Beto O’Rourke’s secret membership in America’s oldest hacking group


By Joseph Menn | Reuters

(This article is adapted from a forthcoming book, “Cult of the Dead Cow: How the Original Hacking Supergroup Might Just Save the World” by Joseph Menn)

Some things you might know about Beto O’Rourke, the former Texas congressman who just entered the race for president:
The Democratic contender raised a record amount for a U.S. Senate race in 2018 and almost beat the incumbent in a Republican stronghold, without hiding his support for gun control and Black Lives Matter protests on the football field.
When he was younger, he was arrested on drunk-driving charges and played in a punk band. Now 46, he still skateboards.

The charismatic politician with the Kennedy smile is liberal on some issues and libertarian on others, which could allow him to cross the country’s political divide.

One thing you didn’t know: While a teenager, O’Rourke acknowledged in an exclusive interview, he belonged to the oldest group of computer hackers in U.S. history.

The hugely influential Cult of the Dead Cow, jokingly named after an abandoned Texas slaughterhouse, is notorious for releasing tools that allowed ordinary people to hack computers running Microsoft’s Windows. It’s also known for inventing the word “hacktivism” to describe human-rights-driven security work.

Members of the group have protected O’Rourke’s secret for decades, reluctant to compromise his political viability. Now, in a series of interviews, CDC members have acknowledged O’Rourke as one of their own. In all, more than a dozen members of the group agreed to be named for the first time in a book about the hacking group by this reporter that is scheduled to be published in June by Public Affairs. O’Rourke was interviewed early in his run for the Senate.

There is no indication that O’Rourke ever engaged in the edgiest sorts of hacking activity, such as breaking into computers or writing code …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Politics

      

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