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Cult of the Dead Cow

How the Original Hacking Supergroup Might Just Save the World
Narrated by: Jonathan Davis
Length: 8 hrs and 11 mins
Categories: Non-fiction, Technology
4.5 out of 5 stars (11 ratings)

Non-member price: $41.31

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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2019 Joseph Menn (P)2019 PublicAffairs

Critic Reviews

"Long before there was a multi-billion dollar cyber industry, there were some ethical hackers who showed us that the Silicon Valley emperors had no clothes. They looked like misfits, but they showed us how insecure the Internet was and how to make it better. Joe Menn makes this previously untold story entertaining and relevant to today's cyber threats." (Richard A. Clarke, first White House "Cyber Czar")

"Cult of the Dead Cow reveals a story few know about the origins of white hat hacking and the heroes it celebrates. Despite the title, hacking isn't dead yet!" (Vint Cerf, co-inventor of the internet)

"Cult of the Dead Cow is an exhilarating and essential look into a part of the hacker underground that has shaped the modern world in profound ways. Readers will be amazed by this crew of eccentric, impassioned geniuses who have so often served as the Internet's conscience while lurking unknown in the shadows. The depth of Joe Menn's reporting is as astonishing as his storytelling - no one could have captured this tale better." (Ashlee Vance, author of Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future)

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 27-06-2019

Loved it

Great books great narrating as well. Fills in the gaps of things that happened in hacker culture between the ghost in the wires book and the Anonymous book and much more. Really enjoyed it.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • tyson l woodruff
  • 29-08-2019

Fascinating and astonishing

It is so amazing that a group of misfits became the biggest and most in packful hacker group in the entire world.l I recommend this book to anyone who is intrested in how cyber security and hacking entangles with the rest of societie.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • V
  • 18-09-2019

I literally cannot recommend this book enough.

Just a great read, whether you're a security / IT professional or just a casual reader.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • C. Gahagan
  • 26-09-2019

Skip it, biased shill for Robert Francis

Devolves into a biased shill for Robert Francis. I should have known better. Hours of my life I want back.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Ahdumb
  • 25-07-2019

If you ran a bbs, or ever visited one...

....Then this book is for you. Even if you didn’t, it’s a wonderful book that you will get some history lessons from....

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark
  • 19-06-2019

An insightful look into hacker history.

If you like hacking and the pioneers of HACKTIVISM then this is the book for you.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Adam Cloud
  • 14-10-2019

Started off good. Just more propaganda

Cunning book that has a subtle difference between the retelling of a story and the insertion of propaganda. The book would tell of something that was happening, then would casually insert their assessment of what it means as if it were fact....much of which has since been disproven. The things that the book chose to share, while omitting the other things gave a clear bias, which isn't surprising considering it was written to "provide context", or rather play PR for, Beto O'rourke To try and manipulate people politically through book of intrigue is just stupid.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 15-07-2019

Good book listen with an open mind

A little bias on the liberal side but overall an enjoyable book brought back some memories.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Stuart
  • 28-06-2019

Intense and Enlightening

I loved it, though I dont agree with the authors political stance that is clearly presented. Though to his credit, evidence to the contrary of his claims didnt arise until after the book was written. I lean right, but am very interested in learning more about psychedelic warlord the man.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Joshua Keenan
  • 11-12-2019

dang

It's too bad Beto dropped, would have been nice to see a Hacker In Chief.

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  • James
  • 19-07-2019

Fascinating History of Hacking

Despite being focused on CDC the author does a fantastic job at summarising the broader history of hacking, touching on important points throughout the last few decades.

Anyone who has an real interest in hacking history should give this book a listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • 匿名
  • 12-11-2019

Interesting and informative. Your mind will love..

Although not an US citizen, this book sheds slot of light over the subjects that technology advancement is bringing to us humans. With the amount that is now invested in AI and machine learning, it's also time to invest in humanizing technology and protecting our privacy.