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A Game With The FBI And A 17-Month Pursuit

The Fifteen Greatest Hacking Exploits
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Kevin Poulsen is another name that circulated around FBI offices during the 1980s. He was arrested for the first time in 1989, when he was 24 years old. At that time he was charged with several intrusions into telephone and computer servers, with different types of incriminating evidence produced against him. When it came time to appear before a judge, though, he decided to flee, which led to a pursuit that kept the FBI on his trail for 17 months. It was during this period when he achieved his most famous hack.

Poulsen Taunts the FBI

A game contest launched by a Los Angeles radio station, KIIS-FM, asked its audience to phone in to try to win a Porsche 944 S2, a prize that would go to the 102nd caller. Kevin Poulsen went into action: he took control of all phone switchboard lines, effectively blocking all incoming calls, to ensure that he was the 102nd caller and win the prize. Poulsen profited from his nose thumbing at the FBI, teasing the authorities into searching for him while he again disappeared into the wild.

He was finally arrested by the FBI in April 1991 - it was an anonymous tip that allowed his capture, telling the authorities that Poulsen shopped at a supermarket in the outskirts of Los Angeles. He was charged in 1994, a process that ended with Poulsen being sentenced to four years in prison. This sentence was the heaviest imposed on a hacker at that time.

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  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , September 4, 2008 7:27 AM
    They should have very serious consequences for hackers. I'm tired of defaced websites, viruses, trojans, etc. Although it is fun to screw around with other people's computers..especially if they've done it to you...but either way there should be some huge penalties for hacking. I say chop off a thumb on the first offence. 2nd offence: chope off the rest of the fingers on that hand. Hackers along with script kiddies would cease to exist.
  • 3 Hide
    itadakimasu , September 12, 2008 7:20 PM
    sounds like you have been the victim of malware and virii while doing some questionable internet browsing...
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , September 16, 2008 4:41 AM
    Well, 'Anonymous', I hope you're using Tor to browse the 'intarweb', you worthless plebian.
    Here in the USA, we aren't barbarians, and the only people who would even deserve such harsh treatment would be rapists and their ilk. Even so, we just lock em up and release them on probation a few months/years later. :p 
    Not perfect, but I say cutting off fingers because you're too stupid to take basic steps to protect your system? Kinda harsh.
    The difference between a robber and a hacker, is that you can completely stop a hacker by unplugging your phone line from your modem.
    Do that, for the sake of humanity. :p 
  • 0 Hide
    arkadi , September 18, 2008 1:27 PM
    Well it is important info, but i don't think you can call them the best :)  they got basted after all. Governments got best hackers if you ask me.
  • 0 Hide
    Reynod , September 18, 2008 1:39 PM
    There are numerous other well documented hacks that probably deserved a mention.

    At least you did take the moral high ground.

    You neglected to mention Electron and Phoenix ... clearly they were better than most of these mentioned here.



  • 2 Hide
    deadliest , October 17, 2008 10:44 AM
    hmmm so this hacker list is not complete oh oh oh , you should have guys, it was most interesting reading about this. But i think hackers are a necessary evil without them how would i play my pirated games :D 
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , December 13, 2010 11:03 PM
    @ Arkadi
    "Well it is important info, but i don't think you can call them the best :)  they got basted after all. Governments got best hackers if you ask me. "

    Lol, where do you think the Government found there hackers? They hired guys like this ^^Rofl
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , January 27, 2011 9:12 AM
    Script kiddies. Blegh.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 13, 2011 8:58 AM
    ahhhhhh
    its good to be a hacker
  • 0 Hide
    jordanprogrammer , October 8, 2013 9:19 AM
    the best website for programming language:
    www.jordanprogrammer.tk