Countries such as Russia, China, India and USA have large numbers of hackers in the world. These countries have contributed to the crime of gaining access to high-profile networks, websites, banks and defense systems. With the help of advanced computer skills, a computer hacker can hack into a system to access unauthorized data. Hackers who cause danger to an individual or organization’s data are known as cyber-criminals. There are many well-organized hacker groups in the world that are popular for their notoriety to steal data, break into confidential systems and even damaging networks. Some of these groups are equally dangerous. Some of these hacker groups have caused loss in millions. So, which are the world’s most dangerous hacker groups?
Here is a list of top 10 most dangerous hacker groups in the world:
10. Honker Union
Honker Union is a group of hacktivists from China whose main motto was to attack governmental websites of the United States. The word “Honker” literally means “Red Guest”. The word emerged after May 1999, when the United States bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. Since the event, the patriotic Honker Union formed to launch series of attacks on websites in the United States. The group attacked websites of Iranian government and other popular websites after the Iranian Cyber Army hacked the Chinese website Baidu. The dangerous group has launched attacks on thousands of websites in Vietnam after the Sino-Vietnamese South China sea disputes. The Honker Union had also launched patriotic hacker war against Philippines and Japan after disputes with these countries. In 2008, the Tibetan writer and blogger Tsering Woeser was under a cyber-attack by Honker Union.
UGNazi is one of the hacker groups in the world to have brought down Twitter in 2012. The site was down for 2 hours and is considered one of the worst crash the site ever faced. UGNazi is the short form for Underground Nazi Hacktivist Group formed in 2011 and is responsible for Distributed Denial of Service attacks against United States government websites in opposition to CISPA and SOPA bills. A 12 year hacker from UGNazi group known as Cosmo or Cosmo the God was sentenced in juvenile court in 2012. The group has attacked many reputed websites of the U.S. Government such as CIA, Washington Military Department and many more.
Anonymous is another dangerous hacker group in the world which has its network all over the planet. The network of activists and hacktivists has their origin from 2003 and has brought down several governmental, religious and corporate websites. As represented in the film and novel V for Vendetta, the members of the group are seen as publicly as wearing the Guy Fawkes masks in style. During its initial stages of establishment, the concept of acting anonymously as a decentralized online community yet in a coordinated manner was adapted.
The group is known to have targeted government agencies of United States, Israel, Uganda, Tunisia and many others. Several arrests throughout the world have been carried out for the involvement of anonymous cyber-attacks. In 2012, the Time magazine called Anonymous as one of the “100 most influential people” in the world. Critics have described them as “cyber terrorists” while many supporters call them as “freedom fighters”.
LulzSec is closely related to the Anonymous group. Hector Xavier Monsegur, known by the online pseudonym Sabu, an American hacker is the founder of the group. The black-hat computer hacking group has its origin from 2011 and is currently broken up. The group had claimed high-profile attacks such as making the CIA websites offline and compromising the user accounts from Sony Pictures. The 6 member group was known to hack “for the lulz”. At just after midnight (BST, UT+01) on 26 June 2011, LulzSec released a “50 days of lulz” statement, which they claimed to be their final release, confirming that LulzSec consisted of six members, and that their website is to be shut down. Even after its shutdown, the group again hacked and defaced the News Corporation website on 18 July. Several attacks have also taken place against its members by rival hacker groups.
6. Xbox Underground
Xbox Underground is one of the most dangerous hacker groups for gaming websites. The group is popular for hacking into Microsoft’s computer network to understand the source-code of Microsoft games and Xbox gaming consoles. The hacking was carried out of curiosity against the upcoming Xbox releases. The group has also compromised data of Activision, Epic Games, and Valve. Xbox Underground repeatedly compromised Microsoft computer networks in 2011 and 2013. The group spent 100s of hours to search, analyze and understand the source-codes, logs, user credentials, technical specifications and other sensitive game data of Microsoft’s network. Another dangerous attack from the group was breaching the security network of the United States military.
5. Lizard Squad
Lizard Squad is similar to Xbox Underground as they were also concerned with gaming networks such as the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live services. The community is mainly known for their distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks on gaming-related services. On September 3, 2014, the Lizard Squad announced their disbandment but later came up with several varieties of attacks. On January 26, 2015, the website of Malaysia Airlines was attacked by redirecting users to a page bearing an image of a tuxedo-wearing lizard, and reading “Hacked by Cyber Caliphate”. Media report claims around the world said versions of the takeover in some regions included the wording “ISIS will prevail”, which listed concerns of Lizard Squad’s association with the Islamic State.
Apart from gaming services, the group brought the Internet in North Korea offline, Sybil attack against Tor network and Machinima.com. Julius Kivimaki (zeekill) is a Finnish member of Lizard Squad who is responsible for 50,000 counts of cyber-crime.
4. The 414s
The 414s is one of the world’s most notorious hacking groups. The group gained notoriety in the early 1980s when a group of friends and computer hackers broke into several high-profile computer systems such as Los Alamos National Laboratory, Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and Security Pacific Bank. The young teenagers of 6 members with the age group of 16 to 22 were responsible for their attacks. The image above is of Neal Patrick, a 17-year-old student at Rufus King High School, was a member of the 414s. A movie with the name The 414s: The Original Teenage Hackers was a crime film about the teenage hackers of 414s. These young, energetic and intelligent teenagers broke into extremely secure systems running Digital Equipment Corporation’s VMS operating system. Patrick claimed his only motivation was the challenge of getting into places he was not supposed to, and remaining there undetected.
RedHack is a Turkish communist hacker group which is responsible for hacking many Turkish governmental websites such as the Council of Higher Education, Turkish Army, Turkish police forces, National Intelligence Organization and the Türk Telekom. The hacking group with a core membership count of twelve is one of the world’s most wanted hacker group. The group is the first hacker group in the world to be declared as a terrorist organization. Several arrests have taken place in 2012 and 2013 from the group to curb the hacking. This group has been active since 1997 and are known to be a dangerous hacking community who delete files, corrupt data, deface websites and control hardware such as CCTV cameras. The group’s leader and founder is known by the pseudonym name MaNYak.
2. Syrian Electronic Army
The Syrian Electronic Army is one of the most powerful groups of hackers in the world. The group even released an OS by the name SEANux (Syrian Electronic Army Linux). The group was launched in 2011 to support the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. As of 2011 the SEA has been “the first Arab country to have a public Internet Army hosted on its national networks to openly launch cyber-attacks on its enemies”. The organization used several hacking techniques against opposition groups, western news organizations, human rights groups and websites that are seemingly neutral to the Syrian conflict. Today, the precise nature of relationship with the Syrian Government is unclear and has changed over time. Several websites from 2011 till 2015 have been attacked by this dangerous group of hackers.
1. The Level Seven Crew
The Level Seven Crew is the most dangerous hacker group in the world and most widely known for the September 7, 1999 defacement of (The US Embassy in China’s Website), in regards to the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings. The Level Seven was formed during the mid to late 90’s by vent and foil whose original details are unknown. The group eventually dispersed when nominal head ‘vent’ was raided by the FBI on February 25, 2000. Level Seven is credited with being the first group to hack a .ma domain and server in Morocco. The group has been attributed on the Attrition’s Top 20 most active groups of all time by claiming responsibility for over 60 unauthorized penetrations of computer systems in 1999 alone. First American National Bank, The Federal Geographic Data Committee, NASA and Sheraton Hotels are some of the reputed websites hacked by the group.