By Evan Bleier / March 15, 2019

Beto O’Rourke Admits Being Member of Oldest Hacking Group in US

O’Rourke belonged to the Cult of the Dead Cow hacking organization when he was a teenager.

MOUNT PLEASANT, IOWA - MARCH 15: Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke talks with voters during his second day of campaigning for the 2020 nomination at Central Park Coffee Company March 15, 2019 in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
MOUNT PLEASANT, IOWA - MARCH 15: Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke talks with voters during his second day of campaigning for the 2020 nomination at Central Park Coffee Company March 15, 2019 in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Following Beto O’Rourke’s decision to enter the 2020 field of Democratic presidential candidates, members of a hacking organization have revealed the former Texas congressman used to be one of them.

And, in an exclusive interview (excerpts of which were published by Reuters), O’Rourke admitted he used to belong to the Cult of the Dead Cow.

“I was really at the margins, but I very much wanted to be as cool as these people, as sophisticated and technologically proficient and aware and smart as they were,” he said in the interview. “I never was, but it meant so much just being able to be a part of something with them…understanding how the world worked – literally how it worked, how the phone system worked and how we were all connected to each other.”

Known for “hactivism,” the Cult of the Dead Cow is notorious for releasing tools that make it easier to hack computers running Microsoft Windows.

While a member of the CDC, it does not appear O’Rourke ever broke into any computers or wrote code that allowed others to do so. However, his membership in the group has contributed to his strategy of subverted traditional methods of doing things

“There’s just this profound value in being able to be apart from the system and look at it critically and have fun while you’re doing it,” O’Rourke said. “I think of the Cult of the Dead Cow as a great example of that. Part of my success was being exposed to people who thought differently and explored how things work. There are alternate paths to service and success, and it’s important to be mindful of that.”

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