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Hacker Collective

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In Real Life as well as fiction, there are Mad Scientists, hackers and crackers, white hats and black hats who can penetrate the firewall(s) of everything from the local high school to the Pentagon, to even terrorists and cults with little more than a keyboard (or two) and their own l33t skillz. They are usually depicted as loners in their Hacker Cave.

Sometimes however, one hacker just isn't enough. Sometimes, they find each other, come together, pool resources and accomplish what no lone hacker (or Hackette) can achieve on their own. Compare Playful Hacker and The Singularity. Contrast Dueling Hackers and Rival Science Teams.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • KNIGHTS from Serial Experiments Lain are a group of mysterious hackers on The Wired. A list of them is eventually leaked online, leading many to commit suicide. Those who weren't were assassinated.

  • Double Team has the Techno-Monks, a group of hackers that have their headquarters deep within an old abbey and even dress up like monks and use the "Brother" moniker. They make a reappearance in another (completely different) film starring Dennis Rodman, "Simon Sez".
  • Hackers 90s movie is about this, although The Protagonist is loosely based on the real life hacker codenamed "Zero Cool", he's part of a hackers collective that attack together to make some kind of "social justice".
  • In Nerve, Tommy belongs to a hacker collective known as 'the Cloud'. He turns to them when he needs to set up a botnet to attack Nerve's operating system.
  • In the German movie Who Am I (2014) a group of four hackers found a collective called "CLAY" (Clowns Laughing At You) who score a big coup by hacking the BND (German intelligence agency).
  • TRON: In the Expanded Universe, the "Flynn Lives" group is a loosely affiliated bunch of hacktivists who are ostensibly searching for answers into Flynn's disappearance while protesting Encom policies that Flynn and Gibbs would have vehemently disagreed with. One of the group's chief leaders is Roy Kleinburg (implied to be Ram's User), an Encom programmer who was forced into early retirement after Flynn vanished. Alan Bradley is the silent partner and main financial backer.

  • In William Gibson's Idoru, the character Masahiko belongs to a hacker collective known as Walled City.
  • Millennium Series: Lisbeth Salander is a member of the Hacker Republic, a private, invitation-only international online community of tech wizards. When she is hospitalized in The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest they form part of her True Companions, assisting in several ways.
  • In the novel True Names, The Mailman initially seems to be trying to recruit other members of the Coven into a collective so they can tackle hacks they wouldn't dare try on their own.
  • Greg Mandel Trilogy: Greg makes use of a hotrod network called Gracious Services. You dial a number and are connected with a broker who assigns several hackers to compete as to who can get your information fastest; the broker then pays the winner.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: When she first appears, Skye is a member of a hacker society called "Rising Tide". This society suffered from Chuck Cunningham Syndrome from the second season onwards.
  • The Elementary episode "We Are Everyone" introduces Everyone, which is clearly intended as the Fictional Counterpart of real-life hacker collective Anonymous. They start harassing Sherlock and Joan when they begin tracking an NSA leaker, though they back off after the two prove him guilty of murder and even come to their aid in later episodes (for the price of subjecting Sherlock to amusing pranks).
    • In season three, Everyone undergoes what one member refers to as a "civil war". The group is split between The Cracker types who want to set an agenda focusing on specific political targets while the Playful Hacker members want to maintain their status quo as a neutral group who show off their skills.
  • Mr. Robot: fsociety is a hacker group with which the protagonist is affiliated. They are highly secretive, ideologically anti-corporate and members only communicate in person to minimize traceability. The Dark Army, by contrast, is an apparently bigger/more professional operation of hackers for hire.
  • In Sense8, Nomi belonged to such a group in the past back when she was known as "Mike", and later reconnects with her friend Bug who knew her back then and provides her with equipment.
  • The Forever (2014) episode "Social Engineering" features a hacktivist group called "the Faceless", another counterpart to Anonymous. When one of their members is murdered, the NYPD's investigation puts Henry's secret immortality at risk, as the main suspect (another member) threatens to expose his false records if he doesn't help them escape. However, after he saves the suspect's life from the real killer, she repays him by creating a more elaborate set of false records.
  • The X-Files has the Lone Gunmen, a trio of eccentric underground journalists who prefer to focus on more mundane corruption and conspiracies than Agent Mulder.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Cicada 3301 can be found in the tabletop game Shadow Parliament, a Catalyst RPG campaign. They are very focused on denying information to those they consider intellectually unworthy of it and vice versa.
  • Shadowrun: There are a number of "hacker havens" in the Sixth World. One of the most famous was the Shadowland BBS, which was based in Denver, Colorado. After the Crash 2.0, it was replaced by Jackpoint.

