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The Cyber Crime Hall of Fame

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the do-they-get-cool-bronze-statues dept.

Hardware Hacking 145

DigitalDame2 writes "Not all hackers are bad guys, but a few fall prey to the dark side and use their talents for evil — not good. In compiling this list of the craziest cyber crimes, PC Mag looked for a few things: ingenuity (had it been done before?), scope (how many computers, agencies, companies, sites, etc. did it affect?), cost (how much in monetary damages did it cause?), and historical significance (did it start a new trend?). Read on about famous hackers John Draper, Robert Morris, Kevin Poulsen, and others."

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blah! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24920409)

sdf

waffles are great (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24920411)

tomato sauce is the DEViIOL and cromulate

Trouble compiling (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24920443)

In compiling this list of the craziest cyber crimes, PC Mag looked for a few things:

I'm having trouble replicating their results. I'm getting errors no matter which compiler I use. Did they use some expensive proprietary compiler?

Re:Trouble compiling (0, Troll)

Smidge207 (1278042) | more than 6 years ago | (#24920605)

Is the tick box next to 'interpret XML' checked?

=Smidge=

Re:Trouble compiling (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24920793)

try turning off all the advertisements

They forgot one big hacker (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24920501)

Michael Bolton.

The criminal mastermind who successfully laundered (To clean... no, I mean... to channel money through a source or by an intermediary.) thousands of dollars from his employer, Initech.

Like any great hacker, he was not caught due to the fact that all physical evidence of his crime disappeared...

Re:They forgot one big hacker (3, Funny)

Pugwash69 (1134259) | more than 6 years ago | (#24921505)

Guilty of releasing some awful albums too, if I remember correctly.

Re:They forgot one big hacker (4, Funny)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 6 years ago | (#24922319)

I believe the term is "no-talent ass clown" ;)

Re:They forgot one big hacker (2, Funny)

PawNtheSandman (1238854) | more than 6 years ago | (#24922561)

Personally, I celebrate his entire catalog.

Re:They forgot one big hacker (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24922021)

And his music sucks, as well. Srsly I rather a have root-canal than listen to that shiat.

Re:They forgot one big hacker (1)

Shade of Pyrrhus (992978) | more than 6 years ago | (#24922075)

I believe you have my stapler...

Not the first. (1)

Comboman (895500) | more than 6 years ago | (#24922299)

The list was a compilation of hacking firsts. Bolton didn't make the list since he got his idea from Richard Pryor in Superman III.

Must be said! (5, Funny)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 6 years ago | (#24920515)

FREE KEVIN!

Re:Must be said! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24920603)

He is actually Free Now... The slogan have since changed to "PUT KEVIN BACK!".

Re:Must be said! (3, Funny)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 6 years ago | (#24920655)

I refuse to let the meme die! Even if it completely irrelevant. I will beat this horse until its organs stain my clothes.

Re:Must be said! (3, Funny)

g0dsp33d (849253) | more than 6 years ago | (#24920749)

Please don't stop there.

Re:Must be said! (2, Informative)

Phoenix (2762) | more than 6 years ago | (#24920637)

http://www.mitnicksecurity.com/ [mitnicksecurity.com]

Already been done and now he's doing quite well for himself. He was wrong for doing what he did, and yes so to was the government.

However he is now doing fairly well for himself with his books and appearances on TV. I think AMW last year he was working to help profile a computer hacker.

You want him free? Done and Done.

Re:Must be said! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24920817)

He means free as in beer!

Free (as in beer) Kevin Mitnick!

Re:Must be said! (1)

DarenN (411219) | more than 6 years ago | (#24920825)

You want him free? Done and Done.

No, now you have to pay for him

Re:Must be said! (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 6 years ago | (#24920881)

FREE KEVIN!

Schedule a meeting, offer a Free Hat. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Must be said! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24920937)

Free Lamo

Re:Must be said! (1)

Hyppy (74366) | more than 6 years ago | (#24920939)

According to the article, Kevin Mitnick is historically insignificant. Well, at least if the lack of tag for "Historic Significance" means anything.

