Top 20 Most Famous Ethical Hackers in The World

With the advancement of technologies and computer networks, cybercrimes have evolved, including hacking, ransomware and malware. According to reports, cybercrimes target small businesses and startups by 43%. Companies hire cybersecurity experts and ethical hackers to resolve cyber crimes and threats. 

Ethical hacking is the legal and authorised form of detecting bugs and unauthorised websites on systems. Simply put, skilled hackers legally replicate the practices of a black hat hacker to further look for potential system vulnerabilities and correct them. 

Ethical Hackers are in high demand, with a rising emergence of cybersecurity courses across the globe. If you want to learn about data breaches and cyber security and know more about the world biggest hacker, check out Master of Science in Computer Science at Liverpool John Moores University at upGrad. 

Read on to learn more about the best hacker in the world.

Introduction to Ethical Hacking and Ethical Hackers

Ethical hacking is a legal practice that aids in protecting computer networks from unauthorised access, theft, damage, or disruption. The method of ethical hacking is known as penetration testing and encompasses a range of technologies and practices designed to secure digital assets. Ethical hackers are provided governmental and authority permissions for hacking unauthorised websites, locating cybercrimes and improving the security footprints to resist cyber-attacks. 

There are great opportunities to become ethical hackers, and according to reports, the average salary of an ethical hacker is INR 5,17,569 annually. If you are interested to know about ethical hacking and the intricacies of software development, check out upGrad’s Executive PG Programme in Full Stack Development from IIITB.

How to Become an Ethical Hacker?

The skills and responsibilities of ethical hackers define who is the best hacker in the world, and some of these include: 

  • Understand and establish a computer and its software systems that will aid in infusing IT networks and software works. 
  • Learn Programming languages like Python, Java, C++ and Pascal and obtain an IT security certification, including a Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification. 
  • Gain enough knowledge in cybersecurity and ethical hacking and the latest technology. 
  • Participate in internships and conferences to stay updated about new hacking trends. 

Check Out upGrad’s Software Development Courses to upskill yourself.

Famous Ethical Hackers in the World

Wondering who is the biggest hacker in the world? Our list comprises some of the most prominent industry names. 

Mark Abene

Mark Abene is a software expert, an American white hat hacker, prominently known as a member of the Legion of Doom and established the Masters of Deception. He is also called Phiber Optik and was the first one to illustrate legal hacking and its utilities in various government and private sectors. 

Johan Helsingius

John Helsingius, also called Julf, is a scientist, privacy activist, software administrator and the chairman of the GNSO Noncommercial Stakeholder Group. He was one of the first ones to launch a remailer and named it He got recognition in the 1980s as he established the UNIX User Group. 

Linus Torvalds

Linus Torvalds is a Finnish software engineer accredited as one of the best hackers in the world. He established various operating systems, including Linux Kernel and Android, and received honorary doctorates from Stockholm University and the University of Helsinki. He is also the founder of Git, the software that tracks computer records.

Kevin Mitnick

Kevin Mitnick is counted among world best hackers, computer security consultants and authors. Prominently known as the most suspected cybercriminal in the country, he is now working under government and private enterprises as a software expert and is a notable speaker on various news channels, including CNN, BBC, and FOX News. 

Tsutomu Shimomura 

Tsutomu-Shimomura is a computer security specialist and physicist known for working at California University. Shimomura is well-known for tracking Kevin Mitnick and his collaboration with the FBI. He also established his company Neofocal Systems, and worked at Sun Microsystems.

Vivek Ramachandran

Vivek Ramachandran is a popular Indian ethical hacker known for illustrating the techniques of digital worms and botnet creation using Wi-Fi networks. He invented the Caffe Latte attack and established his own company, Pentester Academy. Ramachandran is now a proud author of many books, including Backtrack 5 Wireless Penetration Testing Beginner’s Guide.

Grzegorz Nowak

Grzegorz Nowak is a security practitioner, computer expert and educator from Poland who extends his expertise to strengthen software management systems, computer networks and cybersecurity among organisations. 

Charlie Miller

Charlie Miller is a reputed figure in television shows and news channels and showcases the Fiat Chrysler automobiles and their hacking techniques. Miller’s prominence is reflected in the number of accolades he has been awarded, including the Pwn2Own contest, where he was titled as the winner of the Super Bowl for computer hacking.

