The moment organizations see the word "hacker" they run for cover. Its become so obviously pejorative.

To set some facts straight, it wasn't always so. Its basically the movies and literature that portray techs as either legitimate geeks or else the scarlet-colored hackers. No doubt the underside of the cyber world needs to be brought to light, but not in absolute extremes.

Some of the infamous hackers that we list here have been on either side of the legal fence at various points of their career. While we do not support hacking per say but to undermine the talents of any of these amounts to calling a lion a sheep.

Before beginning, lets get clear on the two categories of hackers in the cyber world. To use the archetypal industry terminology, there are "White-Hats" and "Black-Hats". Its interesting how the naming goes. The former is used for those cyber bees who engage in hacking for legitimate purposes while the latter are the evil twin brothers who enjoy "fiddling with software source codes and hardware gigs" for some fun.

Many of the listed names below are now productive citizens of society- either as businessmen, security advisors or authors of some best-selling novels sharing their experiences with the world. Their CV's don't come with hefty praises. By putting their talents for better use now, their experiences have become novel learning experiences for the cyber world.

1. Kevin Mitnick

You spell "hacker" and its Mitnick whose name will be the first to in the notoriety list. His hacks that landed him in jail include breaking into the 'very secure' Pentagon to Digital Equipment Corp. But ever since his release, he has authored "Ghost In The Wires" and has been the subject of many other manhunt themes like "Takedown", "The Fugitive Games". Mitnick is currently a security consultant and advisor at Nevada-based Security Consulting.

2. Robert Tappan Morris

As the son of an NSA scientist, Morris too was quite talented as a graduate in Cornell.  However following his worm attack on a widespread scale across the US, got him convicted as the first person under the anti-hacking law with a fine of $10,000 and 400 hours of community service. During the proceedings he affirmed that the virus was part of his research project, that went awry. He is currently a professor at the famous MIT in the computer science department.

3. Albert Gonzalez

This former secret services informant was part of the largest identity theft lawsuit in U.S history. His criminal report card credits him with stealing as many as 40 million credit and debit card details of top American retailers of the time. Following his indictment in 2008, a whopping $1.65 million dollars was forfeited from the backyard of his parental home besides a condo in Miami, a BMW 330i, Glock 27 gun, Tiffany's diamond ring and Rolex watches. Currently he's serving a 20-year jail term in a Michigan facility, due to be released by 2025.

4. Kevin Poulsen

An expert at telephone network hacking, he served a 5 year jail term for his exploits. Now a reformed person, he is a security journalist cum news editor. He has also authored of the famous best-seller "Kingpin" about Max Butler, a notorious black hat himself.

5. George Hotz

This 22-year old is the most famous hacker of our times atleast. Breaking into the software of iPhone and PlayStation 3, he was defended by the Anonymous hacker group in the lawsuit against Sony Corp. His talents earned him a post with our very own social networking giant Facebook!

6.  Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs

Don't be surprised to see the Apple's leaders being featured in this list. In their own words "hacking experience was a necessary precursor to creating Apple". Notorious as the "Berkeley Blue" and "Oaf Tobark", they sold blue boxes used for "phone phreaking". While Jobs is famous for making a start up like Apple a success in a short time, Wozniack remained mostly behind-the-scenes. He is currently a scientist for Fusion-io in Salt-Lake City, Utah.

Hope the list was compelling for all of you. Leave your comments below for us. Stay tuned for more interesting reads by following us on Twitter and Facebook Page.

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