Hacking has been going on since the 1960's and hackers have come a long way to get to 2019, year of data breaches and web server hacking. Hacking has spread so quickly that cybercriminals are now capable of breaching into industries and corporations using a variety of attacks including, MITM ambushes, SQL injection, and phishing.

Companies across the world are a target for hackers, data containing personal information, bank details, email addresses and passwords are a favorite target for cyber criminals, once they get their hands on it they can leak or sell the data, sometimes without their victims even knowing that hackers have breached them.

Data breaches have a huge impact on their victim organizations in various negative ways and some businesses never recover from the financial repercussions and the damage to their reputations over the long term. Smaller businesses can and do go bankrupt following a serious cyber attack and because they often have less security than larger organizations, they represent an attractive target to lazy hackers.

Most cybercriminal hackers that attempt to break into companies are not always and not likely to be hugely skilled hackers. There are plenty of tools out there made for people who aren’t knowledgeable about engineering, manual server manipulation and manual injection of shells & payloads, these tools can easily be picked up and used against targets without knowing how they really work.

There are whole operating systems with pre-installed, ready to use, hacking packs filled with different penetration testing tools that skilled hackers (white & black hats) have made for the less knowledgeable who want to test their own cybersecurity. Some people call those who use these tools without really understanding them 'script kiddies', the lowest ranking computer hackers.

These tools are all incredibly useful, but they are nowhere near as effective as a real coder/engineer who knows how the tools work at their most basic level. People who understand how these tools and how the IT infrastructure in large organizations work are infinitely more dangerous than any script kiddie, but the truth is a script kiddy can breach your business if you aren't careful with your security.

Who Are The Hackers On My Radar?

A hacker commonly known as Meta Custom has gained popularity across major gaming platforms and hacking communities after joining the scene back in 2014. Meta is a grey hat who does good and bad for the sole purpose of exposing security flaws. Meta Custom specializes in exploitation and has previously dumped databases of 125,000 YouTuber's, some of whom were famous YouTuber's including Solluminati, CashNasty, and Zias. When asked if he hacks for money, Meta Custom responds "no I don't hack for money I get a lot of offers from kids to do so. I don't really do things like that, but I do like to help people in situations when they're getting hacked or scammed, we receive money for the projects we make." Meta Custom is available on Twitter @metacustom alongside his hacker group ErrorSquad.

A hacker known as Poptart, who once held the largest botnet in the world, is a network engineer who is avid about acquiring knowledge related to hacking infrastructures, managing botnets, and  the art of phishing. In the fall of 2016-2017 Poptart was known to have taken down Donald Trump’s campaign website. He has been hacking since 2010 and is known for making RCE exploits. His notable exploits include a zero day for PlayStation, was a botnet exploit which infected devices connected to the PlayStation network.

This year Poptart hacked a Russian government monitoring website to which he uploaded a shell and stole all of their information from their database.

Poptart is currently making an exploit for Discord. This exploit is a RTC P2P Connection exploit that allows you to grab user IP’s through discord calls.“I have to force the hops but soon I'll be able to make it a simple pass and go. Currently forcing the hops from my client to the RTC server then to the connected clients, then force the hop back.”says Poptart, you can find him on twitter as @FFarocity.

Hackers like Poptart and Meta Custom who make botnets are experts in exploitation and infection. another that springs to mind is RYRDM9 who started trying to hack things when he was 13 years old. He says.“I loved to cheat in games, being able to use mod menus, etc. it all started when I got my first RGH Xbox 360. Then when I was 15, I joined the botnet community and from their I picked up fairly easy and manned private exploits. I used these exploits to evaluate how many people I could attack".

He is almost 17 now and majoring in coding languages in school. “Hacking is a fun hobby of mine. I love to get around software, being able to exploit/bypass code. It’s like a game, figuring out how to get around code.”says RYRDM9. He is best known for his ZTE exploits and he shutdown Fortnite’s status page on their website with 8000+ bots in early 2019. What made him famous was spreading around the community and hacking forums the release of a new ZTE exploit, “I also created many list’s for the exploit. These list’s at first were pulling around 300 to 1000 bots. People were able to infect many ZTE devices and a lot of devices were infected by the exploit".

“Knowing more about software than most people felt like me having power, being able to do things others cannot. It was the reason I got into coding, I wanted to be able to do thing average people in school couldn't do.” says RYRDM9. His life before was pretty much the same as he is now, A kid that loved video games and socializing with others. “I loved to find glitches in Call of Duty, being able to get higher levels than others by glitching. I was like the leader and my friends always looked up to me as the best glitcher.”says RYRDM9.

A common theme when I talk to people like this is wanting to become an exploiter to show your friends what you can do and that you have more power than others.

Another hacker known as Al1ne3737 is a Brazilian who runs a group named Pryzraky which specializes in attacking government related sites. They like to deface websites, removing the homepage of the website and replacing it with their own mysterious spooky hacker page. In these pages they usually greet other hackers from the community and leave a message stating why they have taken action against it. They see this as a way of getting their message across to industries, media, and people in general. Al1ne3737’s biggest hack was taking action against Brazil’s National Court of Justice and then using Twitter for spreading the information he had found in the breach. This hack was broadcasted on multiple television stations within Brazil and the government issued an official statement stating they will be taking legal action against whoever targeted their website and then created a law focused on illegally obtained data being shared digitally after this hack occurred.

You can find him on Twitter as @al1ne3737.

I only featured a few of my favorite up and coming hackers in this article, but there are many more out there on my radar doing great work. Not all hackers are good and not all are bad, in the words of Al1ne3737 “90% of the databases were systems with login's that I could access. Neither my country or I do want that kind of data falling into the wrong hands, after the attack a "law" was created in relation to it.”

These hacks are a way for hacktivists to express their feeling and show their skills while they pull off a hack for a cause and some of them certainly had a big effect on their government. It seems they do whatever they need to get their point across, even if that means defacing government websites or attacking businesses.