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We Are Anonymous: Inside the Hacker World of LulzSec, Anonymous, and the Global Cyber Insurgency | [Parmy Olson]

We Are Anonymous: Inside the Hacker World of LulzSec, Anonymous, and the Global Cyber Insurgency

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

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4.2 (573 )
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  •  
    Adam K Seattle, WA, United States 06-14-12
    Adam K Seattle, WA, United States 06-14-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Awesome book. Felt like a hacker fiction novel!"

    I was blown away by how exciting the author made this story. It's a fascinating look into the underground hacker culture and a wake up call to anyone who hasn't paid much attention to computer security in the past. You'll learn about the basic methods hackers use, including technical hacks and social engineering.

    The story was very approachable, Parmy Olson does a good job explaining everything tech related in a fair amount of detail without making the embarrassing mistakes that many journalists make when reporting on technology. (I'm hardly all-knowing in this area, but I'm a programmer and pretty tech savvy, so I probably would have caught any obvious flaws)

    The narrator does a wonderful job adding life to the dialogue and uses different voices for each character when reading chat logs and interview quotes. I almost felt like I was listening to a Stieg Larsson book. If you're at all interested in hackers or how a couple kids from different sides of the planet can take down the websites of massive corporations, get this book!

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aaron Troy, MI, United States 07-18-12
    Aaron Troy, MI, United States 07-18-12 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent read, terrible narration"
    If you could sum up We Are Anonymous in three words, what would they be?

    Parmy Olson does an excellent job of wading into the shady world of anon and lulzsec - there are plenty of flaws, however, it is definitely worth the time and far better than I anticipated.
    The narrator, Abby Craden, on the other hand, is awful. She finishes every sentence with an affected, snide lilt and she mispronounces words on a regular basis. The worst distraction, however, are the array of dreadful accents she employs to differentiate the characters. It just about ruins the story.


    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 06-17-12
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 06-17-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "incredibly close up look"

    Parmy Olson provides an incredibly close up and detailed view into these very specific hacker groups. She illuminates the personalities, strategies, tactics and targets involved. Solid narration too.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Nolt Reston, VA 11-11-14
    J. Nolt Reston, VA 11-11-14

    Educated swamp witch

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting book, AWFUL narration"
    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    It's a fast-paced, detailed description of an interesting phenomenon that morphed so quickly the news was (and possibly still is) far behind the truth. It is written to be "thrilling" but there is also enough meat to keep it from being mindless.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The mispronunciation of numerous words combined with the inconsistent, fake accents almost ruined this book for me.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David S. Hawkins Newport Beach, CA 03-12-14
    David S. Hawkins Newport Beach, CA 03-12-14 Member Since 2015
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    "Not so Anonymous Review"

    Just finished listening to this audio book. I found it a well written, fast paced and exciting read. While I haven't been involved in this specific area in my career, this book helped me connect the dots about much that has happened in the news over the past few years.

    Those of you here in this group that are deeply entrenched in this space may be well informed. If you are new to this area, this book is an excellent and gripping primer on what is relevant about hacking and the many breaches published over the past few years.

    I very much recommend this as an excellent listen!

    If you are no hacker, but would like to feel a bit of the excitement and speed of how this whole world works, I suggest listening to it at 3X speed...

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Pilecki Redwood City, cA 02-03-13
    Andrew Pilecki Redwood City, cA 02-03-13

    I am currently a graduate student at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

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    "Admirable attempt to tackle difficult subject"

    I believe the content of this book should be graded on a curve: how does one adequately capture the development of an organization that defines itself by its lack of organization? How does one make sense of a so-called "hacktavist" group that does not have a specific political agenda? Lastly, how does one try to capture the meaning of a cyber movement that is still in its infancy?

    Despite these issues, author Parmy Olson does an adequate job of giving a coherent account Anonymous, LulzSec and related cyber groups. She focuses on a few central key figures like "Sebu", "Topiary" and "Kayla" and tries to show how these figures reflect different sides of Anonymous. For example, Sebu represents the political-minded hacktavist side, Topiary represents the "lulz" side and Kayla the hard-core hacker side. I think this strategy was effective since it gives the reader the sense that while Anonymous, LulzSec, etc are frequently talked about as a single entity within the media the motivations of the people who identify with these group vary wildly.

    I have two criticisms of this audiobook. The first regards the content. I thought the author at times went off into unnecessary tangents, introducing periphery figures that didn't add much to the book, or quoted chat logs for longer than was needed. My second criticism regards the narration. I don't know who's idea it was to have the narrator use different accents for each speaker because they were annoying and even distracting at certain points (Barret Brown's Texas accent immediately comes to mind). If I had to it over again, I would have bought a paper or e-book version rather than get the audiobook.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Billy 10-10-12
    Billy 10-10-12

    Billy

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    "Not a bad book"
    If you could sum up We Are Anonymous in three words, what would they be?

    historical, depressing, enthralling


    Would you recommend We Are Anonymous to your friends? Why or why not?

    I might recommend this. The only problems are that it has a lot of vulgarity, obscenity, and graphic things, but it's an open window into what it's like in the under-world of the internet, so I don't think that's necessarily bad, it's just depressing.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The reading is in a very proud sounding lilt without much other emotion which tends to flatten all the accents. I'm not sure if they're bad accents or if it's the proud sound to every phrase, but something is wrong with the accents especially. They're a bit irritating.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, this wasn't a book that I wanted to listen to all in one sitting, but most books are long enough that it would be hard to anyways. The off accents are too grating in this one, however for that to happen.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ulrike Hoexter, Germany 09-11-12
    Ulrike Hoexter, Germany 09-11-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good book but horrible performance"

    The narration of this book is just atrocious.

    Faking accents in a nonfiction book is unnecessary and the correct pronunciation of words like "Linux" and other terms relating to technology and the internet should be a requirement for narrating books like this.
    Especially when you have a book where most of the audience knows the correct wording of phrases and pronunciation of these terms.

    So all in all: compelling content let down by irritating narration.

    9 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    PeteWhite 07-27-12
    PeteWhite 07-27-12

    Pete

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    "Distracting Narration"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    The narrator used various voices with a wide range of accents when speaking what a character would say. It was distracting and frustrating, taking away from being absorbed into the story.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Just narrate the book, do not turn it into a play.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    john Battery Point, Australia 07-29-15
    john Battery Point, Australia 07-29-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "history as adventure"

    Managed to take a piece of recent history and use it to tell a story that rolls along like a train.

    Occasionally drifts around telling sub stories with too much detail to be believed in full but the majority of the book is impressive.

    A very important document of the facts (I hope they are facts).

    I could have done without the empty moralizing at the end.

    So a few flaws but a good book well delivered.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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