Re:Must be said! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24922099)

I'll take it.

Re:Must be said! (2, Funny)

JoCat (1291368) | more than 6 years ago | (#24923687)

*With purchase of equal or lesser value.

Unsolved Cyber Crime (5, Interesting)

pigphish (1070214) | more than 6 years ago | (#24920575)

I'd love to see the companion to this article. Greatest unsolved computer exploits. They never seem to get much publicity when they are not caught.

Re:Unsolved Cyber Crime (1)

bornyesterday (888994) | more than 6 years ago | (#24921149)

The greatest unsolved computer exploits are the ones that no one ever discovered.

greatest known unsolved exploits maybe?

Re:Unsolved Cyber Crime (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24921665)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WANK_(computer_worm) [wikipedia.org]

Look at the references (heck, read the entire book), for some information about this worm.

Re:Unsolved Cyber Crime (4, Interesting)

Intron (870560) | more than 6 years ago | (#24921779)

Was the author of this ever found? Two lines of cleverly obfuscated code. http://kerneltrap.org/node/1584 [kerneltrap.org]

history be judge (5, Interesting)

Tom (822) | more than 6 years ago | (#24920577)

I agree with them as far as the "historic significance" goes. For the more recent ones, I'm not so sure. Maybe that's because most of those who actually did it first weren't caught. But the most important trends at this time are stuff like organized crime, spam (and the connection between the two) and extortion. The singular trend behind all these is that those early guys were curious people who did things "because they can", as the article states. But they're dinosaurs today. Money is the reason these days, not curiosity. To miss that one vital trend is to miss everything that's happened in security for the past years.

Re:history be judge (2, Insightful)

darkmeridian (119044) | more than 6 years ago | (#24920751)

I agree. The TJX break-in that revealed the private information of hundreds of thousands of consumers was recent but also groundbreaking because it brought to the fore the importance of data security. Before TJX, IT budgets were probably being cut to make room for Sarbanne-Oxley compliance. After TJX got screwed, I'm sure IT security budgets went through the roof.

Gary McKinnon (3, Funny)

stewbee (1019450) | more than 6 years ago | (#24920593)

FTFA

Never underestimate the power of curiosity. In 2001 and 2002, British hacker Gary McKinnon gained access to Air Force, Army, Navy, NASA, Pentagon, and Department of Defense computers--97 in total--in a quest for evidence of flying saucers.

Why do I find this so funny!

Re:Gary McKinnon (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24920769)

I do not know human. Tell me.

Re:Gary McKinnon (1)

drseuk (824707) | more than 6 years ago | (#24920877)

Because Argos does telescopes for GBP 7.99?

Extradit Gary McKinnon (1)

jsse (254124) | more than 6 years ago | (#24920613)

from planet Vulcan?

Hold your flamethrower! I'm not making fun of Gary McKinnon's look [ziffdavisinternet.com] . I'm a huge fan of Spock [wikipedia.org] , and I do think he looks so COOL. XD

Oooh! Oooh! I know! (5, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 6 years ago | (#24920633)

PC Mag looked for a few things: ... scope (how many computers, agencies, companies, sites, etc. did it affect?), cost (how much in monetary damages did it cause?), and historical significance...

Windows 98?

Re:Oooh! Oooh! I know! (1)

g0dsp33d (849253) | more than 6 years ago | (#24920795)

Was thinking the same thing, not so much 98 as ME / Vista.

-Weatherbug

Probably the biggest of all time: Solitaire

Re:Oooh! Oooh! I know! (1)

bytedoyen (1356799) | more than 6 years ago | (#24922249)

Wouldn't a requirement be that the software actually works as the hacker intended?

Re:Oooh! Oooh! I know! (1)

AscianBound (1359727) | more than 6 years ago | (#24923811)

PC Mag looked for a few things: ... scope (how many computers, agencies, companies, sites, etc. did it affect?), cost (how much in monetary damages did it cause?), and historical significance...

Windows 98?

Here, let me fix your typo for you: "Windows 95, 98, 2000, ME, XP, and Vista?"