    Video Games 
  • In Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, the Juggernaut Collective is principally a hacker collective devoted to fighting against The Illuminati.
  • Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth has several groups of hackers, sometimes conflicting with each other. Zaxon is one of the most prominent and led by the mysterious Yuugo, who aims to unite all the hackers in EDEN and investigate Kamishiro Enterprises (the provider of EDEN). There is also Demons, an evil group led by Jimmy KEN, a wild rock star; one plot point has the protagonist stop them from stealing accounts.
    • In Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth - Hacker's Memory, the player character has his account stolen by a hacker and he joins a hacker group called Hudie, which answers to Zaxon, to find the culprit and clear his name. Hudie is a kind of "handyman" group whose work consists of privately taking on various cases that are forwarded to them. Also important is a disbanded team called Jude; the majority of its members died to a Knightmon after a botched attempt at invading Under Zero. Arata, Ryuji and Chitose are the only survivors, and are haunted by the failure.
  • In the .hack series, the player character Helba is part of such a group, and is theorized in-universe to be the avatar for several members instead of an individual person controlling a single character.
  • Erudito from the Assassin's Creed games and related media is opposed to Abstergo, and hack into the Animus files in Liberation to expose the falsehoods about Aveline and several of the multiplayer characters in III (including suggesting that one, Alsoomse/The Independent, never actually existed). They also send information to both players of Project Legacy and Desmond in Brotherhood by giving him passwords to the other Assassins' email accounts so that he can monitor their exchanges on his own terms. In the Black Flag multiplayer, it's revealed that several of their members participated in a cybercrime that deleted $10 million in life savings, devolving into petty larceny, and several of them ended up being arrested.
  • Hack Net: The game stages are best summarized about which group you are currently working for.
  • In Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri the Data Angels are a faction whose hat is hacking.
  • Uplink has the Uplink corporation. Since it was one of the first games, many followed their example.
  • DedSec from Watch_Dogs are a group of hackers dedicated to bringing down ctOS and having fun doing it. Watch Dogs: Legion, the third installment in the franchise, promotes them to a full-scale La RĂ©sistance.
  • In Persona 5, the vigilante heroes' fourth target is an Anonymous-inspired group called "Medjed" that targets them and their supporters out of jealousy.
  • The Finals has CNS, a rogue hacker group attempting to infiltrate the eponymous VR game show in order to broadcast cryptic messages urging viewers to "seek the truth beyond the walls". The game's second season deals with the aftermath of them successfully hijacking the show and shaking things up by introducing new hacking-themed abilities and a new arena.

  • The "Sympathetic Party" who offers to help restore Bubbles' sealed memories in Questionable Content is an A.I. version of this, with Word of God confirming that several of them share the physical body they appear in at one time (thus the Ambiguous Gender of the chassis and use of "they" as a personal pronoun). They offer to help Bubbles no strings attached but apparently aren't always so benevolent.

    Real Life 
  • Anonymous almost certainly qualifies. They have made something of a name for themselves by public actions like DDOSing and/or defacing the websites of Daesh and other organizations they disapprove of. Their symbols include Guy Fawkes masks and a man with a question mark for a head.
  • LulzSec has a similar MO and the slogan "laughing at your security since 2011".