Hackers have been around as long as there have been computers to hack into. In the 1980s, as computers became more popular, there were also large groups of people who sought to understand as much as possible about them. When the first hacker groups were formed, there were the Fargo 4A’s, the Knights of the Shadow, the Masters of Deception and the most feared group, the Legion of Doom. Their leader, Lex Luther, led them into what became known as the Great Hacker War between Legion of Doom and Masters of Deception.
With the fruition of so many groups including comic book worthy names and sagas, there’s no surprise that their stories eventually became a part of the entertainment industry. Even still, when imagining the members of the Legion of Doom, it’s difficult not to picture an overweight man in a death metal t-shirt with dirty hair.
However, in many TV shows and films that have been made about these same hackers, the nerds behind the computers are more times than not gorgeous women. Whether they’re equipped with a vast amount of technological devices or just a gun and a laptop, these women make it happen time and time again, proving just how dangerous a hacker can be.
Defraud a large group of US Banks? No problem. Hack into a drug lords bank account? Consider in done. Stealthily access secret CIA documents? Easy breezy. The wondrous female hackers in this article, whether fictional or real, are able to find weaknesses within a computer system without batting their pretty little eyes.
15. Angela Bennett – The Net
In Irwin Winkler‘s film The Net, Sandra Bullock plays the sultry and intelligent systems analyst Angela Bennett. Although Angela is introduced as a nerdy hacker who spends most of her time online with little to no interaction with people in the real world, she is quickly pulled out of her comfort zone after receiving a floppy disk with vital information. Even as she lounges on the beach, this sexy computer expert can only think about where she can “plug in her modem.” Immediately following her debugging of the floppy disk, Angela’s life is threatened. Once her identity is essentially erased and her SIN is reassigned to an imposter, Angela must hack tirelessly into her enemies computers to reveal the true terrorists and resolve the conspiracy created against her and retake her true identity. The Net examines just how much of our existence is based on encoded data in computer systems. Released in 1995, this film was well ahead of its time, recognizing the real threats that come with the information age.
14. Kate Libby aka Acid Burn – Hackers
Okay, I guess it’s safe to say that Angelina Jolie would be considered hot in basically every role she’s ever played, but her character in Hackers might take the cake for some nerds out there. In this techno-thriller, the plot follows a group of young high school students who are also skilled hackers, who, at first, use their computer hacking skills to play silly pranks on each other. And when things escalate, they turn their skills on the government. Jolie plays Kate Libby, who is also known as Acid Burn online. In the film, she and Dade Murphy aka Zero Kill, take turns playing pranks on a secret service agent. The film, directed by Iain Softley, uses creative and fun examples of how a hacker can manipulate the technological world around them. And if that isn’t enough to find a copy of this 1995 cult classic, a young and short-haired Angelina Jolie might be all the motivation you need.
13. Lisa Calighan – Antitrust
Yet another techno-thriller about hackers and their ability to expose corrupted organizations, the 2001 film Antitrust follows the Ivy League graduate Milo Hoffman (Ryan Phillipe) as he struggles to solve the mysterious death of a fellow hacker. Working at NURV (Never Underestimate Radical Vision), Hoffman quickly discovers a conspiracy surrounding the CEO of NURV and links him to the murder of his good friend, Teddy Chin. That’s where the lovely Rachael Leigh Cook enters the story as the intelligent co-worker at NURV who agrees to help Hoffman figure out the truth. Of course, it’s difficult to trust such a beautiful hacker chick with all of your secrets, especially when she is revealed to be a double agent working with the enemy the entire time. Unfortunately for Ms. Calighan, Hoffman proves to be the alpha-hacker in this flick, coming out unharmed and on top, successfully taking down all of his hacker enemies. Critics response to this film was mediocre, possibly because of how many hacker films came before it. However, if you want to see this knock-out star from She’s All That and Josie and the Pussycats kick some serious technological butt in one of her last feature films, Antitrust will not disappoint you.
12. Trinity – The Matrix
Played by the stunning actress Carrie-Anne Moss, the woman named Trinity in The Matrix trilogy is the first matrix hacker introduced in the film. As the film begins with Trinity inside the matrix, audiences are first shown her incredible martial arts abilities as she tackles a group of police officers and Agents sent to kill her. Of course, once Neo (Keanu Reeves) is taken out of the matrix and enlightened about the truth of the world, he quickly learns that not only is Trinity a total bad-ass physically, but that she is also one of the most intelligent and dangerous hackers in the real world. It is revealed that before Trinity escaped the matrix, she was able to hack into the IRS. Together, Trinity and Neo fight the machines until she is finally killed when her vehicle crashes in Machine City. Her character also appears in Enter the Matrix, The Matrix: Path of Neo and The Animatrix. Her character became so popular in Western culture that the name Trinity became one of the top 100 baby names in America.