Anyone see something WRONG here? (5, Insightful)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 6 years ago | (#24920721)

"Vladimir Levin transferred a sum of $10.7 million to accounts in the U.S., Finland, the Netherlands, Israel, and Germany... sentenced to three years in jail, and ordered to pay $240,015 in restitution to CitiBank."

"In 1999, David Smith released the Melissa worm... All told, the worm hit over 300 companies worldwide, including Microsoft, Intel, and Lucent Technologies, forcing them to shut down their e-mail gateways due to mass overcrowding and causing estimated damages nearing $80 million... After pleading guilty, Smith's prison sentence was reduced to 20 months..."

"Jonathan James found out just how much the source code documents for the NASA's International Space Station are worth: $1.7 million... James received six months in prison and probation until he turned 18."

"In February 2000, Calce launched a denial-of-service attack that struck 11 major Web companies... analyst estimates range as high as $1.7 billion Canadian (that's currently about $1.6 billion U.S)... handed a sentence of eight months "open custody," limited Internet use, a small fine, and one year of probation."

" In 2001 and 2002, British hacker Gary McKinnon gained access to Air Force, Army, Navy, NASA, Pentagon, and Department of Defense computersâ"97 in totalâ"in a quest for evidence of flying saucers... Officials claim damages from his entry range close to $700,000... McKinnon is currently facing extradition to the U.S., which could mean up to 70 years in prison."

Anybody spot a GLARING, COMPLETELY LUDICROUS issue here?
Don't talk to me about Govt or National Security; He caused NO significant financial loss and caused NO national security issues past what was already there through inept administration.

Re:Anyone see something WRONG here? (2, Insightful)

FreeUser (11483) | more than 6 years ago | (#24920843)

He's a terrorist.

[Best Republican Redneck Drawl]
Man's gettin' what he deserves! He should thank his lucky UFOs he's going to Federal Pound-me-in-the-ass Prison for 70 years, and not gitmo for life.
[end Best Republican Redneck Drawl]

Seriously, if there was ever a time to question the lack of proportionality in our post-9/11 Bushite anti-terror legislation, this is it. Unfortunately, the fact that the man in not from the US, and doesn't have a very powerful lobbying base in the US, probably means this particular injustice will have to run its course, along with many others, before anyone in America wakes up, smells the coffee, and starts to reclaim the country.

If it isn't already too late.

Re:Anyone see something WRONG here? (5, Insightful)

Madball (1319269) | more than 6 years ago | (#24920893)

What I see is a comparison of several actual sentences and a theoretical maximum sentence. The two, at least in the US, tend to differ widely.

Re:Anyone see something WRONG here? (1)

drseuk (824707) | more than 6 years ago | (#24920929)

Quite. The "differing widely" bit should be unconstitutional much as the passing of vague laws are (theoretically).

Re:Anyone see something WRONG here? (4, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#24920913)

They want to make an example of McKinnon. Mess with the government and you'll spend the rest of your life in prison. Screwing with banks? Cause financial damage? Yeah, we'll give you hell for it. But screw with the government. Oh, you are SO going down. Nevermind that it's already been established that security on U.S. government systems is horribly inept [findarticles.com] to the point of being almost ridiculous [pcworld.com] .

Re:Anyone see something WRONG here? (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#24920973)

Which, BTW, is the real reason Kevin Mitnick was given such a hard time. He hacked into ARPANet in the early 80s.

Re:Anyone see something WRONG here? (1)

kylegordon (159137) | more than 6 years ago | (#24922819)

The same happens here in the UK. Rob a Post Office and you'll get years in jail for stealing from the Crown. Kill someone, and you'll be out after a year or so.

Typical govt behaviour

Re:Anyone see something WRONG here? (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 6 years ago | (#24923197)

They want to make an example of McKinnon. Mess with the government and you'll spend the rest of your life in prison. Screwing with banks? Cause financial damage? Yeah, we'll give you hell for it. But screw with the government. Oh, you are SO going down. Never mind that it's already been established that security on U.S. government systems is horribly inept to the point of being almost ridiculous.

