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Kingpin: How One Hacker Took Over the Billion-Dollar Cybercrime Underground
 
 

Kingpin: How One Hacker Took Over the Billion-Dollar Cybercrime Underground [Kindle Edition]

Kevin Poulsen
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Produktbeschreibungen

Pressestimmen

"[A] brisk and entertaining tale."--The New York Times

"Even though he has done jail time for his cyber crimes and credit card hacking, it’s hard not to like Max "Max Vision" Butler.... The capers of this misfit genius, and the FBI’s attempts to infiltrate credit card hacking rings, combine to make this a fast, fun read."--Newark Star-Ledger

“Hello, Hollywood, