Masters of Deception (MOD) were a New York-based hacker group. MOD successfully controlled all the major telephone RBOC's and X.25 networks as well as controlling large parts of the backbone of the rapidly emerging Internet.
MOD's initial membership grew from meetings on Loop-Around Test Lines that led to legendary collaborations to hack RBOC phone switches and the various minicomputers and mainframes used to administer the telephone network. They successfully remained underground using alternative handles to hide even their true hacker identities, which over time had become notorious. Bearing no resemblance to the stereotypical profile or media representation of how a traditional hacker looks or acts provided a perfect cover for instances of hacking in public places. Ironically, MOD's unique sense of style would later make some of its members very popular with the mass-media.
Acid Phreak founded the Masters of Deception with Scorpion and HAC. The name itself was, among other things, a mockery of LOD, as 'M' is one letter up in the alphabet from 'L', although the name originally was a flexible acronym that could be used to identify membership in situations where anonymity would be the best course of action. It could stand for "Millions of Dollars" just as easily as "Masters of Deception." The latter was perfectly suited to the ideology of MOD, who, through artful deception, attained new heights in exploration and understanding of "The System". Alternate handles, social engineering, misdirection, discovery of and the masterful application of system exploits, backdoors and trojan horses, these were the ways of Masters of Deception.
It is worth mentioning that the intended mockery of the LOD name was a sort of statement to the underground that LOD had lost its direction. Several LOD members were close friends who had been raided and indicted by the government, causing the majority of those who remained to drop out of the underground for safety reasons. In their absence, LOD largely fell into disarray causing the disagreement and disillusionment that led Phiber Optik to align himself with MOD in an effort to restore the direction of the true spirit of underground hacking.
Additional members whose real names are unknown include: Supernigger (also of DPAK), Wing, Nynex Phreak, Billy_The_Kid, Crazy Eddie, The Plague, ZOD, Neutrino, Seeker (CKER), Red Knight (who was also a member of Cult of the Dead Cow) and Lord Micro.