We Are Anonymous is a thrilling, exclusive expose of the hacker collectives Anonymous and LulzSec.
In late 2010, thousands of hacktivists joined a mass digital assault by Anonymous on the websites of VISA, MasterCard, and PayPal to protest their treatment of WikiLeaks. Splinter groups then infiltrated the networks of totalitarian governments in Libya and Tunisia, and an elite team of six people calling themselves LulzSec attacked the FBI, CIA, and Sony. They were flippant and taunting, grabbed headlines, and amassed more than a quarter of a million Twitter followers. The computer security world - and world at large - realized quickly that Anonymous and its splinter groups are something to treat with dead seriousness.
Through the stories of three key members, We Are Anonymous offers a gripping, adrenaline-fueled narrative in the style of The Accidental Billionaires, drawing upon hundreds of conversations with the members themselves, including exclusive interviews. By coming to know them - their childhoods, families, and personal demons - we come to know the human side of their virtual exploits, and why they're so passionate about disrupting the Internet's frontiers.
©2012 Parmy Olson (P)2012 Hacette Audio
The layout of the story is fantastic and the narrator does an exceptional job.
This book is definitely a must read (or heard) if you are in IT Security. There is a lot of computer jargon however the book nicely ties in technical terms and turns them into layman's words and meanings.
I recommend this book for anyone who is interested in learning about the origins and actual character of the group that goes by the name Anonymous and only really knows about the group through media about their 'hacktivism.' I knew almost nothing about methods of hacking or cyber attacks but am technically savvy enough to not need an excruciatingly simplistic explanation in order to grasp the necessary concepts. This book strikes the right balance. I understood everything without being either confused or bored. The story focuses mainly on the personal stories of several individuals, focusing a lot of attention on a few who got involved with 'Anonymous' and then formed a similar group and were eventually caught. The method works well because it illustrates the lack of cohesiveness in what the entity called Anonymous really is. The book makes it clear that 'Anonymous' is not an organized group with a singular vision but rather a name that can be claimed by anyone loosely affiliated when he or she wants to- which can work in its favor or against it. It also demonstrates the flip side of the social activism: the essential nastiness and lack of basic human empathy of many individuals in the group. It was also very interesting to see inside the methods used to target individuals or organisms who (sometimes randomly) fall within the cross-hairs of the technically knowledgeable. My first impulse upon finishing the books was to change all of my passwords and carefully think about anything I post anywhere on the internet: a lesson that we could all probably use.
The human element behind this group. Most of these people almost looked at this as a game. Not realizing quite the mess they were in. Also, interesting seeing how easily some were turned. Gives you insight into how little you can truly trust other people, especially on the internet.
Also it's interesting learning about the fact that much of this was caused by social engineering as much as it was by skilled hackers. Meaning that people often were easily fooled and tricked into doing things by these people. Also, it gives you a bit of insight into what you should and should not do with passwords pertaining to the internet.
I loved it. Some others didn't enjoy her style but I really liked her dark almost ominous voice. I truly felt it was fitting for the content. The accents may have been a little off but whatever.
Hard to say without giving away spoilers. But when people started getting arrested and when one person was so easily turned. Kind of takes away your faith in the resolve of others to keep your secrets when pressed. Also when one person is discovered it comes as a bit of a surprise. Makes you wonder if you can truly have Anonymity on the Internet. It seems when pressed anyone can find your secrets alarmingly easily.
Written for people that have little to no knowledge of hacking so it's completely accessible to any layman who has a basic understanding of the internet. Helps you to understand things to do and not do on the internet to protect yourself. Gives some insight into the motivations of this group of people and it's successes and failures. Where they went wrong etc. Overall I felt engaged and was happy to gain insight into this secret world. Listened to this one whenever I could.
Max Fisher of Rushmore Academy
If it were fiction, nobody would believe it. What an amazing story, flawlessly told, about a period that will be prominently featured when the history of the internet is finally written.
I had to continually remind myself that the author wasn't a participant in this story, because it's told with such compelling vividness it's hard to imagine the facts being gathered any other way.
If you took any interest in the devastation wrought by LulzSec and Anonymous, you will find this book very difficult to put down.
My only criticism deals with the (otherwise exceptionally good) narrator's insistence on attempting the accents of the players in this story. That sort of thing always bugs me. But not enough to keep me from giving the work five stars and emphatically recommending it.
Can't drive and read.
I enjoyed how I was able to connect to the views of those represented in the book.
over 9000 words!
A lively and informative book brought to life by Ms.Abby Craden! Olson gives a thorough history, and actual look inside, of these hacktivist groups. All the while doing so, she paints very real characters. Characters with real flaws who, at times, are mischievous, creepy, or all out megalomaniac! A very entertaining listen. My ONLY qualm with the book was her focus on the original Anon/LulzSec members, versus giving a broader viewpoint of other group members and those countries and law-enforcement involved. A must-read for those interested in pop-culture, current events, and information security!
Very eye opening read into the lives of the script kiddies and the tech idols who lead the hoard. The complete loss of a since of right and wrong due the the vail of anonymity provided by the web was disturbing.
Hackers gotta hack!
The most memorable was really the opening scene. I was horrified but laughing inside at how easily the hackers took down a 'cyber security' firm's website, defaced the site, abused the CEO's twitter account and published its emails.
If nothing else, I have learned why there are warnings to change your password frequently, use different passwords on different accounts, and to use phrases with upper case, lower case, numbers, and symbols. It was quite eye opening that the groups published lists of user names and passwords.
The book was engaging and felt like a quick listen up until the last hour or so. I enjoyed the walk through cyber history and how the culture evolved and morphed over time.
A synopsis of the stories would be a valuable listen for any company who wants to really get the point across to their employees that cyber security is important.
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