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Top 10 Hackers
Learn how to secure yours system to avoid being hacked.
Hackers in Hollywood tend to be portrayed in extremes: They're either modern-day equivalents of James Bond or anti-social yet tech-savvy teenagers looking for ways to amuse themselves at the expense of other computer users. The truth is, hackers are an assortment of IT-knowledgeable individuals who are both responsible for billions of dollars of losses yearly and the unstoppable evolution of the worldwide web. As such, this article will tackle the good, the bad, and the geeky hackers of modern-day computing.
1. Shawn Fanning: This hacker has helped a lot in revolutionizing (that is, enacting actual, irrefutable change) the music industry, particularly in the domain of music distribution. Together with the help of Shaun Parker and Jordan Ritter, the three visionaries set out to launch Napster—a P2P application that ultimately popularized the free exchange of music files via the Internet.
2. Robert Morris: He is the inventor of first Internet-based worm ever made. His namesake exploited both fingerd and sendmail vulnerabilities in order to induce buffer overflow. After serving time for his supposed cyber crimes, he made a profitable startup that was bought by Yahoo for a considerable sum and became the co-founder of ViaWeb along with Paul Graham.
3. VallaH: This hacker was the one responsible for the first smart DOS attack, ping-of-death, and jolt.c, which enabled him to entertain script kiddies across cyberspace and bring entire multinational companies down on their knees.
4. Gordon Lyon: More renowned for the nom de net of "Fyodor", Lyon is credited as the creator of Nmap (the hacker's first-ever tool that has made a big enough impact in pop culture to be included in movies like "The Bourne Ultimatum" and "The Matrix"), the founder of insecure.org, and the pioneer of service fingerprinting.
5. Kevin Mitnick: He's arguably the most famous real-life black hat hacker because of all the media and press attention he has gotten over the last decade. For years, he had been imprisoned without charge by the government before he was sentenced to three years and ten months with consideration of the time he'd already spent in jail. He now runs his own IT security company at present.
6. The Mentor: This anonymous, cultish hacker leader was the author of the Phrack-magazine-published Hacker Manifesto. He served as an inspiration to a generation of children worldwide who wanted to become a hacker just like him.
7. Karl Koch: This German hacker from the 1980s was far more well-known for his controversial antics (i.e., his paranoia over the Illuminati, his obsession with the number 23, and his cocaine addiction) than his involvement in a computer espionage incident during the Cold War.
8. Richard Jones: A young Australian hacker (also known by the code name of Electron) who spread disorder across the Internet with nothing more than a modem and his technical know-how. After being arrested by Australian Federal Police in 1990 and serving time in jail, he eventually became a security consultant and researcher.
9. Kevin Poulsen: He's a former black hat hacker who's now the senior editor of Wired News. He once used his hacking skills to "phreak" his way into winning an LA radio contest and getting a brand new Porsche, but he was ultimately caught and arrested for his actions.
10. Adrian Lamo: This gray hat hacker demonstrated to everyone across the globe that it's possible to take down large websites by just manipulating URLs. He is now an award-winning journalist.
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