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Cult of the Dead Cow The Shocking Untold Story Of The Elite Secret Society Of Hackers Fighting To Protect Our Privacy, Our Freedom Even Democracy Itself Cult Of The Dead Cow Is The Tale Of The Oldest, Most Respected, And Most Famous American Hacking Group Of All Time Though Until Now It Has Remained Mostly Anonymous, Its Members Invented The Concept Of Hacktivism, Released The Top Tool For Testing Password Security, And Created What Was For Years The Best Technique For Controlling Computers From Afar, Forcing Giant Companies To Work Harder To Protect Customers They Contributed To The Development Of Tor, The Most Important Privacy Tool On The Net, And Helped Build Cyberweapons That Advanced US Security Without Injuring Anyone With Its Origins In The Earliest Days Of The Internet, The CDc Is Full Of Oddball Characters Activists, Artists, Even Future Politicians Many Of These Hackers Have Become Top Executives And Advisors Walking The Corridors Of Power In Washington And Silicon Valley The Most Famous Is Former Texas Congressman And Current Presidential Candidate Beto O Rourke, Whose Time In The CDc Set Him Up To Found A Tech Business, Launch An Alternative Publication In El Paso, And Make Long Shot Bets On Unconventional Campaigns.Today, The Group And Its Followers Are Battling Electoral Misinformation, Making Personal Data Safer, And Battling To Keep Technology A Force For Good Instead Of For Surveillance And Oppression Cult Of The Dead Cow Shows How Governments, Corporations, And Criminals Came To Hold Immense Power Over Individuals And How We Can Fight Back Against Them.

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  • Hardcover
  • 272 pages
  • Cult of the Dead Cow
  • Joseph Menn
  • 05 April 2018
  • 9781541762381

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About the Author: Joseph Menn

Joseph Menn s fourth book, Cult of the Dead Cow How the Original Hacking Supergroup Might Just Save the World, will be published in June 2019 by PublicAffairs It tells the story of the oldest, most respected and most famous American hacking group of all time Its members invented the concept of hacktivism, released both the top tool for cracking passwords and the reigning technique for control

10 thoughts on “Cult of the Dead Cow

  1. says:

    From exposing security issues during the early days of the Internet to quashing modern day political misinformation, one group of hackers has been through it all Cult of the Dead Cow By latching onto their own branch of hacktivism , this group has morphed from an eclectic group of enthusiasts to a movement intent on fighting for greater online security.Journalist Joseph Menn has pulled together perhaps the most encompassing looks at one the longest serving hacker collectives This in and of itself is a major feat considering the Cult of the Dead Cow cDc remains a highly secretive organization While some of the members have been open about their experiences, including presidential candidate Beto O Rourke, others have preferred the anonymity an online persona provides under secure circumstances, of course So Menn does deserve credit for pulling plenty of materials, including interviews with members, into a compelling, often entertaining, and somewhat perplexing narrative.And what a story Putting aside the often dubious legality of the cDc s actions, their story starts with a group of bored teens in Texas during the mid 1980s and propels into a present where several members are professionals, working on cybersecurity some in the Silicon Valley private sector and others for government entities The path there is long and complex, but Menn successfully cultivates this story by sliding around tech heavy jargon and focusing instead on the human idea of maturity a gradual online process for the cDc.These moments click, from the Black Orifice Microsoft debacle in the 90s to frustrations with WikiLeaks during the 2016 election, the group showcases obvious growth and an enriched viewpoint With such a solid throughline, ultimately, Menn has crafted an interesting examination of how hacking has progressed in its use for good.

  2. says:

    I was waiting for this book, not because recent career of R O Rourke , but because I remember CDC from the ol good times P I ve used BO BO2k and I wanted to learn about the group.Unfortunately, I didn t.There s very little revealed, clearly the group has kept its integrity 95% of meaty facts are still kept very private Contrary to my fears, this is not a panegyric ode to RO R which is covered rather briefly, but very positively , but there s almost no content in it Author tries to exploit any thread that he could somehow indirectly link to CDC, but it s just annoying not only because it s just too obvious, but also because he s just very speculative doesn t bring many facts.Big disappointment, even embarrassment.1.5 1.7 stars.