Rafay Baloch 

Rafay Baloch is a security researcher and cybercrime manager from Pakistan who is widely recognised for his detection of Android operating system bugs. He has been accredited by Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, BBC and The Express Tribune and titled as 

“Top 5 Ethical Hackers of 2014”. 

Robert Morris

Robert Morris is a computer scientist, security expert and entrepreneur known for being among the world famous hackers. He is the maker of computer worms and bugs, popularly known as the Morris Worm. MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab recruited him as a university professor.

Sunny Nehra 

Sunny Nehra is a widely acclaimed hacker in Asia and is the builder of the CyberSecurity firm named Secure Your Hacks. He is an IT certificated candidate with a keen understanding of software management and computer security systems. Being a digital forensic analyst, he resolves and restores sensitive data of police units and private companies. 

Greg Hoglund

Greg Hoglund is a researcher, entrepreneur and digital forensics expert who is also a widely recognised white hat asset. Hoglund has established various companies, including Cenzic, HBGary and Outlier Security. He is widely acclaimed for being a part of the U.S. Government and Intelligence Community and resolving the issues of rootkits and computer networks. 

Dan Kaminsky

Dan Kaminsky is a security researcher and founder of WhiteOps. He first discovered the DNS system fault and detected the interruption of unethical hackers in the computer systems. He also invented the Conficker-infected hosts and problems in the SSL protocol and is titled the Internet Security Savior by the New York Times. 

Sai Satish

Sai Satish is a professional, ethical hacker and businessman from India. He is known for establishing and developing the Indian Servers and AIMER Society. His contribution to restoring sensitive data and government websites has led him to receive various accolades. Satish’s hacking expertise is deeply explored in his authored book Hacking Secrets. 

H. D. Moore

H.D. Moore is a programmer, security expert, free software coder and consultant. He is the designer of the Metasploit Project and established the Metasploit Framework. He is recognised for collaborating with Boston-based cybersecurity data and working on Rapid7 software. 

Adrian Lamo

Adrián Alfonso was recognised for invading high government and private computer systems, including New York Times, Microsoft and Yahoo. Working as a cyberattack analyst, he was widely acclaimed by the name ‘grey hat hacker.’ Lamo was also responsible for exposing unethical hacker Chelsea Manning and sending him to prison. 

Aaron Swartz

Aaron Hillel Swartz was a computer programmer, internet hacker and security analyst who was also the leading figure behind inventing the RSS web feed format. Swartz further established his proficiency in the field by establishing the Creative Commons organisation, which aimed at creating cyber threat awareness. 

Bruce Schneier

Bruce Schneier has had a long and illustrious career in cyber security, having been at the pinnacle of the field for over 30 years. His work on cryptography, security protocols and its relation to risk management and security policy has been instrumental for companies like IBM and Google. 

Dino Dai Zovi

Most popularly known for being the co-founder of the Trail of Bits in 2012, Dai Zovi’s work on vulnerability research is groundbreaking. Apart from that, he has worked extensively on mobile security and security engineering and has been a pioneer in developing security applications for the iOS platform.

Joanna Rutkowska

Renowned for being a prolific entrepreneur and cybersecurity expert, Rutkowska has gained international renown for her work on rootkit technology. Her firm, Invisible Things Lab, has been at the forefront of developing secure operating systems and visualisation technologies.

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In today’s society, ethical hacking lies at the centre of the IT industry and overseas businesses, assisting organisations to strengthen their security framework. Big IT companies and government sectors are searching for the top hackers in the world and recruiting them across the globe. 

If you want deeper insights into ethical hacking and software development, check out the Full Stack Software Development at upGrad. The course is designed in collaboration with Golden Gate University, California and provides an extensive understanding of Programming, JavaScript and Global state management, Syntax and Pseudocode. This program can be the first step towards becoming a leading ethical hacker!

Who hacked NASA in the year 1999?

Jonathan James is known to have hacked Nasa at the early age of fifteen years old.

Who is the top hacker in Asia?

Rafay Baloch, the Pakistani ethical hacker and software administrator, is known for the inventions of vulnerabilities in the Android operating system, acquiring himself a reputation among the top hackers in Asia.

Who is the youngest Indian ethical hacker?

Ankit Fadia is known to be India’s youngest ethical hacker. He started his career at the age of 10 and continued expanding his horizon across different digital realms.

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