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Loyd Blankenship: Known for Hacker Manifesto

Loyd Blankenship: Known for Hacker Manifesto

 By Charles Joseph | Cybersecurity Researcher
 Published on July 30th, 2023
This post was updated on January 26th, 2024

Loyd Blankenship, known by his pen name, The Mentor, is a well-known hacker and writer. Blankenship gained prominence in the hacking community in the 1980s and was a member of the hacker groups Extasyy Elite and Legion of Doom.

He is most known for “The Hacker Manifesto,” which he wrote after being arrested for his hacking activities.

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Blankenship later went on to become a successful writer and designer for several video games, including the popular role-playing game series Cyberpunk.

He has also made contributions towards educational programming and written books on computer security.

Today, Blankenship is recognized as an important figure in the history of hacking and cyberculture.

Key Takeaways

  • Loyd Blankenship is also known as “The Mentor,” a name well-known in the hacking community.
  • He was part of prominent 1980s hacker groups like Extasyy Elite and the Legion of Doom.
  • Blankenship’s “The Hacker Manifesto,” written after his arrest, became a seminal text in hacker culture.
  • Transitioning from hacking, Blankenship became a successful writer and designer for popular video games like Cyberpunk.
  • He continues contributing to technology and society with his writings on computer security and contributions to educational programming.

Loyd Blankenship’s Early Life and His Introduction to Hacking

Loyd Blankenship, popularly known under his alias “The Mentor,” had a grounding in programming from a young age. Born in the United States, he displayed a deep-seated interest in computer programming, technology, and the internet. His desire to see what lay beyond the surface of the usual tech interface led him to delve into the world of hacking.

Being a curious and technically-minded individual, Blankenship was drawn to the hacking scene in the 1980s. He soon joined hacker groups like Extasyy Elite and the Legion of Doom. In these groups, he sharpened his skills and interacted with like-minded individuals who also looked to challenge and explore the limitations of technology.

The Development and Impact of “The Hacker Manifesto”

“The Hacker Manifesto” is perhaps Loyd Blankenship’s most influential contribution to the hacker community.

Also known as “The Conscience of a Hacker,” the piece was written by Blankenship following his arrest for hacking-related activities. Using his pen name, “The Mentor,” he journaled his feelings and motivations in this poignant and provocative text file.

The Hacker Manifesto” had a profound impact on hacking and adjacent communities, and it remains significant today. Many have seen it as both a defense and a rallying cry for hackers around the globe.

His thoughts, expressed in the manifesto, aimed to humanize hackers, whom he perceived were misunderstood, and provide an insider’s justification for hacking. The text continues to be an important piece of hacker culture and cyber history.

His Transition from Hacker to Game Writer and Designer

Following his stint in hacking, Loyd Blankenship successfully transitioned to the field of game design and writing. His fascination with computer programming and storytelling found a perfect blend in this arena.

He contributed significantly to several popular video games, showcasing his creative prowess and technical knowledge.

One of his most recognized contributions is to the role-playing game series Cyberpunk. Blankenship’s rich experience as a hacker strongly influenced the development of these games, providing an authentic and insightful perspective on cyberculture.

He didn’t stop at gaming, though. He broadened his spectrum, wrote books on computer security, and contributed to educational programming, thus merging his love for technology, writing, and education.


Loyd Blankenship’s journey from a curious tech enthusiast to a renowned hacker and later a respected game designer and writer showcases the diverse ways one can engage with technology. His enduring influence, marked by ‘The Hacker Manifesto’ and his work in video gaming, proves that Blankenship is a pivotal figure in both the hacker community and the world of game design.

Related Questions

1. What is the Legion of Doom?

The Legion of Doom was an influential hacker group from the 1980s, known for its members’ technical proficiency and involvement in high-profile hacking incidents. Loyd Blankenship was a member of this group.

2. What is “The Hacker Manifesto”?

“The Hacker Manifesto” was written by Loyd Blankenship under his pen name “The Mentor” in 1986. The text defends hacking activities, characterizing hackers as curious explorers of technology rather than criminals.

3. What are some of Loyd Blankenship’s key contributions to game design?

Blankenship’s most notable contribution to game design is his work on the Cyberpunk role-playing games. His background in hacking brought an authentic perspective to these games, influencing their development and making them popular among gamers.

4. Does Loyd Blankenship still participate in hacking activities?

No, Blankenship has moved on from his early hacking activities. He has since become a figure in game design and writing, contributing his technical knowledge and creativity to these fields.

5. What kind of books has Loyd Blankenship written?

Blankenship has written books revolving around computer security, drawing on his experiences as a hacker to give readers an informed look at the realm of cybersecurity.

"Amateurs hack systems, professionals hack people."
-- Bruce Schneier, a renown computer security professional
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