  3. says:

    Working in computer science and security, I m always interested to hear some of the history that built up the industry I m involved in I was provided a copy of Cult of the Dead Cow by Joseph Menn by NetGalley and Perseus Books for review.The book is a really great deep dive history of the hacker collected Cult of the Dead Cow cDc which has recently come back into focus with the presidential campaign of cDc member Beto O Rourke The coverage of the foundation and growth of cDc is truly in depth and that may stand as the biggest point in favor and against the book.Names both actual and of the hacker variety abound and without your computer on your lap to continuously Google stuff that comes up, it got really challenging to keep track of all the players and their various contributions The historical context of the group and their involvement in other high profile hacker groups, government agencies and non profit groups was very interesting but it was a lot to parse.I d recommend this book to IT IS and information security experts and anyone with a genuine love for the history of the internet and all it s corresponding parts and pieces It s a dense read but worthwhile, though definitely not for everyone I don t think I d recommend this to a casual reader.

  4. says:

    El t tulo no es nada presuntuoso Las acciones tomadas por algunas personas en la escena de la seguridad inform tica ha cambiado el mundo como lo vivimos Tanto as que puedo vincular esta rese a a las consecuencias de nuestro entorno digital informaci n personal y perfiles asociados, privacidad y transmisi n de los datos, preservaci n de la informaci n, espionaje, algoritmos de aprendizaje y lamentablemente, armamento tecnol gico Hemos visto los esc ndalos como el de Cambridge Analytica, a diario escuchamos que alg n siti fu vulnerado dejando al descubierto de cientos a miles de perfiles o bien, recibimos correos indeseados que buscan explotar alguna vulnerabilidad en nuestra computadora o m vil Todo esto ha sido advertido por profesionales del computo desde hace a os donde los miembros del cDc han jugado un papel esencial en esa historia El libro es un excelente trabajo period stico que relata los origenes y el paso del tiempo hasta nuestros d as del grupo hacktivista cDc Cult of the Dead Cow Describe hechos hist ricos de los que sus miembros fueron directa o indirectamente protagonistas Sobre todo, de aquellos que decidieron poner a la luz su pertenencia al grupo en la vida real alejados del teclado Algunos tienen posiciones gerenciales altas en corporaciones que afectan la vida de millones tal como Facebook, Google o Yahoo Incluso, un dato que estar sonando en los pr ximos a os es acerca del pol tico estadounidense Beto O Rourke quien fu miembro del grupo.Un punto a resaltar que me pareci excelente encontrar es la reflexi n tica que se presenta El autor la hace notar desde la perspectiva de los miembros del grupo y los profesionales del c mputo Sin embargo, hace un llamado personal a darle mayor importancia a nivel institucional.La raz n de dar 3 estrellas mas como un 3.5 es que me qued vido de escuchar mas historias relacionadas en el plano internacional Si bien mencionan el caso de Pegasus documentado por Aristegui quien tambi n fue objetivo del espionaje por el gobierno mexicano o bien la historia de FinFisher a manera de supoci n, creo que las relaciones del grupo fueron o son mucho mas extensas en el plano global Este fue mi primer libro en formato de audio Puede que algunos detalles los haya perdido por esta raz n sin embargo, disfrut bastante la narraci n y el ep logo es fundamental.

  5. says:

