The new life of former cyber-criminals

Being a cyber-criminal is a challenging mission: no certainty on the job, continuous attention to new fraudulent schemes, and constant fear of being discovered. So, many of them decided to change their life without denying their past.

Brett Johnson, who built the first organised cybercrime community, Shadowcrew, is now a “Keynote Speaker and Consultant on Cybersecurity”. He proudly writes: “Former USA Most Wanted Cybercriminal” on his Linkedin profile. He was sentenced to 7 1/2 years in federal prison, but he admits that he is “fortunate to be one of the few who have been able to step away from a life of crime–with the help of many”.

Hector Monsegur was co-founder of the hacking group LulzSec. Facing a possible sentence of 124 years in prison, he became an informant for the FBI. For this reason, prosecutors wanted to reduce the condemnation to just seven months served. He is now: a Security Researcher and Consultant, Keynote Speaker, and Instructor.

Ryan Ackroyd, who played a central role in the international activist collective/movement Anonymous, is now a penetration tester. He writes: “Quite possibly the friendliest cyber-terrorist you will ever meet” on his Twitter account description.

Profilo Twitter di Ryan Ackroyd

Alexander Hall is now a Fraud Mitigation Consulting agent and makes paid presentations on hacking tricks. On his Linkedin profile’s education section, he put as experience “School of fraud”, listing all the activities he ran when he was a fraudster: “The School Of Fraud Syllabus: Elementary School: Use of Stolen Cards; Middle School: Following Directions from the Dark web; High School: Social Engineering, System Breaks, ATO’s; College: Multi-system exploits, system manipulation; Master’s Degree / Professor of Fraud: Teach others how to use presented information; Dr. Of Fraud: Using various prevention systems to build and prepare non-traditional profiles”.

Not a recognised degree, still some skills which can be fundamental for a new life.