authorities seized $1.6 million in cash, his laptops and a Glock pistol. In March 2010, he received two concurrent 20 year terms.
David Smith. A common enough name, but in the word of viruses, Smith is notorious for one achievement -- the release of the Melissa worm, which was the first successful email-distributed infection of its kind.
Based on a Microsoft Word macro, the virus 'Melissa' -- apparently named after an exotic dancer -- was released into the wild through the Usenet discussion group alt. sex.
The virus worked by asking email recipients to open a document with a message such as 'Here is the document you asked for'. After opening, the virus replicated itself and spread through the first 50 email address contacts in the victim's address book.
According to statements released by the FBI, the Melissa virus "wreaked havoc" on governmental networks, and for some companies, email platforms were frozen until the virus was controlled due to the rapid increase in traffic. Smith was eventually given a 20-month jail sentence, a fine of $5,000 and was barred from computer network access without authorization.
Gary McKinnon was once accused of being the "biggest military computer hack of all time" by a U.S. prosecutor. Born in 1966, McKinnon was accused of trawling through NASA computing systems and those of the U.S. defense department.
He stated it was to find evidence of free energy suppression and to look for information on UFO activity.
After leaving a trail of rude messages about the state of the system's security, he was arrested by British police. No evidence has been discovered so far of any damage done to the systems in question.
More than a decade has passed, but McKinnon is currently fighting extradition to the United States. He was placed at "extreme" risk of suicide if extradited in a recent psychiatric assessment, and Nick Clegg is reported to have said:
"Gary McKinnon is a vulnerable young man and I see no compassion in sending him thousands of miles away from his home and loved ones to stand trial. If he has questions to answer, there is a clear argument to be made that he should answer them in a British court."