Article provided by www.tmb.co.uk, an official Microsoft Partnership Network IT Firm based in the South East of England, specialising in providing support for companies without in-house facilities.
It’s hard not to come across some kind of hacking organisation or “hacker group” these days, with big celebrity names such as Kanye West being on the wrong end of their sly and censorious, yet guarded criticisms in recent weeks.
Hacker groups are well known for having the ability to criticise, call out and humiliate (as was seen on multiple occasions last year), although there are others who utilise their nerdy exploitation techniques for better and more productive purposes.
What we’re interested to find out is who sits atop the league table of worldwide hacker groups. Here’s a list of some of the most notorious, well-known organisations and where they stand in our self-proclaimed Hackers League Table…
kOS is pronounced “chaos” which is a good start and these guys have quite the reputation as well. They have some very well known members that include Shadow Hunter, AcidAngel and The Assassin, while they also have an impressive arsenal of homemade hacking tools.
The “Up Yours” tool was widely celebrated for managing to bring down numerous sites including those of politicians and the Ku Klux Klan.
A 16 year-old hacker started this group wtith the alias TriCk and subsequently brought together a group that managed to hack Facebook, the EDL and even NATO. Tony Blair was victim of an email account hack that lead to personal data being stolen.
In addition, the BlackBerry developers, Research In Motion, were given a blog makeover after pledging allegiance to the police during the London riots. Their CV is particularly impressive considering they were started not too long ago by a teenager in his bedroom.
Masters of Deception
The name leaves little for the imagination but that might be because it was founded over 15 years ago. They were bitter rivals to the Legion of Doom, a coexisting hacker group based in Texas.
Despite being one of the first to establish themselves in popular media, they spent the vast majority of their time warring with their enemies. It ended on a sour note as racial and class discrimination became common features of both sides’ armoury.
LulzSec has its own motto which is “Laughing at your security since 2011”. It’s responsible for attacks on X-Factor, Fox and Sony as well as both the FBI and the CIA. The X-Factor database was particularly well known after it was revealed that thousands of contestants had their contact information stolen.
After causing billions of dollars worth of damage, they were caught and arrested by the FBI. Shortly afterwards however, the group remerged after hacking a military dating website. Talk about starting from square one…
A street-gang member from Texas named Patrick Gregory started globalHell to carry out devastation on various data websites, causing millions of dollars worth of damage.
What Gregory had created was a virtual gang that caused destruction wherever they went, despite turning to computers to get away from his street-gang lifestyle in the real world. Their most notable appearance was on the US Army’s website, which temporarily stated “global hell will not die” on the home page.
Formed in the late 90’s, Milw0rm had one primary target, which was the Bhabha Atomic Researched Center in India. Their first objective was to steal around 5MB worth of data, before deleting all sorts of data related to nuclear testing off of two different servers. The Atomic Research website was riddled with messages related to anti-nuclear protests.
Hundreds of other websites fell victim to Milw0rm who continued to use them as vessels for their anti-nuclear propaganda. Some of these sites included Wimbledon, the FIFA World Cup, the Saudi Royal Family and even Drew Barrymore.
By far the most famous hacker group known to the online community and one that continues to make the headlines even today, Anonymous have threatened the likes of Facebook, the drug cartel Los Zetas and the Pentagon.
They have previously been quoted as saying they had “declared war” on Scientology. They were most recently in the news for threatening Kanye West, openly criticising his musical talent and achievements.
So there you have it, seven powerful groups of hacking experts that have either posed or continue to pose a major threat to the security of businesses and organisations of all sizes. Some have been known for their protesting and threatened violence, while others have a reputation more associated with admirable targets.
So how do they rank? Here’s our very own league table based on various aspects associated with what makes a hacker group, such as notoriety, reputation and hacking capabilities.
- Masters of Deception
- Global kOS