Friday, September 18, 2009

Top 5 Computer Hackers of All Time

Jonathon James
Born in South Florida in 1983, Jonathon James was only 15 years old when he began hacking into various systems in 1998-1999. What really got the attention of authorities was when James hacked into the computers of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), a special division of the Department of Defense.
James later admitted he installed a packet sniffer on a server via an unauthorized backdoor. The sniffer allowed him to intercept passwords (10 considered critical) and over 3,000 messages passing to and from DTRA employees.
James also hacked into NASA computers, where he downloaded software worth $1.7 million. NASA was forced to shut down their computers for 3 weeks once the threat was detected, costing NASA an additional $41,000.
On January 26, 2000, James house was raided by agents from the Department of Defense, NASA, and local authorities. James eventually pleaded guilty to 2 counts of juvenile delinquency in exchange for a lesser sentence of 6 months of prison and probation until the age of 18.
Today, currently 24, James is looking to start his own computer security company.
Computer Used: Gateway Pentium 266Online Alias: c0mradeInteresting Fact: First juvenile incarcerated for cyber crime in the United States
Adrian Lamo
Lamo was born in Boston Massachusetts in 1981. Adrian Lamo is famous for his attempts to identify security flaws on the networks of Fortune 500 companies and notifying them if he found them. Although very noble, the practice is still highly illegal in most places without permission.
He generally took advantage of improperly configured proxies to gain access to networks. His list of targets included:The New York TimesMicrosoftYahoo!CingularCitiGroupBank Of AmericaMcDonaldsLamo is most famous for his 2002 success of breaking into the New York Times computer network and adding his name to databases of expert sources. The Times did not find his actions amusing, and after a 15 month investigation, a warrant was filed for Lamos arrest. Lamo spent a few days in hiding, eventually surrendering to US Marshals.
Lamo pleaded guilty to 1 count of computer crimes against Microsoft, Lexis-Nexis and The New York Times in January 2004. He was sentenced to 6 months detention at his parent's home and 2 years probation, and ordered to pay $65,000 in restitution.
Today Lamo is a senior staff writer at the American River Current.
Interesting Fact: Lamos was removed from a NBC Nightly News segment when NBC asked him to perform his skills on camera and ended up gaining access to NBC's internal network.
Kevin Mitnick
Mitnick is a very interesting addition to the top 5 list because most of his notorious acts came about via social engineering rather than abusing security flaws. He was able to obtain user names and passwords, modem phone numbers, and other various pieces of information solely through social engineering.
His first arrest was a result of a Memorial Day weekend in 1981 incident. Mitnick and two friends talked their way past a security guard at Pacific Bell's phone center and found databases of passwords to access computers and door locks. They even planted pseudo names in various places to setup future social engineering. The case was later solved when an ex-girlfriend of one of the men went to the police.
It has been proven Kevin Mitnick managed to do all the following using social engineering (many more things were never proven):Use the LA Bus system to get free rides at the age of 12Evade the FBIGain admin privileges to an IBM minicomputerGain access to the systems of Motorola, NEC, Nokia, Sun & FujitsuIn 2000, Mitnick was released from prison after serving 5 years (4 ½ years in pretrial, 8 months of solitary confinement). He was initially not allowed to access the internet until 2003, but fought the decision in court and won.
Mitnick now runs Mitnick Security Consulting, where his fame has gained the occasional attention of hackers to occasionally break his company's website.
Kevin Poulsen
First Computer To Hack With: TRS-80 color computer
In 1982, at the age of 17, Poulsen managed to hack into the US Department of Defense's Arpanet, the ancestor of the internet. He wasn't prosecuted, and later ended up working for Sun Microsystems as a programmer.
Poulsens best known hack was when he took over the telephone lines of Los Angeles radio station KIIS-FM, guaranteeing that he would be caller 102 and winning a Porsche. He also used the same scheme to win $20,000 and 2 Hawaiian vacations.
In 1988, Poulsen came into real heat in when the FBI suspected Poulsen of hacking sensitive federal investigation databases. He immediately disappeared off the radar. When NBC featured Poulsen on Unsolved Mysteries, the shows 1-800 phone lines 'mysteriously' crashed.
Poulsen was eventually caught in a supermarket in 1991, after shoppers recognized this famous hacker and tackled him in the store. Poulsen pleaded guilty in 1994 to 7 counts of mail, wire and computer fraud and was sentenced to 51 months in prison and ordered to pay $56,000 in restitution. At the time, 51 months was the longest ever sentence given to hacker.
More recently, Poulsen used his skills to find 744 sex offenders with MySpace profiles leading to 1 arrest. Poulsen has not had trouble finding work due to his highly desired abilities.
Robert Morris
Morris, son of a former NSA chief scientist, is notoriously known for creating the first computer worm spread via the internet.
Morris created the worm in 1988 as a graduate student at Cornell University. According to Morris, he created the worm with the intent of gauging the size of the internet. He programmed the worm to detect if the infection was already present on the computer and compute a tally. Morris believed administrators would defeat his worm by instructing the computer to send a false signal back to worm. Morris decided the best method to solve that issue was to instruct the worm to infect the computer 14% of the time regardless. This resulted in exponential spreading of the worm, destroying thousands of machines.
Morris was indicted in 1989 under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the first Peron to be indicted under this act. In 1990 Morris was sentenced to 3 years probation, 400 hours of community service and a $10,050 fine.
Today, Morris is an associate professor at MIT in the Engineering and Computer Science Department, focusing mainly on computer network architecture.

