hisaac.net

Machine Politics | The New Yorker

George Hotz — known as “geohot” online — is a sort of hacker legend. At the age of 17, he hacked the first model of Apple’s iPhone — the first person ever to do so. Not long after, he set his sites on Sony’s then new console, the PlayStation 3. Thought to be “impenetrable”, it was an enticing target for the young hacker.

This is relatively well known information, but one thing I didn’t know was how geohot’s PS3 hack was connected to the 2011 “Summer of Lulz”.

Black-hat hackers began posting corporate e-mails, and, during the summer of 2011, attacks on media, technology, and other institutions came almost daily. Nintendo got hacked, and so did Sega, Electronic Arts, the News Corporation, Booz Allen Hamilton, NATO, and Lady Gaga. Even the C.I.A. was hacked, LulzSec claimed. It was the Summer of Lulz. Hotz didn’t mean to inspire a hacker war, but he doesn’t regret what he did. One night at a restaurant in Palo Alto, he clarified his position on the attacks against Sony. “If being a techno-libertarian leads to online anarchy, so be it,” he said. “I’m not a cause. I just like messing with shit.”

The New York Times article also goes into Hotz’s politics — or lack thereof. It’s an interesting peek into the life of someone who, since the lawsuit with Sony, has been relatively quiet online.

Have a comment or notice a typo? Send me an email, or fork this post on GitHub.