Those with faith in their security don't need to make examples and thus rarely do.

It's the ones who can't sleep at night because they know a kid with a Cap'n Crunch whistle can walk right into and own the joint that feel they must resort to instilling fear into their would be 'attackers'. After all, if the walls can't keep you out, maybe the knowledge of what will happen to you when we catch up to you will.

Works for organized crime, doesn't it?

Re:Anyone see something WRONG here? (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 6 years ago | (#24920963)

Anybody spot a GLARING, COMPLETELY LUDICROUS issue here? Don't talk to me about Govt or National Security; He caused NO significant financial loss and caused NO national security issues past what was already there through inept administration.

Sometimes the attempt is punished even though there's no actual damage. Or do you think attempted murder should be a misdemeanor?

Re:Anyone see something WRONG here? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24921507)

Sometimes the attempt is punished even though there's no actual damage. Or do you think attempted murder should be a misdemeanor?

There was no attempt. He fully succeeded in accessing the systems. The claim is that punishment doesn't reflect the severity (or lack there of) of the crime.

Do you believe in capital punishment for streaking?

Re:Anyone see something WRONG here? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24921709)

Do you believe in capital punishment for streaking?

Depends what she looks like.

Re:Anyone see something WRONG here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24920987)

I was expecting a RIAA comment there somewhere...

Re:Anyone see something WRONG here? (1)

hkz (1266066) | more than 6 years ago | (#24921031)

The point is that McKinnon hasn't been sentenced yet and the others have -- the term they're mentioning is the maximum he's eligible for. We still have to see which side of the fence that will fall on.

Re:Anyone see something WRONG here? (1, Funny)

halcyon1234 (834388) | more than 6 years ago | (#24921367)

" In 2001 and 2002, British hacker Gary McKinnon gained access to Air Force, Army, Navy, NASA, Pentagon, and Department of Defense computers (97 in total) in a quest for evidence of flying saucers... Officials claim damages from his entry range close to $700,000... McKinnon is currently facing extradition to the U.S., which could mean up to 70 years in prison."

Anybody spot a GLARING, COMPLETELY LUDICROUS issue here?

Not really. He'll be serving those 70 years aboard an alien spaceship that will be moving near the speed of light. So for him, it'll only be, like, 1.5 months. And by the time he comes back, Our New Overlords will be common knowledge.

Re:Anyone see something WRONG here? (1)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 6 years ago | (#24922103)

the military doesn't like to look incompetent. after all, if they can't defend themselves against a computer hacker, how can they defend our nation from 'real' threats?

so, since he embarrassed us, let's just lock him up and throw away the key--set an example of him to deter other curious/non-malicious hackers rather than actually address the gaping holes in our security.

after all, it's not like hostile governments or potential terrorists would ever risk 70 years in jail by hacking into our network--problem solved. mission complete!

Re:Anyone see something WRONG here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24922465)

because those crimes have been committed after 2001

I know it's a pet peeve (5, Insightful)

krgallagher (743575) | more than 6 years ago | (#24920737)

Here is the quote:

"Everyone wants to be the first at something and claim their spot in history; though being the first hacker tried for releasing a virus isn't exactly the sort of "first" Mom's going to brag about. In 1999, David Smith released the Melissa worm from a computer in New Jersey through a stolen AOL account."

A worm is not a virus. Neither is a trojan. It drives me nuts when the media uses these words interchangeably. I usually forgive the likes of ABC, but you would think PC Magazine would get it right.

Re:I know it's a pet peeve (5, Funny)

SPQR_Julian (967179) | more than 6 years ago | (#24921061)

Only on Slashdot would a post explaining the technical differences between viruses, trojans, and worms be modded offtopic. Naturally, my mod points expired yesterday.

Re:I know it's a pet peeve (1, Informative)

xaositects (786749) | more than 6 years ago | (#24921213)

not to mention their blatant misrepresentation of hackers. These guys were more aptly termed as crackers since they used their skills for malicious purposes.