Top 20 Replies by Programmers

Top 20 Replies by Programmers to Testers when their programs don't work
20. "That's weird..."
19. "It's never done that before.."
18. "It worked yesterday."
17. "How is that possible?"
16. "It must be a hardware problem."
15. "What did you type in wrong to get it to crash?"
14. "There is something funky in your data."
13. "I haven't touched that module in weeks!"
12. "You must have the wrong version."
11. "It's just some unlucky coincidence."
10. "I can't test everything!"
9. "THIS can't be the source of THAT."
8. "It works, but it hasn't been tested."
7. "Somebody must have changed my code."
6. "Did you check for a virus on your system?"
5. "Even though it doesn't work, how does it feel?"
4. "You can't use that version on your system."
3. "Why do you want to do it that way?"
2. "Where were you when the program blew up?"
And the Number One Reply by Programmers when their programs don't work:

Come on, even u say it ......


"It works on my machine"

London Stock Exchange acquires Millennium IT for US$30m

The London Stock Exchange Group plc today announced in a statement on its website that it has agreed to acquire Millennium IT, a Sri Lankan-based technology services company serving the capital markets industry, for US$ 30 million.Millennium IT’s high performance technology will provide the Group with a highly scalable and very low latency in-house developed trading system with multi-asset class functionality and quicker product speed to market. In addition, the transaction will give MillenniumIT the backing of the Group to enable it to develop further its global exchange technology business. MillenniumIT will retain its culture of innovation and creativity, build on its commercial operations and continue serving its existing clients, with its CEO, Tony Weeresinghe, reporting directly to Xavier Rolet. Xavier Rolet, Chief Executive of London Stock Exchange Group, said:“Improving our technology and increasing our competitive position in the fast-moving trading environment is vital. This transaction enables the Group to implement a new, more agile, innovative and efficient IT capability for our future business development as well as running a new cash trading platform which will provide substantially lower latency, significantly higher capacity and improved scalability. “It will also offer cost saving opportunities in the future and give the Group a footprint in Asia. Moreover, MillenniumIT is a proven business, already serving multiple clients in multiple geographies, including some of the best known in their fields. The potential from this transaction is considerable for both parties.”Tony Weeresinghe, CEO of MillenniumIT, said:“This transaction with London Stock Exchange Group is a tribute to the innovative culture of our company, the quality of our technology solutions and our deep pool of talented staff. The Group’s backing gives us the resources to continue supporting our existing customers, expanding the company into other markets and investing for the future.”David Lester, Director of Information and Technology, London Stock Exchange Group, said:“MillenniumIT are a leader in developing low cost high performance trading platforms and financial markets software. Going forward, as well as serving existing and new clients, they will be the Group’s in-house software development team, gradually replacing our current suppliers and bringing intellectual property and know-how fully within the company. We look forward to introducing their proven trading platform before the end of 2010, which will provide our clients with sub-millisecond trading latencies and give the Group a very fast, multi-product, cost-efficient, scalable trading platform. The transition will be carefully managed, with further enhancements to TradElect planned in the interim.”The Group will begin migrating clients to MillenniumIT’s trading system from the end of 2010, replacing TradElect, Infolect, and other interfaces. The new platform will allow the Group to enrich its functionality, in particular for Italian clients, with the possibility of accommodating both trading after hours and stop loss orders.IT development and operational costs for the Group will be reduced, resulting in estimated annual cost savings of at least £10 million from FY2011-12.Depreciation of investment in the current TradElect trading platform will be accelerated as a result of the transaction, and further planned upgrades that take place in the interim will be taken as operating expenses in the period they occur. In total, these are expected to represent non-recurring incremental costs of £25 million in FY2010 and £6 million in FY2011. Under the terms of the Offer, the Group has offered to acquire 100 per cent of MillenniumIT’s shares for cash consideration with a share alternative. It is estimated that 73 per cent of the total deal consideration will be paid in cash, with the rest in new LSEG shares to be issued, estimated at around 600,000 shares.The Group has already received irrevocable undertakings representing over 90 per cent of the shares in MillenniumIT.

Sri Lanka IT firm to be bought by London Stock Exchange: report

Sept 15, 2009 (LBO) - Sri Lanka's Millennium IT will be acquired by London Stock Exchange and its faster trading software would replace the British bourse's existing platform, a media report said.

The report said LSE could pay around 50 million sterling pounds (about 9.4 billion rupees) to buy the technology firm.
Britain's Financial Times newspaper said MillenniumIT's system was claimed to the fastest in the world, handling a trade in 130 microseconds, compared with 250 microseconds for the Nasdaq's OMX system.

The MillenniumIT system can handle up to one million messages per second, compared with 20,000 on the London Stock Exchange's TradElect system and Chi-X Europe's system which processes 225,000 messages per second, the report said.

Mr Rolet told the Financial Times this month that lack of capacity was holding the LSE back.

"We have to [upgrade] because the technology specifications are no longer competitive and that’s impacting our ability to support volume growth," Xavier Rolet, chief executive of the London Stock Exchange as saying.

MilleniumIT, founded by Sri Lankan Tony Weerasinghe developed the Colombo Stock Exchange trading software, making it the most advanced trading platform in the region at the time.

The firm was financed by venture capital funds. There were expectations at one time of an exit through a public listing.