11. Penelope Garcia – Criminal Minds
Played by the actress Kirsten Vangsness, this blonde-haired, blue-eyed voluptuous hacker chick named Penelope Garcia works as the computer analyst for the Behavioral Analysis unit in the show Criminal Minds. Although Penelope is seen working on the right side of the law in this CBS crime show, before landing a job with the FBI she was involved in lots of illegal hacking. Rumored to have self-taught herself computer coding after she dropped out of Caltech, Penelope allegedly appeared on FBI and CIA lists identifying her as a dangerous hacker. However, her cheerful personality and lighthearted jokes have allowed for Penelope to become the comedian on the show with the delivery of some of the funnier lines. While she helps agents solve crimes from behind her computer, Penelope is still a well-rounded character on the show. She also appeared in the spin off Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior as well as Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, the only character to make appearances on all three of the television shows.
10. Lisbeth Salander – The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Lisbeth Salander is a computer hacker with a photographic memory who uses the pseudonym Wasp within the hacker group called Hacker Republic to hack into secure databases across the world. She was originally created by the Swedish author Stieg Larson in his novel The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and even though she is described in the book to be a sexy introvert covered in tattoos, the actress Rooney Mara brings this edgy hacker to life in the 2011 film of the same name. Directed by David Fincher, this film does not shy away from any of the books gruesome scenes and includes the infamous scene of Salander’s brutal sexual abuse. Of course, all hackers know that information is more valuable than gold, and using a video recording of her own assault, blackmails her attacker. Eventually, Salander winds up on the right side of the law, teaming up with the journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) to solve a mystery.
9. Kristina Svechinskaya – She’s A Real Hacker
Though it may shock some to learn, the woman pictured above is not an actress playing a hacker in a Hollywood movie, but is actually a real-life hacker herself. Working with a secret group of 37 other hackers, Kristina was able to steal approximately 12 million dollars from American and British banks using fake passports, fake bank accounts and a cyber Trojan Horse to gain access to so many bank accounts. She quickly became a part of one of the most prolific criminal cases involving hackers in the world. In 2010, she was arrested and charged with bank fraud and gained notoriety online and was labeled the sexiest hacker chick in the world. In 2013, a New York court freed her from prison and ordered her to pay $35,000 in damages. The judge allegedly took into account her young age as well as the time already served in prison. She was released from prison, but was placed under surveillance. Maybe it had something to do with those seductive blue eyes that brought on the mercy from the courts. In 2016 it was announced that a film called Botnet is going to be made and will be loosely based on Kristina’s story.
8. Electra – Assassins
In 1995, a classic Sylvester Stallone action film was released called Assassins. Directed by Richard Donner (The Omen, The Goonies), this fast-paced film follows the assassin Robert Rath (Stallone) as he struggles to uncover the truth about the hits put out on 4 Dutch buyers and a paranoid hacker named Electra. Played by the enchanting Julianne Moore, Electra is a reclusive and intelligent computer expert who keeps her home under heavy surveillance. Rath finds out that she holds a disk with secret information that is extremely valuable and for this reason, had assassins sent to kill her. Although the film received extremely negative reviews for its convoluted plot at the time of its release, looking back, there’s a lot that is highly entertaining about this action film (whether it has a 15% rating on Rotten Tomatoes or not).
7. Cameron Howe – Halt and Catch Fire
Created by Christopher Cantwell and Christopher Rogers, the AMC television drama called Halt and Catch Fire takes place in the Silicon Valley during the 1980s and focuses on the technological revolution of computer processing. Premiering in 2014 , the show has become widely recognized as a wonderfully important period piece and even received a critics choice television award for the “Most Exciting New Series” in 2014. Perhaps the shows growing popularity is due to the interesting plot, or perhaps it has something to do with one of the central characters of the show being so drop-dead gorgeous. Played by Canadian actress Mackenzie Davis, this 22-year-old computer programmer is recruited by Joe MacMillan to assist him in creating a PC. She agrees and spends most of Season 1 developing a code for him. Rebellious and clever, this spicy character is a stunning example of a strong female hacker on-screen.
6. Chloe O’Brian – 24
Played by actress Mary Lynn Rajskub, the character Chloe O’Brian is an integral part of the plot in Fox’s television series 24. A skilled computer scientist and senior analyst at CTU Los Angeles, Chloe continuously helps Jack Bauer from behind her computer. Whether this means, recovering lost data, assisting Jack in faking his death, or hacking into Homeland Security to block satellite trackers on him, she is someone that Jack can rely on every day. Like other lady hackers, Chloe is also skilled with a weapon and proves that even though she might seem like a social outcast, she is actually a great friend to have in a sticky situation. Her character on 24 was so popular and well-liked that there is a project within the real Department of Homeland Security named after her. Project CHLOE is working toward developing technology that will protect planes from enemy missiles.
