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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Profiles of Famous Computer Hackers

As it was mentioned before, the history of hacking is intermixed with
the history of computers. Many of the famous computer hackers of the
past are the billionaires of today.

The most known hacker is Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft.
Considered the richest person in the world for more than a decade, he
became the most successful entrepreneur of the computer industry. His
beginnings go back to the 1970's when he designed computer programs
for the computer platforms of that era, and ended with the
introduction of Windows in the world of personal computers.

After some time away from the media attention, Steve Jobs came back
with the introduction of several new products in Apple. The most known
of them is the iPod, which has revolutionized the music industry
around the world. Jobs started nearly at the same time that Gates,
founding Apple and introducing to the market the first home computer,
the Apple II.

Although Linus Torvalds was known among the hacker community as the
hero who created Linux, the open source operating system, it hasn't
been until recent years that people started to wonder if there was
another option apart from using Microsoft's operating system.
Profiles of Bad Hackers
Unfortunately, there are as many bad hackers as productive hackers.
One of the most famous black hackers is Kevin Mitnick, who broke into
the computers of several organizations, including Fujitsu, Motorola,
Sun Microsystems and Nokia. He was imprisoned and even today can't use
a computer due to a judicial restriction.

Another famous hacker is Vladimir Levin, a mathematician who led a
group of Russian hackers and stole ten million dollars from Citibank.
Until this day, no one knows how they did it.

Jonathan James case is a bit more complicated. He was the first
juvenile from the teen hackers of the USA to be prosecuted for
computer hacking. But that didn't stop him. Later, he was able to
access the computer systems of NASA and the US Department of Defense.
Finally, he was imprisoned.

Fraud for Sale
Years ago, before the coming of the internet, hackers around the world
caused a lot of mayhem in organizations. But now that they have a
potential market of hundreds of millions of persons, their options are
almost limitless. That's why online fraud is considered one of the
cancers of the internet. The only way to protect from it, is becoming
an anti hacker ourselves, maintaining up to date with the most basic
knowledge: firewall, antivirus, antispam, constant operating system
updates and taking care of suspicious websites.

The effects of computer hacking in our history can't be denied. It is
here and it won't disappear. But the most interesting thing about the
history of hacking is that it was expected to happen. You only need to
check old science fiction books to find it.

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