Wednesday, September 5, 2012

We Are Anonymous

We Are Anonymous: Inside the Hacker World of LulzSec, Anonymous, and the Global Cyber Insurgency
Author: Parmy Olson
Genre: Non-Fiction | Technology | Hackers
Release Date: June 5th, 2012

So this is partly about random members of Anonymous, and those who eventually came together to form the elite crew Lulzsec. It's a delightful insight into the world of internet activism, however misguided the intentions behind it may be. When read from this book's perspective, you can't help but to sympathize or feel sorry for individuals involved in these so called hacking incidents. They're not as cool as they seem from their perceived online personas. Lulzsec when cut and dried, aren't really noteworthy individuals aside from the fact that they're highly skilled at computers, or skilled in just propagating online propaganda. Topiary comes to mind as an online persona that is bubbly, peppy and very charismatic even though in real life he's really an introvert. It just goes to show how contradictory people are online and offline.

If you're a fan of Lulzsec back in the day when they were at large and breaking into servers everywhere, you'll love this book because it lays to bare everything and puts it into perspective with all the insider info the author managed to compile. It includes viewpoints taken directly from the Lulzsec crew themselves, namely Topiary, and provides insight into their activities and how they eventually got caught. You're given the play by play of how it all went down, based on the irc chat logs and interviews. I felt like I was there among the elite hackers as they went through it all.

I've always wondered if the methods they were using at the time was infallible (VPNs) seeing as how they were rampaging around for a long time before the authorities finally clamped down on their operation. Now I know how unreliable VPN providers really are, especially when served with subpoenas on customer details, which most of them log to begin with, eliminating the so called "anonymity" that VPNs claim to provide in the first place. So it really brings to mind the fact that hackers will always get caught, at least until a better method is found. Or maybe you could just work for the Chinese or Russian Governments for total hacker immunity and protection.

The fact that most Hackers can't be trusted is drilled in even deeper with the revelations in this book. Even the Great Kevin Mitnick himself was taken down with the help/betrayal of other hackers (read:  Ghost in the Wires). Most hackers are like thieves, as in they're not the most honorable of people. They'll bail on their fellow hackers if they feel even remotely threatened in real life.

Overall 3.5 Stars. Great read. Recommended for those who love hacking, technology and the internet.