The Five/Nine Hack was planned and carried out by fsociety in collaboration with Chinese Dark Army hackers. It takes place on May 9, 2015, the anniversary of Edward Alderson's birth, thus its name. The hack was designed to de-stabilize the financial markets, destroy financial records, and re-distribute wealth in America. Its primary target was E Corp, one of the largest conglomerates in the world, with massive financial interests.
The day after the hack, Elliot awakes in Wellick's SUV, realizing that he has lost three days. At the same time, Wellick's whereabouts are unknown, the FBI are investigating, and the economy is in tatters. Despite this, E Corp assures America that it cares via a series of commercials.
Timeline for the Hack
The origin of the timeline is based on discussion of Romero's prison term in “eps2.1_k3rnel-pan1c.ksd”. Agent DiPierro learns that he served six years in prison, following a 2008 arrest for phreaking; at Christmas, Romero tells Mobley that he was "recently" released. That places the Halloween and Christmas events in late 2014.
- Halloween, 2014: Darlene purchases a Milton Moneybags mask at a ten-cent store in Chinatown. At Elliot's apartment, he shows her that he has their father's Mr. Robot jacket. They discuss E Corp, and the leak that lead to their father's death. When Elliot puts on the jacket and mask, it gives rise to the idea of taking down E Corp. (“eps2.2_init1.asec”)
- Christmas season, 2014: Mobley approaches Romero at Coney Island to recruit him as a member of fsociety. Romero, believing Mobley wants the Fun Society Arcade, which he manages, tells Mobley the history of the place. (“eps2.1_k3rnel-pan1c.ksd”)
- February 7, 2015: E Corp is hacked and server CS30 is infected.(“eps1.0_hellofriend.mov”)
- March 2, 2015: Terry Colby is arrested.(“eps1.1_ones-and-zer0es.mpeg”)
- March 31, 2015: Elliot infiltrates Steel Mountain to plant the Raspberry pi.(“eps1.4_3xpl0its.wmv”)
- May 9, 2015: The hack is executed. (“eps1.9_zer0-day.avi”)
- June 2015: Romero is murdered. At Romero's mother's house, Dominique finds an "End of the World Party" flyer that leads her to the fsociety arcade.(“eps2.2_init1.asec”)
- Late June 2015: The FBI team travel to China, where all but Agent DiPierro are assassinated by a Dark Army Team. DiPierro meets with Minister Zheng in private, unaware he is Whiterose.(“eps2.3_logic_b0mb.hc”)
- Early July 2015: Elliot persuades Angela to plant a femtocell in FBI offices in the ECorp building, giving them access to the FBI files, and a back-door into the ECorp network.(“eps2.4_m4ster_s1ave.aes”)
- July 2015: Elliot learns about Stage 2, and realizes it was engineered by Mr. Robot and Tyrell.(“eps3.0_power-saver-mode.h”)
After the Attack
In the days following the hack, the American economy collapses. Wellick is soon identified as having committed the hack, and is being actively sought by the FBI, but it remains unclear whether he was actually involved. The President of the United States, Barack Obama, was quick to respond to the attack:
At the same time, news coverage described the effects of the attack:
Consequences of the Attack
Fsociety believed that the 5/9 hack would redistribute wealth and benefit the average working person. Instead, it had a significant number of unanticipated consequences, including:
- Reduction of the U.S. to a largely cash economy for E Corp financial customers. E Corp ATMs are limited to $50 per person, and E Corp credit cards no longer work.
- Protests around the world, including E Corp headquarters.
- Loss of banking records, including records of bank balances and mortgage payments.
- The requirement that people pre-pay for services, including restaurants.
- Many private businesses cannot afford waste management services, which has sparked a cottage industry of roadside garbage burning at discounted rates to combat trash pileups.
- E Corp is denied a bailout by the US government. Facing federal foreclosure on various properties, Price appeals to China for bailout money and receives a $3 trillion loan.