“Non-Russian hackers” from the sandbox

7 min


It seems that along with vodka, bears and balalaika, “Novichok” and the so-called “Russian hackers” have joined the image of Russia in the West. The nature of the latter neoplasm has not yet been fully investigated, but we can confidently say that in addition to Russia, several more countries can be safely added to hacker geography. I suggest looking at the most interesting representatives of this craft.

Jonathan James (nickname – c0mrade) is an American hacker who became widely known for being the first minor sent to prison for “hacking” in the United States. He was 15 years old at the time of the first violation and 16 years old on the day of the sentencing.

James tried to hack into serious organizations, including NASA and the NSA. In the 2000s, he repeatedly managed to gain access to usernames and passwords, as well as the ability to view confidential information. James was able to freely roam the web and steal several files, including the source code for the International Space Station (ISS) software.

According to NASA, the cost of software stolen by James was estimated at $ 1.7 million. James was caught quickly enough, as NASA did everything to stop him, and he was not really hiding.

The boy’s fate is more than sad. In 2007, several well-known companies fell victim to computer attacks. Although James denied any involvement in these incidents, he was under suspicion and was under investigation. In 2008, he committed suicide, believing that he would be convicted of crimes that he did not commit.


Kevin Poulsen (nickname – Dark Dante) – American phone line hacker from the 90s of the last century. Among his most famous cases is hacking the telephone lines of the popular Los Angeles radio station KIIS-FM, thanks to which Poulsen “won” a Porsche 944S.

Once he entered the FBI database, gaining access to classified information about the wiretap. The American authorities did not like this, and Kevin Poulsen was caught and sentenced to 5 years.

After serving a prison sentence, Kevin Poulsen got a job as a journalist for Wired News. He was soon promoted to the position of editor-in-chief, which he still holds today. By the way, in 2006, he even helped law enforcement to identify 744 sex maniacs on MySpace.

I think that in any country where there are enough programmers, there may be hackers. These are specialists who deeply study protection mechanisms and bypass them. I think there are many more Chinese hackers than Russians. Bright labels are always used in the media, because it draws people’s attention to the topic more“, – comments Nikolay Dobrovolsky, Senior Vice President of Parallels

Adrian Lamo – being a young homeless American self-taught genius, the boy managed to hack the networks of such monsters as AOL, Yahoo, Microsoft, AT&T Telecom, MCI WorldCom, Intel, Bank of America, CityBank, Cisco, Google.

It is noteworthy that Adrian carried out all his attacks only through public hotspots, in Internet cafes, bars and other free wireless Internet places, of which there are bulk in America.

This guy can generally be considered the Robin Hood of the hacker world. With childlike spontaneity, he has repeatedly publicly demonstrated the facets of his criminal skill.

So, in 2002, Adrian Lamo was invited to the NBC evening show Nightly News, so that he, as an invited expert, would comment on someone else’s hacking of a major site in prime time. Then no one imagined how it would all end. Since Lamo, despite his young age, was then already a recognized expert in information security, the interviewer did not fail to ask him, by the way, if he could hack the network of their television channel, NBC.

Not in the least embarrassed by such an unexpected turn, Lamo answered “one spit” and, opening his laptop, went to the external Internet. Exactly 5 minutes later, and everything was under the lens of the camera, he was able to get into the NBC intranet, successfully bypassing all the authorization pages and gaining full access to the channel’s database with the personal data of all experts, guests and employees, on the main page of which, ironically, in capital letters it was written: “All information contained on this Web site is to be held in the strictest confidence”.

This program never went on the air on time – the channel’s legal department categorically banned its broadcast, because in this 15-minute, essentially training video, the hacker, using the example of NBC itself, showed in detail how to look for loopholes, errors in the settings of proxy servers, and how easy it is to get into almost any closed network from the outside, using only a regular browser and quite a bit of ingenuity.

At the end of 2002, there was a fatal incident for Adrian Lamo. Then he successfully penetrated the intranet of The New York Times. Using a malfunctioning corporate proxy server, he entered it in 5 minutes, after which it took him another hour to deal with the newspaper’s internal database, which stored a sea of ​​confidential information. When he wrote to the network administrators about the vulnerabilities, they simply did not believe him, writing to him in response: “Who the hell are you and where did you come from?”