    The powerful machines become, the sharper human ethics have to be If the combination of mindless, profit seeking algorithms, dedicated geopolitical adversaries, and corrupt US opportunists over the past few years have taught us anything, it is that serious applied thinking is a form of critical infrastructure The best hackers are masters of applied thinking, and we cannot afford to ignore them Likewise, they should not ignore us We need good in the world If it can t be lawful, then let it be chaotic Cult of the Dead Cow, Joe Menn, 2019I first became aware of Joe Menn after he published his 2010 book about the early days of cyber crime called Fatal System Error The Cybersecurity Canon Committee nominated it as a Hall of Fame candidate in 2014 But, Joe has been a journalist covering cybersecurity since the Internet was young and for the past eight years has been working for Thomson Reuters For this book, he chose to explore one of the infamous hactivists groups from the early internet hacker culture The Cult of the Dead Cow or cDc At first glance, Cult of the Dead Cow, the book, is a remembrance of a fascinating time in cybersecurity history, early 1980s to mid 2000s, when the world transitioned from dial up modems to the beginnings of what the internet is today, when the term hacker identified clever people who were interested in how the world works, and when Gen Xers were old enough to understand what their baby boomer parents did in the 1960s and were eager to see what they could do in the exponentially expanding digital age If that was all the book was, it would be a worthwhile read But Joe has something bigger in mind From his point of view, Joe has noticed a missing element in Big Tech thinking as companies like Google and Facebook have grown to dominate the world s culture He believes that the leadership in these companies don t consider even basic ethics when they make decisions to drive the growth of their companies He hopes that by describing the maturity journey of the cDc, from internet pranksters to seasoned and respected graybeards, that these new millennials, born between early 2000s and present day, and now in charge of Big Tech might use that journey as a blueprint to guide them in the future.The cDc is probably most well known for orchestrating two big hacker moments the development and marketing of a powerful hacking tool called Back Orifice and running probably the first hactivist campaign centered around a fictitious Chinese hacker group called the Hong Kong Blondes In fact, cDc member Misha Kubecka Omega invented the term hactivism But the book also covers many of the not so well known activities of the cDC membership Many of these stories show how the cDc was trying to bring good into the world, but Joe doesn t shy away from the cDc dark side either There are lessons to be learned from both sides.The last sentence in the quote above refers to the role playing game called Dungeons and Dragons and a character alignment system that shows where any particular game character sits on a two dimensional scale of morality The Y Axis moves from Good to Neutral to Evil The X Axis moves from Lawful to Neutral to Chaotic The alignment of any one character falls within the spectrum of that two dimensional grid For example, Captain America is the perfect example of Lawful Good while the Joker is the perfect example of Chaotic Evil In the book, Menn weaves stories about cDc members that fill the entire space of character alignment He chronicles their actions that dance back and forth between lawful and chaotic, but for the most part, moral But he does not shy away from the evil parts either He points to some of these first generation hactivists as the example that he would like the new millennials to emulate In other words, to make positive change in this digital world, endeavor to stay lawful but consider that sometimes you have to move to the chaotic side It is an interesting idea and something that the leaders in Big Tech should at least consider And for that, I recommend this book for the Cybersecurity Canon Hall of Fame.Sources Cult of the Dead Cow How the Original Hacking Supergroup Might Just Save the World, by Joseph Mean, Book Review by Rick Howard, Published by PublicAffairs, 4 June 2019, Last Visited 8 June 2019,https www.goodreads.com book show 4 Fatal System Error The Hunt for the New Crime Lords Who are Bringing Down the Internet, by Joseph Menn, Published by PublicAffairs, 26 January 2010, Last Visited 8 June 2019,https www.goodreads.com book show 7 The Cybersecurity Canon Fatal System Error, by Rick Howard, The Cybersecurity Canon Project, 20 February 2014 Last Visited 8 June 2019,https blog.paloaltonetworks.com 201

  6. says:

    This is not a book for everyone The topic is very interesting and author is then capable to write about it but this is incredibly dense book I am a big non fiction fan The facts and good research are very important to me, but here I had a feeling as if I was reading a collection of bullet points in PowerPoint presentation The amount of information that author complied in just one page without giving a reader moment to digest was overwhelming and made reading a struggle There was no flow I was really interested in a topic history of the oldest and well known hacker group in the US called CDC but the form was just too dense for my taste I command author for a great research though, there was a lot of work put into this book.

  7. says:

    Yes, I am a criminal My crime is that of curiosity My crime is that of judging people by what they say and think, not what they look like My crime is that of outsmarting you, something that you will never forgive me for I am a hacker, and this is my manifesto Mentor s Last Words It was a time of moral reckoning People realized the power that they had MUCH STAKE THE BAND OF HACKERS THAT DEFINED AN ERA

  8. says:

    I found it engaging and interesting discussing the history of the group that I found very interesting when I was first starting my career in technology Back in the 90 s I attended a few 2600 meeting and the Cult of the Dead Cow and the Back Orifice tool was a frequent topic Learning about the background and the stories behind this group brought back some great memories about the early era of hacking.

  9. says:

    A fascinating, in depth analysis of the social groups of hackers who would go on to shape the field of cybersecurity and influence major tech companies This book explores the ethical considerations of technology, as well issues of cybersecurity that frequently appear in today s news stories Above all, it s a gripping and informative read on a field that is often portrayed as too technical for the average person to understand Joseph Menn has done a fantastic job with the reporting in this book.

  10. says:

    It was cool to learn about the CDC and their days on top during the NT XP era Through Back Orifice they were crucial toward Microsoft getting their stuff together an giving a damn about security I appreciate their efforts I could have done without the political bias and Trump bashing.

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