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Hacking for Good: The Cult of the Dead Cow and the Rise of Hacker Culture


The hacker culture that exists today can trace its origins to the hacker scenes of the 1980s and 1990s, when IRC was the place to be and tools and knowledge were currency. In those early years a variety of hacker crews formed around the world, including the Cult of the Dead Cow, which grew from a handful of friends in Texas into an enduring influence on the security industry and the culture at large.

During Black Hat USA 2019, cDc members Adam O'Donnell and Luke Benfey joined fellow hackers Dug Song, Katie Moussouris, and Heather Adkins for a discussion of the group's origins, the hacker mentality, and how hacker culture has become mainstream. Author and journalist Joseph Menn moderated the discussion.