Unix Terrorist, Jim Jones, the_ut, zmagic, yu0

IRL Name: 
Stephen Huntley Watt

Stephen Watt is a computer hacker who went by Jim Jones and then Unix Terrorist (the_ut for short). In the late 1990s and early 2000s, that hacker was part of a band of self-proclaimed black hats that opposed the publication of security vulnerabilities and resisted the hacking scene’s shift from recreational network intrusions to legitimate security research. Under the rubric Project Mayhem, the gang managed to hack into the accounts of a number of prominent “white hat” hackers and publish their private files and e-mails. At the 2002 DefCon hacker conference, Watt took the stage with two friends to personally share some of the hacked e-mails.

He was arrested and convicted of writing customized code to help Gonzalez breach networks, including the “blabla” sniffer, which was stored on a server in Latvia and used to steal tens of millions of credit and debit cards from TJX in 2006 and from Dave & Buster’s in 2007. According to court documents, the Secret Service recovered 27.5 million stolen numbers from a server in Ukraine and 16.3 million numbers from a server in Latvia.

The breach cost TJX $200 million according to its 2009 SEC filing.

“I figured out his name years ago, Stephen Huntley Watt, and then the guy wound up getting indicted on the TJ Maxx thing,” says former hacker Kevin Mitnick.

In a profile in Phrack Magazine in 2007, “Unix Terrorist” reflected on the old days:
“Looking back on my involvement in computers, I am very happy that the peak of my activity occurred right during the turn of the 20th century,” he wrote. “Hacking was no longer as simple as manual labor (wardialing, etc.) but finding vulnerabilities and writing exploits and tools was not exactly as tedious and prohibitively time-consuming as it is currently. To say that I would rather commit seppuku than adapt to the challenges of a changing world by auditing code for SQL injection vulnerabilities and client-side browser exploits is not an exaggeration.”

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