5. Samantha Groves aka Root – Person of Interest
If you haven’t already been watching CBS’s science fiction crime drama Person of Interest, then perhaps you should gain some knowledge about the all-powerful character Samantha Groves (aka Root). Since childhood, Samantha (Amy Acker) has felt a detachment from other human beings and conversely developed a relationship with computers instead. She became an extremely successful hacker and committed her first major crime by hacking into a drug kingpin’s bank account and stealing $100,000. She expresses that humans are a mistake or a “bad code,” and perhaps this is partly why she becomes a cold-blooded killer and contract assassin. Aside from hacking bank accounts, this super-intelligent woman is the main operator of “The Machine” and uses this ability to break out of Stoneridge Hospital. Person of Interest was created by Jonathan Nolan and premiered in 2011. Still going strong, it won the 2016 People’s Choice Award for Favorite TV Crime Drama.
4. Raven Ramirez – CSI: Cyber
Portrayed by the actress and singer Hayley Kiyoko, this sexy hacker chick named Raven Ramirez can be seen as a series regular on the American police drama CSI: Cyber. Like most fictional female computer hackers, Raven spent her childhoods as an introvert and was often cyber-bullied by other children. This led to her dropping out of school and becoming a dark-side hacker. Before she began her work solving crimes with the CSI: Cyber squad as an FBI analyst, she was arrested for hacking into the New Hampshire power grid. However, thanks to the FBI program “hack-for-good,” Raven was able to serve out her sentence while working for the FBI and was eventually hired on as a cyber consultant. Although the show was cancelled by CBS after the second season, Ramirez has also appeared in a couple episodes of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
3. Felicity Smoak – Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow
The fictional DC Comics character Felicity Smoak is played by the beautiful Emily Bett Rickards in Arrow. She was first introduced in Season 1 as an innocent, talkative, girl who worked in the IT department of Queen Consolidated. After Oliver Queen brought her a laptop full of bullets to examine, it didn’t take her long to connect Oliver to the masked Vigilante. It is later revealed that Felicity used to be a cyber-goth and hacktivist at M.I.T., where she created a super-virus that was used (not by herself) to wipe out the schools student debt records. Cooper, the hacker who was arrested, covered for Felicity, claiming that he had created the super-virus. Felicity urged him to turn her in, but before his trial Cooper hung himself. After his death, Felicity left M.I.T. and her hacktivist days behind, dying her hair blonde and eventually becoming an integral part of Team Arrow. She is also an ally of Team Flash and occasionally makes appearances on The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow.
2. Mouse – ReBoot
If you were lucky enough to catch this show Saturday mornings, then you already know that ReBoot was not only amazing but was full of seductive CGI-animated characters. Mouse, a hacker with a sultry southern accent and samurai sword, drives a spacecraft called Ship and is equipped with a ring that enables her to blind people (temporarily). During the chaotic Web War with Megabyte, Mouse saved the day by hacking into the Web and deleting the location of Mainframe. Mouse, like many hackers, walked a thin line between good and evil. In the past, she was caught and captured by Guardian Bob for hacking into the Super Computer. Later, she was hired by the evil Megabyte to hack into Enzo Matrix’s brain for access codes.
ReBoot aired in Canada from 1994-2001 on YTV. Unfortunately for Americans, ABC cancelled it after a season. Creators of the show ran into problems with network censorship. Namely, the way the female characters were shaped. Worried that the characters like Dot Matrix and Mouse were too sexy, the creators had to make the women’s breasts into “monobreasts.” This was done away with in the Season 3, however, and the ladies were given their curvy figures back.
1. Adeanna Cooke – The Hacker Fairy
Topping the list of hottest hacker chicks is none other than the knockout Adeanna Cooke. She may only be 5’6″ and weigh 110 pounds, but this woman isn’t someone you want to have on your bad side – at least not online. This former Playboy model and stripper revealed to the world that she’s not just a pretty face, but also an intelligent hacker. After finding photos of herself online that she preferred be taken down, she hacked into the offending sites and simply removed the photos of herself. Once people she knew found out about her secret computer hacking abilities they came to her for help. Adeanna offered her services to them and removed illegal photos of others floating around the web. She became known as the Hacker Fairy and gained notoriety online for being so damn smart while also being so damn beautiful. Since hacking into private accounts and websites is something Adeanna can do so easily, we can’t help but wonder what else this Hacker Fairy could be getting up to online.