Meet Phiber Optik

This post is going to be something of a history lesson. I just finished reading a book about the hacker gang Masters of Deception. One of the main characters in the book is Mark Abene. In the late 1980's and early 90's he went by the handle Phiber Optik.

Phiber Optik starting computing on a TRS-80 MC-10. This is a little home computer from Radio Shack that was essentially a scaled down version of the TRS-80 Color Computer. I know because I started out on a Color Computer I (CoCo 1), and later graduated to a CoCo 3. Once Phiber Optik got a modem, he was off to the races.

Phiber Optik initially started making claims that he was a part of the hacker gang Legion of Doom (LoD). The thing is that you cannot will yourself into that group. You needed to be voted in. Luckily the members unanimously voted him in due to his skills and exploits. Some of these exploits results in Phiber Optik getting raided by the Secret Service back in 1990. This is weird. I thought the Secret Service just guarded the president.

Phiber Optik was only 17 years old when he first got raided. He was just a junior in high school. This did not end his hacking career. There are different stories of how it happened. But he eventually got kicked out of the Legion of Doom. He then went on to form a new group - the Masters of Deception. It was a play on the LoD. This was the MoD.

All the founding members of the MoD were eventually brought up on charges by the New York grand jury. Mark held out the longest. All the other members pleaded guilty to the charges to avoid too much jail time. One of the members turned on the others and cooperated with the authorities. These guys were so very interesting that I might do some more history reporting and let you know more about them.