Masters of Deception: The Gang That Ruled Cyberspace

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9780060170301: Masters of Deception: The Gang That Ruled Cyberspace

Chronicles the epic cyberspace battle between rival gangs of hackers--the Texas-based ""Legion of Doom"" and New York's ""Masters of Deception""--detailing the groups' exploits and discussing the legal and ethical implications of new computer technology. $35,000 first printing. First serial, Wired. Tour.

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Review:

The funny, frightening and true tale of cyberwar between two hacker gangs, the Legion of Doom and the Masters of Deception--a war that took place on YOUR phone network.

From Booklist:

Gurus and "phreaks" tool along the info highway for goals noble and not so noble in Newsday reporters Slatalla and Quittner's story of the teenage East Coast hackers (originally Masters of Disaster, MOD), whose on-line escapades ultimately landed them in jail. The adventures of Mark, Paul, Eli, Allen, John, and Julio--aka Phiber Optik, Scorpion, Acid Phreak, Wing, Corrupt, and Outlaw--were initially local. All but Allen lived in the boroughs of New York City, and they roamed the complex computer networks that controlled New York Telephone, NYNEX, and AT & T; later, they would explore other corporate and government systems. The New York crew had problems with a group called the Legion of Doom (LOD): first, a Texas hacker convinced LOD to throw out Phiber Optik (Mark); later, African American John (aka Corrupt) heard the Texas boys using racist names to refer to him and Julio (Outlaw). MOD and LOD harassed each other; eventually, the middle- and upper-class Texans set up their own security firm and reported MOD's harassment to the FBI. But the patterns LOD betrayed were no surprise: New York Telephone and the Secret Service had known about MOD for years. Finally, in 1992, with Wing as a witness for the prosecution, a federal grand jury voted an 11-count indictment; over the next 12 months, five MOD hackers pleaded guilty to reduced charges, and all spent time in federal penitentaries. Slatalla and Quittner capture the excitement of the hackers' search for knowledge, their sense of mission, their genuine if rather convoluted sense of ethics; the authors also address larger issues, including on-line privacy and the appropriate role of government in cyberspace. A lively who/how/whydunit about real-life computer crime and punishment. Mary Carroll

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Michelle Slatalla; Joshua Quittner
Published by Harpercollins (1995)
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