Hagbard (Karl Koch)

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Karl Werner Lothar Koch (July 22, 1965 – ca. May 23, 1989) was a German hacker in the 1980s, who called himself "hagbard", after Hagbard Celine. He was involved in a Cold War computer espionage incident.



Koch was born in Hanover. As his moniker would suggest, he was heavily influenced by The Illuminatus! Trilogy by Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea. Besides adopting his pseudonym from a character in the book, he also named his computer "FUCKUP" ("First Universal Cybernetic-Kinetic Ultra-Micro Programmer"), after a computer designed and built by that character. He was addicted to cocaine and became extremely paranoid, convinced he was fighting the Illuminati like his literary namesake.

Koch was loosely affiliated with the CCC. He worked with the hackers known as DOB (Dirk-Otto Brezinski), Pengo (Hans Heinrich Hübner), and Urmel (Markus Hess), and was involved in selling hacked information from US military computers to the KGB. Eventually he and Pengo came forward and confessed to the authorities.[1]

Koch was found burned to death with gasoline in a forest near Celle. The death was generally considered a suicide.[2][3]

Karl Koch in media


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