Welcome to Codebook, the cybersecurity newsletter with three distinct "cow" proper nouns.
Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Beto O'Rourke is now the first presidential candidate to be judged by a record of online posts from his high school days.
The big picture: Joe Menn's Reuters story Friday outed Beto as a high school member of the Cult of the Dead Cow, an influential Texas-based hacking collective in the late '80s and '90s. O'Rourke does not, however, appear to have been a hacker in the conventional sense of the term — rather, he was mostly on the forums to share screeds on punk rock and offer a teen's eye view on politics.
Why it matters: This is a paradigm shift in politics we've all known was coming — the moment when a lifetime record of social media postings (or, in this case, their early internet equivalent) gets turned against a presidential candidate.
The intrigue: We'd already seen lifelong digital records seep into the political landscape, as with freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's dancing video. But that was taken when the New York wunderkind was in college and ostensibly an adult.
By the numbers: Because of the age of candidates and the age of Facebook, we haven't seen many instances of high school hijinks coming back to haunt candidates for federal office. But that will change.
O'Rourke, who wrote essays shared to the Cult of the Dead Cow dial-up bulletin boards as "Psychedelic Warlord," told an Iowa crowd, “I’m mortified to read it now, incredibly embarrassed, but I have to take ownership of my words.”
To be sure: We assume a public record of juvenilia will harm candidates, but it could just as easily humanize them. Beto's supporters are already pitching him as one candidate who won't get hacked by Russia.
Go deeper on O'Rourke and the Cult of the Dead Cow and how that era's hackers grew into government service.
Screenshot of @DevinCow's Twitter account.
California Rep. Devin Nunes (R) filed a $250 million lawsuit against Twitter and several entities with Twitter accounts largely alleging defamation on the platform.
Details: Nunes charges conservative critic Liz Mair and the satire accounts "Devin Nunes' Cow" and "Devin Nunes' Mom" with unlawfully impugning his character, and Twitter with not doing enough to police it.
Andrew Napolitano, Fox News' legal analyst, speculated the suit was a ploy to make a political statement.
Norsk Hydro fought to beat back a still-active-as-of-writing "extensive cyber attack" Monday night and Tuesday morning, the Norwegian aluminum maker told the Oslo Stock Exchange (its own website being down).
What they're saying: "IT systems in most business areas are affected and Hydro is switching to manual operations as far as possible," the firm said in the statement. "Hydro is working to neutralize the attack, but so far does not know the full extent of the situation."
Cowedbook will be back Thursday.