They may have been hackers initially, but their move to the dark side changed that. I just think it gives people a warped idea of what a real hacker really does.

Re:I know it's a pet peeve (1)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 6 years ago | (#24922085)

Why is this flamebait? Hacker != Criminal, even if all of them are in this article. The news media typically portrays all hackers as such, but that doesn't mean that we should.

Re:I know it's a pet peeve (1)

xaositects (786749) | more than 6 years ago | (#24922367)

whatever juvenile computer chip concubine modded this as flamebait can kiss my ass. I doubt there are many real hackers who actually like being compared to the scum of society on a daily basis.

TFA is wrong (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24920753)

"Though charged and convicted in the U.K., McKinnon is currently facing extradition to the U.S., which could mean up to 70 years in prison."

McKinnon was never convicted in the UK. IIRC the Computer Misuse act hadn't been passed then. See here: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/08/28/mckinnon_european_appeal_rejected/

He's currently being extradited under the disgraceful one sided treaty where we (i.e. British) hand over anyone the USA asks for without the need to demonstrate a primae facia case.

That'll be the special relationship where we bend over and USA screws us.

Re:TFA is wrong (1)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 6 years ago | (#24922193)

hey, just because you don't live in this country doesn't mean that our laws don't apply to you!

i mean, our rights don't apply to you. you don't get habeas corpus or anything like that.

but our laws, yea, those apply to everyone.

Robert Morris' Worm (5, Interesting)

martyb (196687) | more than 6 years ago | (#24920765)

<GrayBeardMode> I was working at PR1ME when the Morris Worm hit. Nobody really new what was going on at first. Then word was getting out that there was something running rampant over the internet and our feed was taken down. Later it was learned that our systems had the wrong architecture and we were safe from the attack, but the impact on the net was so great that everything was glacially slow. </GrayBeardMode>

There's a great write-up by Don Seeley, Department of Computer Science, University of Utah that (as posted by Francis Litterio). (I used to work with Fran - Hi there!) Anyway, the link to it from wikipedia (Morris Worm [wikipedia.org] ) is broken, but I found a copy in Google's cache at "A Tour of the Worm" [64.233.169.104] . There are other links available (e.g. to a pdf) if you search Google for this title, but I don't want to unnecessarily bog down someone's server. Highly recommended!!

Re:Robert Morris' Worm (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 6 years ago | (#24922997)

You fixed the wiki link... right?

Re:Robert Morris' Worm (1)

martyb (196687) | more than 6 years ago | (#24923267)

You fixed the wiki link... right?

Actually, no; I should have been clearer in my original post. I got a 403 (forbidden) error instead of the usual 404 (file not found) error when I tried to follow the Wiki link. I took a guess that the publicity from this PC Magazine article might have caused load issues.

If it were up to me, the easiest way to deal with it would be to change the permissions, temporarily. Later, when the load drops off, I'd just restore the permissions. So, assuming that's the case, the best thing would be to leave the Wiki link as-is and hope it clears up later.

As it stands, because the link was NOT fixed, knowing where it USED to be allowed me to use Google to locate another copy of it. "Fixing" the Wiki link would prevent that workaround.

Come on now (0, Flamebait)

harris s newman (714436) | more than 6 years ago | (#24920815)

It should be "Hall of shame". These idiots cause more harm than most terrorists.

The dollar value of a human life? (3, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#24921337)

I don't see one fatality because of these "idiots" -- quoted because obviously some amount of intelligence is needed to pull off what they did.

I don't think terrorism should be blown out of proportion, the way it often is in the US, but terrorists actually kill people.

Are you saying that ten million dollars in damage is comparable to killing several thousand people? In other words, that the value of a human life not only can be measured, but that you consider it to be less than a thousand dollars?

Re:The dollar value of a human life? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24923217)

Agreed - and furthermore, it bugs me to no end how now that "terrorism" is the evil du jour, the slack-jawed masses are trying to re-define everything as terrorism.

