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Sammy Kamkar: Known for Various Security Breaches

Sammy Kamkar: Known for Various Security Breaches

 By Charles Joseph | Cybersecurity Researcher
 Published on July 30th, 2023
This post was updated on November 25th, 2023

Sammy Kamkar is a highly skilled American privacy and security researcher, programmer, and entrepreneur. He is most recognized for his significant contributions to the world of cybersecurity. He has developed numerous pieces of technology through open-source programming that expose potential weaknesses in software and hardware systems. Kamkar was in the limelight at a young age when he launched the “Samy worm,” an extremely fast-spreading computer worm, through the MySpace platform. Today, he shares his knowledge and expertise by speaking at internationally recognized hacking conferences and security events.

1. Sammy Kamkar’s Contributions to Cybersecurity

Sammy Kamkar has made profound contributions to the field of cybersecurity, with a focus on discovering and revealing critical security vulnerabilities. He has created several open-source projects aimed at illustrating potential weaknesses in various systems and devices. Among his notable works is “Evercookie,” a Javascript API that produces persistent cookies in a web browser, making them nearly impossible to delete. This demonstrates how privacy can be invaded through simple web browsing.

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Another significant creation by Kamkar is “MagSpoof,” a device that emulates magnetic stripe cards. This technology showcased the possibility of wirelessly spoofing credit cards and security cards, thereby raising awareness about the vulnerabilities of such payment systems. Through these projects and more, Kamkar has constantly pushed the boundaries of cybersecurity and privacy, leading to increased attention and improvements in these areas.

2. The “Samy Worm”

Sammy Kamkar is perhaps best known for the “Samy Worm,” a fast-spreading computer worm that he created and launched on MySpace in 2005. The Samy worm was written in JavaScript and was designed to propagate across the MySpace network. It was dubbed the fastest spreading virus of all time, with over one million accounts affected in just 20 hours.

The worm didn’t cause any harm to the users or their computers but simply added Kamkar as a friend and displayed the phrase “Samy is my hero” on affected profiles. Despite the seemingly harmless nature of the worm, the incident led to legal issues for Kamkar and shut down MySpace temporarily. This event highlighted the potential risks and implications associated with security vulnerabilities in large-scale social media platforms.

3. Kamkar’s Role in Educating about Security

Outside of his active role in creating prototypes and technologies, Sammy Kamkar is well known for his efforts in sharing knowledge and educating others about security and privacy concerns. He regularly appears as a speaker at internationally recognized hacking and security conferences. In these events, he shares his latest research, provides insights into current security threats, discusses potential future challenges, and often gives live demonstrations of his work.

Kamkar also releases his discoveries and tools as open-source, allowing other researchers and enthusiasts to use and further develop these resources. Additionally, he maintains a YouTube channel where he routinely posts videos explaining his findings and activities in an accessible way. Kamkar’s efforts in education not only keep professionals and enthusiasts informed but also raise awareness among the general public about the importance of security and privacy in the digital age.


Sammy Kamkar is an exceptional figure in the world of cybersecurity, noted for his ability to creatively expose system vulnerabilities and his commitment to raising public awareness about digital privacy and security. His distinct contributions, from launching the Samy worm to educating others through various platforms, have cemented his position as an influential authority in this domain.

Key Takeaways

  • Sammy Kamkar is a renowned privacy and security researcher, making significant contributions to cybersecurity through his innovative technologies and open-source projects.
  • He gained early attention with the release of the “Samy worm” on MySpace, showcasing potential risks in security vulnerabilities of large-scale social media platforms.
  • Kamkar’s inventions, like “Evercookie” and “MagSpoof,” have exposed crucial security shortcomings and stimulated progress in cybersecurity.
  • Outside of his tech creations, Kamkar plays a vital role in educating others about security and privacy threats, giving talks at international conferences and providing resources on his YouTube channel.
  • His work highlights the necessity for continuous vigilance in the ever-evolving cyber landscape, and he continues to be a leading voice in raising awareness and addressing these challenges.

Related Questions

1. What is the significance of the “Samy worm” to cybersecurity history?

The “Samy worm” is one of the earliest recorded XSS worms that propagated at an unprecedented rate, impacting over one million users on MySpace in 20 hours. It nudged social media platforms to reconsider and restructure their security measures, thus shaping modern cybersecurity protocols.

2. How has Sammy Kamkar contributed to spreading awareness about cybersecurity vulnerabilities?

Kamkar uses a variety of platforms, including international conferences and his YouTube channel, to educate people about cybersecurity vulnerabilities. He also releases his work as open-source projects, encouraging other researchers to learn from and build upon his discoveries.

3. Why is Sammy Kamkar’s work important?

Kamkar’s work uncovers potential vulnerabilities in digital systems, raising awareness about the risks individuals and organizations face daily. Such awareness prompts necessary changes in cybersecurity protocols and contributes to making digital environments safer.

4. What are some notable projects by Sammy Kamkar?

Alongside the infamous “Samy worm,” some of Kamkar’s notable projects include “Evercookie,” a persistent browser cookie, and “MagSpoof,” a device spoofing magnetic stripe cards. These projects both exposed vulnerabilities and stimulated security innovation.

5. How can I stay updated with Sammy Kamkar’s work and discoveries?

Updates on Kamkar’s work can be followed through various channels including his personal website, YouTube channel, or by attending conferences where he is a speaker. He regularly shares the results of his research and projects in these spaces.

"Amateurs hack systems, professionals hack people."
-- Bruce Schneier, a renown computer security professional
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