The first hacker duo, also historical names in computer technology, were Dennis Ritchie and Ken Thompson, who in 1969 created a new standard UNIX operating system.
This creative duo has created an open operating system for microcomputers, which has made it easier to work with computers and networks. Soon after its introduction, UNIX became the standard language of the computer. Ritchie and Thompson, have used their ingenious abilities and knowledge of computers in a more than commendable way because their achievement is a major historical milestone in computer technology.
Dennis Ritchie is also the author of the popular C programming language. The golden history of hackers will also include geniuses such as Richard Stallman, who created the GNU operating system in 1980, and Linus Torvalds, who created the world-famous LINUX operating system in 1991.
The misuse of hacker knowledge in the early 70s was applied by John Draper who discovered a way to make free phone calls. Using a whistle that could be bought in a box along with wheat grains, Draper or better known as Cap’n Crunch discovered that the whistle produces a sound of 2600 Hz, and if blown into the handset the payphone will return the money. His discovery is the beginning of Phreaking in which he joins Abbie Hoffman and together they create a Bible about Phreaking, how to get free phone services.
In the 1980s, a lot began to change in the world of hackers. Technology, including the Internet, began to evolve faster, and with it the possibility of hackers.
Their skills allowed them to break into a number of computer systems that they also abused. The first hacker wars began in the 1980s and hacker groups were formed. Among the first groups is the Legion of Doom, which was known as a group with elite hacker geniuses.
A young man named Phiber Optic, real name Mark Abene, was one of the members of the group but after disagreements with other leaders he was expelled from the group. Shortly afterwards, Phiber formed his second group called Masters of Deception, which clashed with Doom in the early 1990s. The long-running cyber war ends when local authorities find out who it is and arrest members of both groups.
Phiber and his gang are not the first to face justice for hacking. Robert Morris was the first accused hacker to create an internet worm in 1988 that infected and crashed more than 6,000 computers. The pomp was all the greater because young Robert Morris was the son of a chief scientist at the State Computer Security Center.
Very quickly, the most popular hacker of today, Kevin Mitnick, became a target of the authorities after he broke into the computer network Digital Equipment. Mitnick, after being taken into custody, was sentenced to one year in prison.
In 1990, Kevin Poulsen in a prize game of one L.A. radio wins a Porsche 944 after taking over the phone system and securing a 102 phone call that brought him a valuable reward. In early 1995, a picture of a hacker, the well-known Kevin Mitnick, appeared on the FBI arrest warrant for the first time. In this case, Mitnick is accused of stealing 20,000 credit card numbers. After a year in prison, Mitnick was charged again, but this time with theft of mobile phone numbers.
After the events with Mitnick, rarely has a hacker worthy of media attention been well-meaning. In the 90s, the term hacker really characterized a computer criminal with extremely great knowledgeable abilities. However, apart from the USA, hackers have already started operating on a global level, and it was only a matter of time before some Russian “kid” would find himself on the wall of power because of his hacking activities. Among the most famous hackers is certainly the Russian mathematical genius Vladimir Levin, who in 1994 broke into a City Bank computer and stole $ 10 million by transferring it to another account. Levin was arrested by Interpol at London’s Heatrow Airport the following year.
It is all of these names that represent the original hackers, and although some of them acted illegally, their knowledge and skills go beyond the average user and thus fall into the geniuses of the computer age.
One of the most famous hackers of today, the author of the banking Trojan NeverQuest, was recently arrested. The District Court of the Southern District of New York sentenced the Russian hacker Stanislav Vitalievich Lisov (34), the creator of the banking Trojan NeverQuest, to four years in prison. Lisov was arrested by the Spanish authorities at the airport – Barcelona – El Prat, in January 2017, and at the request of the FBI, he was extradited to the United States in 2018.
Earlier this year, Lisov pleaded guilty to hacking a computer and attempting to steal at least $ 4.4 million from hundreds of victims, using the banking Trojan NeverQuest.
Like any other sophisticated banking trojan, NeverQuest, also known as Vawtrak and Snifula, allows attackers to remotely control infected computers and steal confidential information.
NeverQuest became so popular among hackers that in 2015 it was the second most popular banking Trojan in the world, to take the title of the most popular malware of its kind in 2016.
According to a press release from the US Department of Justice, Lisov and his accomplices distributed NeverQuest worldwide from June 2012 to January 2015 through social networks, phishing emails and file-sharing services, using exploit kits and drive-by downloads as initial vectors of infection.
The stolen login information was then used to steal money from the victims’ bank accounts in various ways: by transferring money from the victim’s account, withdrawing from ATMs and spending it to buy expensive items online.
“Lisov and his accomplices tried to steal at least about $ 4.4 million using NeverQuest, and stole at least $ 855,000 from the accounts of their victims,” ??the indictment alleges.
In addition to creating and using NeverQuest for his personal gain, Lisov is also responsible for maintaining and renting botnet servers that contained a list of nearly 1.7 million stolen login details, including usernames, passwords, and security issues; and answers.
The criminal offense of conspiracy with the aim of hacking computers is prescribed a maximum sentence of up to five years in prison. In February this year, Lisov signed a plea agreement with the prosecution.
When he is released, which should happen in 4 or 5 months, considering that the time he spent in detention is included in the sentence, Lisov will be under supervision for another 3 years. His lawyer, Arkady Buk, stated that Lisov will probably be extradited to Russia in the spring.