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Kingpin: How One Hacker Took over the Billion Dollar Cyber Crime Underground

by

Kingpin: How One Hacker Took over the Billion Dollar Cyber Crime Underground Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Former hacker Kevin Poulsen has, over the past decade, built a reputation as one of the top investigative reporters on the cybercrime beat. In Kingpin, he pours his unmatched access and expertise into book formfor the first time, delivering a gripping cat-and-mouse narrative--and an unprecedented view into the twenty-first century's signature form of organized crime.

The wordspread through the hacking underground like some unstoppable new virus: Someone--some brilliant, audacious crook--had just staged a hostile takeover of an online criminal network that siphoned billions ofdollars from the US economy.

The FBI rushed to launch an ambitious undercover operation aimed at tracking down this new kingpin; other agencies around the world deployed dozens of moles anddouble agents. Together, the cybercops lured numerous unsuspecting hackers into their clutches. . . . Yet at every turn, their main quarry displayed an uncanny ability to sniff out their snitches and see through theirplots.

The culprit they sought was the most unlikely of criminals: a brilliant programmer with a hippie ethic and a supervillain's double identity. As prominentwhite-hat hacker Max Vision Butler, he was a celebrity throughout the programming world, even serving as a consultant to the FBI. But as the black-hatIceman, he found in the world of data theft an irresistible opportunity to test his outsized abilities. He infiltrated thousands of computers around the country, sucking down millions of credit cardnumbers at will. He effortlessly hacked his fellow hackers, stealing their ill-gotten gains from under their noses. Together with a smooth-talking con artist, he ran a massive real-world crime ring.

And for years, he did it all with seeming impunity, even as countless rivals ran afoul of police.

Yet as he watched the fraudsters around him squabble, theirranks riddled with infiltrators, their methods inefficient, he began to see in their dysfunction the ultimate challenge: He would stage his coup and fix what was broken, run things as they should be run--even ifit meant painting a bull's-eye on his forehead.

Through the story of this criminal's remarkable rise, and of law enforcement's quest to track him down, Kingpinlays bare the workings of a silent crime wave still affecting millions of Americans. In these pages, we are ushered into vast online-fraud supermarkets stocked with credit card numbers, counterfeit checks, hacked bankaccounts, dead drops, and fake passports. We learn the workings of the numerous hacks--browser exploits, phishing attacks, Trojan horses, and much more--these fraudsters use to ply their trade, and tracethe complex routes by which they turn stolen data into millions of dollars. And thanks to Poulsen's remarkable access to both cops and criminals, we step inside the quiet, desperate arms race that law enforcementcontinues to fight with these scammers today.

Ultimately, Kingpin is a journey into an underworld of startling scope and power, one in which ordinary American teenagers work hand inhand with murderous Russian mobsters and where a simple Wi-Fi connection can unleash a torrent of gold worth millions.

From the Hardcover edition.

Synopsis:

Investigative journalist Poulsen takes readers on an unprecedented journey into the modern hacking underworld through the story of Max Butler, a troubled young hacker-turned-real-life-supervillian, who seized control of a multi-billion dollar criminal network.

About the Author

KEVIN POULSEN is a senior editor at Wired.com and a contributor to Wired magazine. He oversees cybercrime, privacy, and political coverage for Wired.com and edits the award-winning Threat Level blog (wired.com/threatlevel), which he founded in 2005.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307588708
Subtitle:
How One Hacker Took over the Billion-Dollar Cybercrime Underground
Publisher:
Crown Publishing Group
Author:
Poulsen, Kevin
Subject:
Technology & Engineering : General
Subject:
main_subject
Subject:
all_subjects
Publication Date:
20110222
Binding:
ELECTRONIC
Language:
English
Pages:
288

Related Subjects

Biography » General
Computers and Internet » Networking » Computer Security
Engineering » Engineering » General Engineering
History and Social Science » Crime » Criminology
History and Social Science » Crime » True Crime
Reference » Science Reference » Technology

Kingpin: How One Hacker Took over the Billion Dollar Cyber Crime Underground
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Product details 288 pages Crown Publishing Group - English 9780307588708 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Investigative journalist Poulsen takes readers on an unprecedented journey into the modern hacking underworld through the story of Max Butler, a troubled young hacker-turned-real-life-supervillian, who seized control of a multi-billion dollar criminal network.
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