Call me crazy, but I've always thought that terrorism should involve - you know - actual terror. When someone hacks a website, I may feel annoyance, but I'm not exactly terrified. Ditto when someone pulls a prank, steals an item, or generally acts in some other socially inappropriate manner. Criminal, perhaps; terroristic, not necessarily.

Just my 2c.
-CheckBit

Re:The dollar value of a human life? (1)

T.E.D. (34228) | more than 6 years ago | (#24923379)

Are you saying that ten million dollars in damage is comparable to killing several thousand people?

Worse, its not even real "damage". In most of these cases no actual property was destroyed. Its all just made up numbers for the value of people's time when they had to track down and stop the attacks, or when they were being inconvienenced. But all that money would have been paid anyway, the companies would just have got more work out of it.

If productivity losses counts for "damage", then NCAA's March Madness does far more damage every year. Perhaps NCAA president Myles Brand should be thrown in the pokey too.

Re:The dollar value of a human life? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24924351)

This might be a bit off-topic, but in Economy, actually life has a price. It is estimated in the U.S. a cost of 10 million dollars per life. That statistic is used in indemnity court cases to estimate the ammount to be paid to the victim's family.

"The name's Gates, Bill Gates" (1)

drseuk (824707) | more than 6 years ago | (#24920819)

(engage festival Deep-Scottish-American accent mode) How do you want to go away today? Mwaaahhhhaaaahhhhaaa!

MafiaBoy (5, Insightful)

SirLestat (452396) | more than 6 years ago | (#24920821)

From the article: "then teenage super hacker". I'm sorry but downloading a script from the internet and being stupid enough to run it does not make you a super hacker.

Re:MafiaBoy (1)

cez (539085) | more than 6 years ago | (#24922051)

lol... that "super hacker" part got me too, and I'm sure anyone from undernet who knew him. But eh, MASSIVE POSSIBLE $$$ DAMAGING DOS = SUPER HACK I suppose to the media... How bout some props to Soulblaze (yeah yeah you sold out to M$ - ohwell) and the other folks who wrote those handly lil scripts for ummm...bandwidth testing.

gH for life! hehe.. no mention of the whitehouse.gov hack? =(

What? No NSA? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24920847)

I think the Republicans and the NSA top the list.

Surveillance of an entire "free" nation, and getting taxpayers to pay for their own oppression... Now THAT is the hack of the century!

Re:What? No NSA? (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 6 years ago | (#24920935)

It's not a crime if you used your powers to make it not be defined as one.

Pengo? (4, Insightful)

gambit3 (463693) | more than 6 years ago | (#24920947)

I was hoping to see Pengo, the East German hacker, but it seems history has forgotten about him.

Re:Pengo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24924001)

Seriously!

I consider Pengo aka Hans Heubner one of the defacto 'elites' of the hacking underworld and for him to get none so much as a blurb is shocking. He was one of those types who shaped the very idea of a 'genius kid with an affinity for mischief'

Heck, even Karl Koch should have got a nod considering his involvement in the Espionage case with Pengo and his weird ass 'suicide'

Re:Pengo? (1)

Estragib (945821) | more than 6 years ago | (#24924157)

Psst. He was West German. Also, he hasn't been forgotten. He lives on as a side note to hagbard [wikipedia.org] on Wikipedia.

What about ME?!?!?! (1)

SlappyBastard (961143) | more than 6 years ago | (#24920965)

There was that time I wrote a program that inserted random gibberish into files it found on the school's network.

That was zany. And daring.

They missed Jeffery Ward, the first one (5, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 6 years ago | (#24920979)

They missed Jeffery Ward [google.com] , the first person to do jail time for computer crime.

This was the stone age of computer crime. Ward was convicted of grand theft for stealing a proprietary plotting program from ISD for the benefit of his employer, UCC. One of UCC's customers. Shell, was also an ISD customer, and they had a remote terminal, a UNIVAC 1004, with a card reader, printer, (optional) card punch, and 2400 baud synchronous modem. The customer used the same terminal ID (wired into a plugboard; there weren't really passwords then) to use both UCC and ISD. Ward used a similar terminal at UCC to impersonate the customer's terminal and connect to ISD. Then he submitted a job (on punched cards!) to request that the binary for the plotting program be sent to his terminal and punched on the card punch.

