WE ARE ANONYMOUS is the first full account of how a loosely assembled group of hackers scattered across the globe formed a new kind of insurgency, seized headlines, and tortured the feds-and the ultimate betrayal that would eventually bring them down. Read more...
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WE ARE ANONYMOUS is the first full account of how a loosely assembled group of hackers scattered across the globe formed a new kind of insurgency, seized headlines, and tortured the feds-and the ultimate betrayal that would eventually bring them down. Parmy Olson goes behind the headlines and into the world of Anonymous and LulzSec with unprecedented access, drawing upon hundreds of conversations with the hackers themselves, including exclusive interviews with all six core members of LulzSec.
In late 2010, thousands of hacktivists joined a mass digital assault on the websites of VISA, MasterCard, and PayPal to protest their treatment of WikiLeaks. Other targets were wide ranging-the websites of corporations from Sony Entertainment and Fox to the Vatican and the Church of Scientology were hacked, defaced, and embarrassed-and the message was that no one was safe. Thousands of user accounts from pornography websites were released, exposing government employees and military personnel.
Although some attacks were perpetrated by masses of users who were rallied on the message boards of 4Chan, many others were masterminded by a small, tight-knit group of hackers who formed a splinter group of Anonymous called LulzSec. The legend of Anonymous and LulzSec grew in the wake of each ambitious hack. But how were they penetrating intricate corporate security systems? Were they anarchists or activists? Teams or lone wolves? A cabal of skilled hackers or a disorganized bunch of kids?
WE ARE ANONYMOUS delves deep into the internet's underbelly to tell the incredible full story of the global cyber insurgency movement, and its implications for the future of computer security.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-06-18
- Reviewer: Staff
In this spellbinding account of mischief and mayhem, Olson (London bureau chief for Forbes magazine) traces the evolution of the nebulous movement that spawned Anonymous and LulzSec, the most notorious hacking groups of the 21st century. Anonymous burst onto the scene with its 2008 takedown of the Church of Scientology website and went on to stun authorities in 2010 with their attacks on Paypal, Visa, and Mastercard, in response to international crackdowns on Wikileaks. They would later target Middle Eastern governments, an IT security firm, Sony, and other high-profile entities. Delving into the labyrinthine chat channels, Olson's narrative depicts the range of people involved—far from a group of organized criminal masterminds, Anonymous consists of a loose collection of individuals with various skill levels and motives. Some are merely looking for "Lulz"—laughs at the expense of someone else—while others are politically motivated "hacktivists" trying to incite revolution. With all the makings of a fast-paced espionage thriller, Olson—basing her work on plenty of research and exclusive interviews with hackers, including Hector "Sabu" Monsegur—meticulously and impartially recreates the operations of Anonymous and LulzSec, leading up to the arrests of core members, and their betrayal by one of their own. Includes timeline and glossary. (June)