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In 2004, Sven Jaschan was found guilt of writing both the Netsky and Sasser worms whilst he was still a teenager. At that point in time, the viruses were considered responsible for 70 percent of all malware present online.
As he was still a teenager, after being convicted, Jaschan was given a suspended sentence and three years probation. However, there was a silver lining -- he was later hired by a security firm.
Adrian Lamo -- nicknamed the 'homeless hacker' due to his delight in using coffee shops, libraries and Internet cafés as his bases, rather than home.
Lamo's claims to fame include breaking into the networks of major organizations. Most of the time, he focused on penetration testing, finding security flaws and reporting findings to the companies that owned them. Lamo broke into the intranet of the New York Times and added his name to their database of experts and gaining access to sensitive information including Social Security numbers.
Other hits included Microsoft, Yahoo!, Bank of America, Citigroup and Cingular.
White-hat hackers are hired for this type of testing -- but Lamo was not. Therefore, after his New York Times break-in, he was ordered to pay approximately $65,000, sentenced to six months of home confinement and two years of probation. Lamo is now working as a journalist and public speaker.
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.