Then he went back and added his personal data to the newspaper’s database on the list of top IT security experts that the newspaper consults with during its journalistic work. He re-sent the letter to the administrators, where he already referred to his resume in their own database of world IT authorities, in addition, he quoted the personal mobile phone number of Jimmy Carter, the former US President, taken from the most secure part of the database (containing contacts with VIP -persons of America) to show the local admins what he really accomplished.

This time, somehow everyone at once believed in everything, but events took an unfavorable turn for Adrian – the newspaper submitted an official request to the FBI on the fact of hacking and illegal entry. He was accused of illegal entry, hacking and modifying the database, as well as stealing from the database of more than 3000 mobile phone numbers of Hollywood stars, famous actors and musicians, political leaders, athletes, businessmen, TV presenters, models, as well as famous journalists and writers of America.

The investigation and search for Adrian lasted about 15 months, after which Adrian decided to surrender himself to the US federal marshals in Sacramento, pleading guilty and publicly apologizing to all companies that he inadvertently caused damage. The court ordered him a fine in the amount of $ 65,000, 6 months of house arrest in his parents’ house, as well as 2 more years of probation, during which he, among other things, was prohibited from approaching computers closer than 100 meters. In 2018, Adrian Lamo passed away. He was 37 years old.

Aster – The identity of this hacker, who stole the intellectual property of the French concern Dassault Group for five years in the early 2000s, was never disclosed. It is only known that at the time of his arrest in 2008 he was 58 years old, he was a Greek and lived in Athens, in the past he was a mathematician.

The total damage from the actions of Astra was estimated at $ 360 million. At the same time, he sold drawings, computer programs and other virtual property of the Dassault Group for lower amounts (but not less than a thousand dollars at a time).


Christina Svechinskaya Is one of the few cybercriminals to have received the informal title of “world’s sexiest hacker.”

Initially, Svechinskaya studied at the Stavropol State University. Having chosen the Work & Travel program, the girl, who was fluent in English, moved to Massachusetts, where she worked in a chain of fast food restaurants.

In October 2010, she and her accomplices were accused of stealing US $ 3 million from Bank of America and US $ 9 million from a British bank using fake bank accounts, passports and the Zeus virus. In this crime, the girl was allegedly responsible for transferring money.

Svechinskaya was a student at New York University. According to the investigator, this crime was organized in Eastern Europe and carried out in New York, becoming one of the largest information crimes! Christina Svechinskaya confessed to criminal activity in 2010, after which she was threatened with imprisonment for up to 40 years.
The ending of this story turned out to be more than happy for our heroine. June 24, 2013

Christina Svechinskaya was released by a court order in New York and placed under surveillance and was sued for $ 35,000 in damages. It was for this amount that 5 bank accounts opened by her were replenished. The court also took into account her sincere remorse and the several months she spent in the remand prison.

Keep the cherry on top Adeanna Cook… This blonde is a Playboy model with experience. She is also a talented and lovable hacker. And although Adeanna herself claims that her path in this industry is just beginning, behind her fragile back there are already several high-profile stories about hacking sites. They were connected with a leak of paid content with the participation of Miss Cook (according to the model, it was only a photo). Surprisingly, the girl managed to hack the sites with her own hands and get the photo back. However, knowing that your site was attacked by a hacker with a third breast size and a charming look, defeat does not seem so bitter.

In addition, the girl did not stop there. Having tasted the hacker fame, she decided to help colleagues who find themselves in similar situations. So Adeanna can be safely called a rescuer, if not Malibu, then certainly the personal archives of models. And although the girl still calls her main job posing in front of the camera in very bold outfits (or even without them), hacking in her life will remain a way of realizing her mental abilities.

PS Who do you know from the world of hackers? Can you share interesting facts, movies, TV shows or books on the stated topic in the comments? My top films about hackers look something like “Who am I”, “Hackers”, “Plastic”, “Hacker”.


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