MySpace stalker Tom Anderson, the man who added two and half million of us as friends without asking, seems to have a more interesting past than I’d have given him credit for. In fact, Anderson is a man with a history.
Tom Anderson is actually one of the co-founders of MySpace, and its President, but most of us know him as the guy who welcomes you to the social networking site by being your default first friend. In an article last year detailing why I thought Facebook would prevail over MySpace, one of the reasons I gave was because “Tom is a big jerk”.
We’ve already seen him exposed as a liar when it was revealed last year that he was five years older than his MySpace profile indicated. And now TechCrunch is alleging that our own friendly little Tom was a hacker back in the 1980s.
According to the research carried out in to Anderson’s past by TechCrunch, it seems as though Tom Anderson was one of a number of WarGames-style hackers raided in 1985 as part of one of the biggest ever FBI raids carried out in California.
Anderson’s alleged crime was to have hacked into a Chase Manhattan Bank computer system. He then also showed up to 40 of his friends how to do it. Due to the fact he was only 14-years-old, a minor, and still at school, he was never arrested, but he did have all of his computer equipment confiscated.
The source for this investigation began with a newspaper article from the 1980s which was stumbled across online via Google. It was then established that the Tom Anderson in the articles, and referred to by his hacker name, Lord Flathead, was the same Tom who flashes his insincere smile all over your MySpace profile when you first sign up to the site.
Anderson is thought to have not just been a small-time hacker but the leader of an early black-hat hacker group. However, Anderson seems to have only threatened to cause mayhem inside the hacked systems, and there are no records of him ever destroying records or transferring funds.
Anderson obviously put his hacking days behind him after getting caught, and twenty years later helped create one of the most visited websites on the Internet. Maybe the raids were a good thing because it clearly set Anderson’s life on a new track – one where he became friends with two and a half million people, even though none of them knew him, let alone liked him.