Patterico's Pontifications


“We Are Anonymous: Inside the Hacker World of LulzSec, Anonymous, and the Global Cyber Insurgency” by Parmy Olson

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:33 am

Last night I finished reading “We Are Anonymous: Inside the Hacker World of LulzSec, Anonymous, and the Global Cyber Insurgency.” It’s a compelling read and I recommend it. You can buy it here.

There is a relationship between the SWATtings that happened to me, Aaron Walker, Erick Erickson, and Mike Stack, and the story of the activity of Anonymous and LulzSec. But, to my knowledge, the connection is very tenuous, and it would likely be quite misleading to overstate it.

I still remember, vividly, typing this March 6, 2012 blog entry announcing the arrests of top LulzSec members. I actually composed most of the post on my iPhone as I was sitting in a line of cars waiting to enter the memorial service for Andrew Breitbart. After I had parked my car and walked into the service, a friend of Andrew’s told me he had just heard about the arrests, and congratulated me — as if LulzSec had had anything to do with my SWATting. I guess I don’t know for sure if it did or not, but I am fairly certain it didn’t.

Still, the LulzSec members were the HBGary hackers, and the story of the HBGary hacking is fairly intimately involved with Brett Kimberlin and Neal Rauhauser. The story is complicated, but after it was revealed through the HBGary hacking that Aaron Barr & Co. had proposed an unethical course of action that involved personal research about Brad Friedman and Brett Kimberlin, Friedman rushed to throw himself on the cross. Meanwhile, Brad and Brett studiously pretended that they were not practitioners of the very same stalking and thuggery tactics that they pretended to decry. Since that time, Stacy McCain has connected more dots between Neal Rauhauser and the HBGary saga. Then came the Rauhauser/Gaped Crusader connections and the antipathy they “both” showed towards Barr –as well as Liberty Chick, myself, and others whom Rauhauser and Kimberlin tried to smear as associates of Barr’s.

Parmy Olson’s book is critical background for all of that and more. You will learn how Anonymous came to battle Scientology; how “Anonymous” was seen by the media as a self-contained entity coming off the 4chan image board; and how LulzSec’s hackers Sabu, Kayla, and Topiary splintered from Anonymous and drove some of the most spectacular hacks to date.

It’s a gripping read from start to finish, and an important read given the importance of hacktivism to the world we live in.

Here is Olson on the Daily Show:

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