A thrilling, exclusive investigation into hacker collectives, and the power they hold
In January 2012, the hacker collective Anonymous brought down the FBI website in response to planned American laws against internet piracy. In 2011, LulzSec, a sister organisation, broke into and blocked computer systems at VISA, Mastercard and PayPal. The groups have infiltrated the networks of totalitarian governments in Libya and Tunisia. They have attacked the CIA and NATO. But instead of being sanctimonious and secretive, these cyber activists are flippant and taunting, never hesitating to mock those they've outsmarted. Today, governments, big businesses and social activists are waking up to the true power of the internet, and how it can be manipulated.
This is the story of a hive mind, with many hackers across the globe connected to slice through security systems and escape untraced. Through the stories of four key members, We Are Anonymous offers a gripping, adrenalin-fuelled narrative drawing upon extensive research, and hundreds of conversations with the hackers themselves. By coming to know them - their backgrounds, families, motivations - we come to know the human side of their virtual exploits, showing exactly why they're so passionate about disrupting the internet's frontiers.
“A lively, startling book that reads as ‘The Social Network’ for group hackers.”
New York Times
“An incredible story.”
Jon Stewart, The Daily Show
“A masterpiece of shoe-leather journalism, a fast-paced, richly detailed account of the group's beginnings, various schisms and most spectacular attacks.”
“A remarkable inside account of the hacker movement.”
New York Magazine
“Spellbinding account of mischief and mayhem ... With all the makings of a fast-paced espionage thriller, Olson...meticulously and impartially recreates the operations of Anonymous and LulzSec.”
“We Are Anonymous is a highly recommended entry point to begin to understand what that hidden culture is, where it comes from, and how it's influencing the mainstream. Olson doesn't just give the reader a recap of events since 2008 (the first en masse attack by Anonymous), her sympathetic account shows why people find Anonymous attractive, and why, despite its rough edges, much of what it does and stands for is something that should be promoted.”
“Parmy Olson delves into the world of cyber insurgency … A must-have read for anyone intrigued by the dark and turbulent underbelly of the internet”
“It is a fascinating tale, and if there is an element of luck to Olson having such great access it is the kind of luck you have to work like a dog to win, because this may be a tale about the reach and power of new technology, but it is backed up by old-fashioned investigative reporting. Olson's research is properly impressive.”
“pacy and informative […] an important account of the opening shots in what appears to be a barely-begun war for control of the web”