For almost two years now, Gregory D. Evans has used racism as a crutch to limp by in the security industry. Rather than rely on strong technical skills and a sense of integrity, Evans spins a fascinating conspiracy theory that the entire industry hates him, simply because "he is black". Citing one particular document, he believes it will completely dismiss any of his detractors, regardless of the merit of their criticism. He counts on the emotional response and natural desire to avoid any drama centering around racism.
Until now, most dismissed this frivilous claim and moved on. However, Evans continues to use it in an attempt to pursuade conferences and prospective clients that all of the well-documented information about him are lies, and the product of a campaign founded in racist hate. In reality, Evans' claims are another in a long list of his lies and half-truths. This article will document the fragile and erroneous story he feeds to anyone that will listen.
All of Evans' claims of racism go back to a single document, titled "Operation Nigger Matrix". This was originally posted on the /i/surgency wiki (archive), which is gone, and now hosted at partyvan.info. Written in 2009, the authors of the document are part of the "4chan" imageboard website, specifically the denizens of the "Random" board, known as "/b/". The participants are well known for offensive jokes and trolling; defined by Wikipedia as "someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response". The 4chan crowd created the 4chan - /i/nsurgency W/i/ki, which has nothing to do with the information security industry. The 4chan crowd has been covered in mainstream news for their antics. The Tech Herald covers the same history and points out the disconnect as well.
Despite the document's origin, Gregory Evans maintains that it is proof of racism in the security industry. This claim is demonstrably false, as noted above. During October 2010, on a security podcast titled SHITCast Episode 7, Evans gave an interview during which he still maintained the document was from the computer security industry:
"I'll give you the name of another computer security website where they dedicated like 20 pages to some guy calling me nigger nigger nigger and we need to crash this nigger's system. They went as far as "Let's manipulate his stock". Let's all get together and do, umm a denial of service attack against him. So, with that bein' said those same people who are sitting here talking about me plagiarizing are probably some of the same people who using some of these racial words." -- Gregory D. Evans
Since the original article was published, it had received almost no attention until Gregory Evans started sharing and referencing it. A Google search shows that the top four hits are all the result of Evans bringing it to limelight. In a rebuttal to CBS Atlanta's piece on him by Jeff Chirico, Evans claimed Chirico and CBS Atlanta were part of the racism-based conspiracy. Evans has also reached out to Courtney Luv who wrote a brief article on the document as well as published a PDF copy. The PDF meta-data shows it was created by John Moore on Feb 7, 2011. John Moore was Evans' lawyer for 7 of his legal cases. Evans has gone so far as to issue a press release saying that his company has "uncovered racism within the computer security industry" while providing no details whatsoever.
There is no more racism in the security industry than any other industry or aspect of society. While there may be a few bad apples, as there are in any walk of life, the security industry is largely devoid of any racism. There are hundreds of African American men and women that work in the security industry. They enjoy all levels of work ranging from high-profile security coordinators to running their own companies, just as Evans does.
In almost 20 years of working in the industry, attrition.org staff has seen no other claims of racism, other than those made by Evans. That includes reporting to managers, reporting to customers, and working for an African American minority-owned business. In all those years, racism has not come up once, in any context.
If the criticism against Evans was racially motivated, it stands to reason that he would not be the only African American singled out for such treatment, right?
The horrible truth about Gregory D. Evans, is that the racism resides with him, not his detractors. Not only in playing the race card as a meager defense, but in his own actions toward others. Worse, Evans has no awareness that not only does he play the race card, he does it frequently and denies doing so. As evidence from his profile on "Black Experts", Evans certainly embraces race and attempts to use it to get ahead.
One of the most noted incidents revolving around Evans and racism was his claims that security professional Chris John Riley called him a "nigger". To this day, Evans maintains this happened despite the fact he cannot provide any evidence backing his claim. He has been asked repeatedly for evidence, specifically the logs of the Skype conversation, in which he claims this racial slur was made. For a person that boasts about his company's ability to do research and investigations, and one case in which he claims to have compiled 5,000 pages of evidence on cyber-bullies, it is amazing that he cannot produce a simple text log from his own Skype installation. As with subsequent claims of racial slurs made against him, the only thing Evans can produce is the original /i/nsurgency Wiki entry.
Even more telling is Evans' own history exploiting race to further his agenda. As covered by the Tech Herald, Evans has created racist and defamatory T-shirts that he sells under his company LIGATT's HackerGearOnline brand. Attrition.org has previously caught Evans manipulating race to his advantage by changing author bio pictures of a Caucasian journalist with an African American female. The Praetorian Prefect blog documented evidence that Evans used race in a desperate attempt to manipulate public opinion on Twitter.
Even after all of the above, Evans still delusionally maintains that he has never played the race card. In an email exchange with noted journalist and professor of journalism Adam Penenberg, Evans once again tried to claim that all criticism leveled at him was born out of racism. While claiming that he never plays the race card, he arguably plays the race card in the same point:
"I can see that you, like the others know nothing about me. You assume because I am black and I my be in a white industry that I would play the race card! Well Mr. Peneberg I did not play the race card, the people who contacted you about this article did! Anyone who has ever knew me know for a fact that I have never used race as a reason for anything I have ever did right or wrong. The book How To Become The Worlds No. 1 Hacker came out in June of 2010, but the attachments are from 2004-2010. There was a 15 page report called Operations Nigger Matrix that talked about how to destroy me and my company reputation. This was posted online in 2009. Before anyone even knew I was coming out with the book. You played right in their hand with this article. There was an Attrition website about me before the book came out." -- Gregory D. Evans
Until now, this has not been published, but attrition.org has proof that Evans is not above invoking the same type of fear as racism, when trying to influence others. After Evans' email was leaked to the public in February 2011, several people sent us a particular email from the collection. In it, during a dispute with an apartment rental management company, Evans claims that the attrition.org site is a "racist hacker website", that we "called [him] niggers and niggers don't no computers", and that we "need to hack all Jews technology companies." Since the release of his mail, we have challenged Evans or anyone else to quote a page on our website that justifies these wild claims. We have never published such racial slurs or anti-semitic remarks. The relevant part of the email is finally being published:
From: Gregory Evans (gregoryevans[at]ligatt.com) Date: Mon, 25 Oct 2010 19:20:12 To: Jeff Johnson (redacted) Cc: (redacted); (redacted) Subject: Re: [SPAM] Re: [SPAM] Fw: Manhattan lease app Jeff [..] 2nd. You or who ever pulled this thing up is very ignorant. This is not a investor website it is racist hacker website. This is the same site if you go through it that called me niggers and niggers don't no computers. It is also a site that says they need to hack all Jews technology companies. The information they posted on this board is false!!!!! [..]
The bottom line: none of the criticisms leveled at Mr. Evans are born out of racism. The complaints are based on his lack of integrity, history of questionable and illegal activity, and lack of technical ability.