There are several people who have had the distinction or the infamy to be called some of the greatest cybercriminals in computer software history. The first and foremost person that comes to mind within the halls of the United States Department of Justice is Kevin Mitnick. Mitnick has the distinction of have two movies made from his escapades. He started out innocently enough by hacking the bus punch card system of Los Angeles to get free rides but soon moved up to hacking into major corporations mainframes such as Digital Equipment Corporation, where he pirated software. After that he proceeded on a two year hacking spree where he hacked to get corporate secrets and managed to access the national defense warning system. He was eventually caught and served over five years in solitary confinement. Today, he is a speaker, consultant and author on computer security.
Another hacker extraordinaire was Adrian Lamo. His hacking exploits are legendary due to the fact he hit major corporations from ordinary Wi-Fi hot spots such as libraries and coffee shop which earned him the dubious name the homeless hacker. While he isn’t known for using his hacking for monetary gain, he did in fact relish in finding security flaws within the software used and at times created by some of the most powerful and influential companies around, most notably Citigroup, Cingular, Bank of America and Yahoo. Once he infiltrated the New York Times internal mainframe he was listed as a top cybercriminal. While he was never jailed he was forced to serve two years probation and six months of home confinement as well as a $65,000 fine. Today, he is an award winning journalist and a public speaker. While we can name these individuals as two of the most infamous cyber criminals, the real top prizes belong to those who have never been caught.