History of Hacking: 10 Best Hackers From The Past And What Happened To Them

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Short Bytes: History of hacking always fascinates us as it tells us about the best hackers from the earlier times. But is not interesting to know that what they did and where they landed up eventually when they got into his unethical field of hacking? Know about the 10 best hackers from the past and their fates.

History of Hacking:

The history of hacking goes back to 1960s when early hackers used to hack into the automated electronic telephone system into giving free calls and unapproved access. Until the 1980s, a series of hackers began emerging out with their DIY devices often named as blue boxes to emulate a phone company signalling tones and make free telephone calls.

Below we are giving you a list of 10 best hackers from the past and what their fates treated them. The top 10 list originally appeared on Motherboard:

10 Best hackers from the past:

10. John Draper:

John Draper is regarded as one of the 10 best hackers from the past. John Draper was also known as Captain Crunch for an obvious reason of hacking using cap’n crunch boxes. He even hacked IBM’s first word-processor for which he had to smell the air of the prison.


John Draper, one of the best hackers, unlike what we can think of, is in very bad shape because of some poor business decisions. Some say, he literally begs for his living but, thanks to his supporters who are running a ‘Saving Captain Crunch’ campaign to fund his livings. He still gets some donations via his blog.

9. Steve Wozniak:

blue box steve jobs wozniak

If you are an Apple fan, then you must be aware of this name ‘Steve Wozniak’. Yes, he is the co-founder of one of the most innovative company on this earth – Apple. Steve Wozniak got famous because of his blue boxes which were used to hack into the AT&T telephone network and make free calls.

Steve Wozniak needs no explanation about what is he doing now.

8. Joe Engressia


A 7-year-old boy who accidentally figured out how to whistle a tone to disrupt a phone call. This experiment became a party trick and later a phenomenon.

Later, he ordained himself as a minister in his self-made ‘Church of Eternal Childhood’ and lived off social security checks. Now he is dead.

7. Patrick K.Kroupa


Also known as lord digital, Patrick was one of the best hackers from the past. He used his hacking knowledge to become a prominent member of a legendary hacker group called the Legion of Doom and made a lot of money until in the 90s through dot-com market.Where is Patrick now? Patrick got hooked

Where is Patrick now? Patrick got hooked to heroin in 90’s, call it to a lot of money. Later, he also became a preacher who preaches about the drug abuse.

6. Kevin Poulsen


Also known as Dark Dante, Kevin Poulsen became famous after hacking into a telephone company switches and winning a Porsche by making himself 102nd called in a Los Angeles radio station giveaway.Later he was caught by FBI and served his term in a jail. Currently, he is a highly influential tech writer. He writes for Wired and is also the cofounder of a blog named

Later he was caught by FBI and served his term in a jail. Currently, he is a highly influential tech writer. He writes for Wired and is also the cofounder of a blog namedThreat level Blog at wired.

5. Richard Kashdan


Also known as Mark Bernay, Richard was one of the best hackers from the earlier times and a pioneer in the pre-internet punch card computer hacking. He built his own blue boxes; he set up his own switchboard and mechanical research lab, and he also invited people across the country to hear weird tape recordings.
Currently, he runs phonetrips.com, a place for people to learn about phone hacking.

4. Faser Lucey

Faser Lucey got famous for something really bizarre. He used his blue box to make connections and friendships with people whose phones he’d randomly call across the world. He is almost impossible to find these days.

3. Mark Abene


Also known as Phiber Optik, Mark Abene was one of the best hackers of his time. Before coming into the field of hacking, he spent hours studying about the telecommunications network. Eventually, he was successful in breaking early modem lines.

He became a famous member of a bunch of telephone hackers known as the Masters of Deception and made powerful enemies at AT&T. He was arrested in 1991, when computer security laws were still fuzzy, and became an early martyr in the hacker world during his legal tribulations. Currently, he works as network security consultants.

2. Brad Carter

Famous with his famous nickname RedBoxChiliPepper, Brad Carter was the leader of ‘Phone Losers of America’, a group founded in 1990’s. His organization taught people how to enter secret codes on pay phones, hack fast-food drive-throughs etc.

He is still finding the fraud cases. He is very much active on the social media. You can find him online as well.

1. Kevin Mitnick


Also known by his famous name Condor, he met fellow hackers in his early days at Hollywood Pizza Parlor. The person who began with making prank calls ended up breaking into Bell’s phone center using John Draper’s name. His real trouble began when he was arrested for hacking into a bunch of early computer networks including Arpanet.