And that's his plan started looking like "America's Dumbest Criminals". The customer terminal he was impersonating didn't have a card punch. So the ISD computer instead punched the desired card deck on a punch in ISD's computer room, and printed a message for the operator indicating who wanted the card deck. The card deck was then packaged up by ISD staff and mailed to Shell.

The package was received at Shell. Since they hadn't ordered it, they sent it back to ISD with a request for a refund. The ISD staff took a look at the card deck, and after some puzzlement, someone realized what it was.

It took a while to figure out what was going on, but the Alameda County DA's office and the Oakland police were brought in, and the first search warrant ever for the search of a computer was issued, to be served on UCC. Nobody was really sure how to do this, but an outside consultant with UNIVAC experience was brought in for the search.

So the big day came. Oakland cops, an assistant DA, and the UNIVAC expert show up at the front door of UCC in Oakland. It's not clear that a search would have found anything; most data back then was on magnetic tape, and the UCC data center had thousands of reels of tape. However, Ward was in the building at the time, and he decided to grab all the incriminating material and duck out the back door.

Big mistake for Ward. Cops know about covering the back door. Ward was quickly arrested, and since he had all the incriminating data, the search was unnecessary and Ward was carted off to jail.

There was a later civil settlement between UCC and ISD. ISD got four tape drives and a "CTMC", a 32-line async port controller. (This was a truckload of 1970s technology.) I worked for ISD when that gear arrived, and it was not in good shape, but we got it working.

Re:They missed Jeffery Ward, the first one (1)

Sryn (976155) | more than 6 years ago | (#24921317)

Great story. Must be told up there with the 'greats'. Sryn

Re:They missed Jeffery Ward, the first one (1)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 6 years ago | (#24922175)

They also missed that guy who hasn't been caught yet. Because we all know, the guy who hasn't been caught yet is a far bigger threat than any of the people on this list.

Re:They missed Jeffery Ward, the first one (1)

bytedoyen (1356799) | more than 6 years ago | (#24922387)

Interesting that he had to pay $305,000 for a plotting program in 1971.

Re:They missed Jeffery Ward, the first one (2, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 6 years ago | (#24922755)

Interesting that he had to pay $305,000 for a plotting program in 1971.

One of ISD's competitive advantages in the early 1970s is that they offered remote plotting, using CALCOMP pen plotters, when almost nobody else did. Engineering companies liked this. The remote plotting was implemented by emulating a UNIVAC 1004 on a very small minicomputer, then hooking up a plotter which was fed from the "output card punch" stream. Since the printer/plotter message protocol had checking and retransmit, this could produce clean plots, unlike competing systems that used async modems of the period, which had no checking.

All this stuff was much harder back then. The mainframes were 1.2 MIPS machines; the remote minicomputers were something like 0.1 MIPS with 8K of memory.

Re:They missed Jeffery Ward, the first one (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 6 years ago | (#24924449)

They also missed my mate John who frauded the Internet voting system for "Stars in Their Eyes" in 1997. How we chortled when Matthew Kelley said "We've had an amazing response from our internet voting" hahaha

An amusing bit of trivia about Mitnick (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24921005)

One of Mitnick's first arrests (as an adult) resulted from his breaking into The Santa Cruz Operation. Yes, that S.C.O..

The reason he got caught was because SCO thought it was their competition who was breaking in.

It took an extremely motivated effort to track him down, due to the way the Telco's worked at the time, and Mitnick knew it. What he didn't know was that SCO was very determined (for the wrong reason).

Note that, contrary to all the published nonsense out there, Mitnick was NEVER prosecuted for breaking into SCO. They were afraid of pressing charges. He was nailed because SCO's competition wasn't afraid to press charges.

the Cyber Crime Hall of Fame .. ? (1)

rs232 (849320) | more than 6 years ago | (#24921027)

Has anyone noticed that all of these 'hackers' actually got caught, that's hardly cause for fame ..

