In the public imagination, a hacker is a pale teenaged boy with Aspergers, huddled over a computer in his bedroom at his mom's house. This is all true of 19-year-old British hacking suspect Ryan Cleary! But he also has a girlfriend.
A judge just denied Cleary's request to see his girlfriend, 19-year-old Amy Chapman, without his mom present. (One question: Does Amy happen to be a really hot Hungarian whom Cleary met at summer camp but nobody's ever seen?)
By all accounts Cleary seems a bit of a turn off. Cleary is an Aspergers sufferer who rarely left his room in his mom's house, a beige, computer-laden box that could have been featured in a Matrix movie. He's been under house arrest since June, when he was arrested and accused of being a key member of the hacking group Lulz Security, which attacked the CIA, Sony, and Britain's Serious Organized Crime Agency this spring. And he wore an all-sweats outfit to his first trial date.
But, it's becoming increasingly clear that chicks actually dig the hacker type. Sleazy whistleblower Julian Assange is reportedly "hunted" by Eastern European groupies. The hacktivist collective Anonymous has their own naked groupies. When LulzSec spokesman Jake Davis aka Topiary was arrested and showed up to his court date in wraparound shades toting a science book, Twitter exploded with "aw, he's cute."
The hacker-as-sex-symbol has arrived, gloriously disheveled, his sweatpants smelling faintly of cheese.