The Laughing Man
The Laughing Man proves to be the ultimate hacker, capable of such feats as hijacking multiple video streams simultaneously, taking over someone's cybernetic brain entirely, or even editing his own images out of someone's cybernetic eyes, and all in real time. The Laughing Man logo is an animated image of a smiling figure wearing a cap, with circling text quoting a line from Salinger's novel The Catcher in the Rye, which reads: "I thought what I'd do was, I'd pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes."
After the events of the Section 9 raid by the Umibozu and the last meeting with Motoko and Aramaki, it was discovered that Aoi, though responsible for the initial incident that made the Laughing Man a phenomenon, was not in fact its true originator. He chose to confront Serano only because of the file he found, and despite years of extensive investigation on his own part, he never discovered the origin of that file. It could be said that whoever abandoned the file was in fact the "real" Laughing Man - and it is possible that he obtained it from someone else. Aoi tells Aramaki to make of that what he will.