Top 10 Famous Hackers: The World Has Ever Known

Not all hackers are malicious. White-hat hackers are the good guys who use ethical hacking courses to enhance network security. On the other hand, black-hat hackers are known for causing harm, despite their expertise.

In this article, we’ll explore the top 10 most notable ethical hackers of all time. We’ll divide the article into two categories to clearly distinguish between white-hat and black-hat hackers.

5 Best White Hat Certified Hackers

The Six Sigma White Belt certification is the entry-level certification that covers the basic principles of Six Sigma. White Belts can assist in projects and problem-solving tasks related to quality and change management.

It is important to note that obtaining a White Belt certification is free of charge through CSSC, as neither ASQ nor IASSC offer a formal White Belt credential.

Here are most famous Ethical Hackers in White Hat:

1. Mark Abene

A cybersecurity specialist and entrepreneur, Mark Abene is better known by his nickname Phiber Optik.

He was a well-known hacker in the 80s to early 90s and one of the first white-hat hackers to promote ethical hacking as a valuable tool for businesses.

Abene excels in areas like penetration testing, vulnerability assessments, secure coding reviews, security assessment and development, systems and network design, ethical hacking training, and network monitoring.

Some of his clients include American Express, UBS, First USA, Ernst & Young, and KPMG.

2. Johan Helsingius

Johan Helsingius, also known as Julf, rose to fame in the 80s as the founder of, the world’s most famous anonymous remailer. He was also the head of technology development for Eunet International, a European internet service provider.

Today, he is part of the Technologia Incognita committee in Amsterdam and uses his cyber expertise to assist communication firms globally.

3. Linus Torvalds

Regarded as one of history’s greatest hackers, Linus Torvalds is the creator of Linux, a widely used open-source Unix-based operating system.

With over 10,000 contributors to its kernel, Torvalds retains final authority over what new application is integrated into Linux. He authored roughly 2% of the Linux kernel as of 2006 and continues to innovate while having a good time.

Torvalds has received doctorate degrees from Stockholm University and the University of Helsinki.

4. Kevin Mitnick

One of the most famous hackers, Kevin Mitnick served time in jail for violating the Digital Equipment Corporation’s system.

After his release, he went on a two-year hacking spree, breaching the national defense monitoring system and stealing confidential information.

Mitnick was later caught and sentenced to five years in jail. After his release, he became an internet security advisor and popular speaker, starting his own company, Mitnick Security Consulting.

5. Robert Morris 

Robert Morris is the creator of the first software worm on the web, the Morris Worm. This worm had the power to render computers unusable.

He was sentenced to three years in jail, 400 hours of community service, and a $10,000 fine for his actions. Today, Morris is a faculty member at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.

5 Best Black Hat Hackers

Black Belts are experts and advocates of innovation who can lead project teams and manage individuals with Yellow and Green Belt certifications.

They are responsible for managing the entire lifecycle of the process with high accountability. Once professionals or an individual attain this level, they can act as a principal consultant to the project team members and can become a crucial shareholder of the organization.

The ASQ has specific requirements for Black Belt certification. Professionals must have completed two projects with an attached signed affirmation or completed one project with three years of industry experience with an attached signed affirmation.

According to ASQ’s website, the cost of Six Sigma Black Belt Certification is $438 for members and $538 for non-members, with a retake fee of $338.

Here are most famous ethical hackers in black hat:

1. Adrian Lamo

Adrian Lamo gained notoriety for his hacking actions, including breaking into a document management platform and inserting a false quote from Attorney General John Ashcroft.

His actions and statements made him infamous in the press and to those affected by his attacks. In 2002, he took his hacking pranks too far when he hacked into The New York Times system, resulting in a two-year probation and a heavy fine.

2. Gary McKinnon

Gary rose to fame in the world of software hacking in 2002 for committing the “largest military computer hack in history.”

He expressed a desire to penetrate these military systems to learn about UFOs and other technologies that could benefit the common good.

However, he was never convicted as the UK refused to extradite him to the US where he could face up to 70 years in prison on illegal charges.

3. Kevin Poulsen

Kevin Poulsen, known as “Dark Dante,” was well-known for his expertise in telecommunications networks. He hacked into a radio station’s phone service and posed as the lucky caller, winning himself a brand-new Porsche.

Poulsen broke into government computers and obtained wiretap data, putting him on the FBI’s radar. He was eventually caught in a store and sentenced to 51 months in jail and a fine.

4. Loyd Blankenship

Loyd Blankenship, known as “The Mentor” in the hacking community, has been a hacker since the 1970s. He was a part of various hacking groups, the most notable of which was Legion of Doom.

After his 1986 imprisonment, he wrote an essay titled “Mentor’s Last Words,” which has become a seminal piece for the hacking community.

5. Anonymous

Anonymous is both the most well-known and the most enigmatic hacker of all time. It is a dispersed network of hackers with no clear organization or structure, rather than a single entity.

Anonymous has been blamed for attacks on Sony, the Westboro Baptist Church, Amazon, the Church of Scientology, PayPal, parts of the dark web, and governments of India, Australia, Syria, and the US, among hundreds of others, since its formation in 2003.

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