Gary McKinnon was accused of hacking into 97 United States military and NASA computers over a 13-month period between February 2001 and March 2002, at his girlfriend's aunt's house in London, using the name 'Solo'. The US authorities stated he deleted critical files from operating systems, which shut down the United States Army’s Military District of Washington network of 2,000 computers for 24 hours. McKinnon also posted a notice on the military's website: "Your security is crap". McKinnon was also accused of copying data, account files and passwords onto his own computer. US authorities stated the cost of tracking and correcting the problems he caused was over $700,000.
Kevin Mitnick is the world's most famous hacker. Once he was one of the FBI's Most Wanted because he hacked into 40 major corporations just for the challenge. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Mitnick gained unauthorized access to dozens of computer networks while he was a fugitive. He used cloned cellular phones to hide his location and, among other things, copied valuable proprietary software from some of the country's largest cellular telephone and computer companies. Mitnick also intercepted and stole computer passwords, altered computer networks, and broke into and read private e-mails.
15 year old Jonathan James was the first juvenile convicted and jailed in the United States for hacking. He was reported to have stolen software worth more than $1.7 million. He gained access to information like the source code responsible for operating the International Space Station. Once NASA detected the breach, the space agency shut down their computers for three weeks, apparently losing an estimated $41,000.
Vladimir Levin is a Russian individual famed for his involvement in the attempt to fraudulently transfer $10.7 million via Citibank's computers. After some time Citibank claimed that all but US$400,000 of the stolen US$10.7 million had been recovered.
Kevin Poulsen is an American former black-hat hacker. On June 1, 1990, he took over all of the telephone lines for Los Angeles radio station KIIS-FM, guaranteeing that he would be the 102nd caller and win the prize of a Porsche 944 S2. Poulsen was wanted by the FBI for federal computer hacking at the same time he was winning the Porsche and $20,000 in prize money at a separate station.
Adrian Lamo is an American former hacker. He first gained media attention for breaking into several high-profile computer networks, including those of The New York Times, Yahoo!, and Microsoft, culminating in his 2003 arrest.
Albert Gonzalez is an American computer hacker and computer criminal who is accused of masterminding the combined credit card theft and subsequent reselling of more than 170 million card and ATM numbers from 2005 through 2007—the biggest such fraud in history. During his spree he was said to have thrown himself a $75,000 birthday party and complained about having to count $340,000 by hand after his currency-counting machine broke.
Astra gained access to French aviation company Dassault Group computers, stealing weapons technology data for more than five years. Astra sold information about jet fighters and military aircrafts to countries during the period spanning the hacks. Astra’s infiltration of Dassault computers apparently cost the company more than $360 million.
David L. Smith
David Smith authored the Melissa worm virus; that is, the first successful email-aware virus distributed in the Usenet discussion group alt. sex. Arrested and sentenced for causing more than $80 million in damage.
Yan Romanowski, also known as MafiaBoy, was arrested in February 2000 for launching a denial-of-service attack that brought down many of the Internet's largest sites, including Amazon, eBay, and Yahoo.