Re:the Cyber Crime Hall of Fame .. ? (1)

Nathrael (1251426) | more than 6 years ago | (#24921265)

That's because the most skilled hackers usually never get known and thus can't be famous.

Missed Two (1)

tbgreve (857544) | more than 6 years ago | (#24921237)

What about shlashdot? How many servers have buckled under the strain of being slashdoted? And how many Companies fell victim for Millions of dollars from the Microsoft Windows Vista virus?

Could be a better article (3, Funny)

adona1 (1078711) | more than 6 years ago | (#24921251)

They missed out the #1 hacker of all time, Matthew Broderick [wikipedia.org] . And Eugene "The Plague" Belford [wikipedia.org] ...a very bad man.

What about ZeroCool! (1)

jmcwork (564008) | more than 6 years ago | (#24922089)

He 'hacked the Gibson' AND got to swim with Angelina Jolie.

Re:Could be a better article (1)

swilde23 (874551) | more than 6 years ago | (#24922165)

I was thinking something along the same lines, but more like Peter, Michael and Samir [wikipedia.org]

What about Superman III? (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 6 years ago | (#24921281)

And those hackers in the '70s?

My favorite Cybercrime (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24921355)

was when Phil Zimmerman exported munitions to teh terrists!

Explanation of MafiaBoy (4, Interesting)

nickswitzer (1352967) | more than 6 years ago | (#24922347)

MafiaBoy At the time of his hack, Mike Calce could only be referred to as MafiaBoy since Canadian laws prevented news outlets from releasing the name of the then teenage super hacker. In February 2000, Calce launched a denial-of-service attack that struck 11 major Web companiesâ"including Amazon, eBay, E*TRADE, and Dellâ"via 75 computers on 52 networks. While there's no hard data to quantify how much monetary damage was done, analyst estimates range as high as $1.7 billion Canadian (that's currently about $1.6 billion U.S). When tried in 2001, Calce was handed a sentence of eight months "open custody," limited Internet use, a small fine, and one year of probation. Ranks For: Scope, Cost

He basically found out how to do a DDOS, which was the first of it's kind. Before that, the main exploits ranged from SMURF.c to PEPSI.c to SLICE3.c (for some reason they were a lot of soft drink names). MafiaBoy went into an irc channel (I am omitting the name) bragging about how he could "down" anything. A few suggestions were made for what at the time were the biggest sites on the web. Once he packeted one, the spectators were unsure that it was really him until he made large website after large website a "404". The rest is history.

Jay Echouafni - DDOS for $$$ and still at large (1)

Mozz Alimoz (245834) | more than 6 years ago | (#24923031)

Is Saad (Jay) Echouafni the most infamous cyber fugitive who never saw the inside of a jail cell?

He made the FBI's Top 10 most wanted list and is still a FBI cyber fugitive [fbi.gov] probably living in his native Morocco now.

Starting in 2003 he paid for DDoS attacks [securityfocus.com] on his online Satellite TV retailer competition. These DDoS attacks did collateral damage on the various hosting and CDNs providers that these competitors turned to for support. The costs were estimated to be as high as $2,000,000 [usdoj.gov] by Attorney General John Ashcroft. The prosecutor for the case, assistant U.S. attorney Arif Alikhan, head of the Los Angeles computer crimes section, said [securityfocus.com] : "I think it's the first case of its kind involving a DDoS for commercial advantage or for hire, ..."

An update to older coverage [slashdot.org] . In 2005, criminal complaints against those techincally involved were dismissed [oreillynet.com]

I'm Unimpressed (2, Funny)

Psion (2244) | more than 6 years ago | (#24923231)

Not a single mention of that nefarious hacker, Rick Astley, who has managed to hijack so many hyperlinks to relevant videos in so many online discussions?

These are losers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24924301)

The real cyber criminals are out now, making hundreds of thousands of dollars on credit card and investmens scams, spam, selling of id information, drugs and who knows what else.

Have you ever heard of truly big ones being caught?

The people mentioned in the article are of the IT w*nker types - those who can't get girls to date.

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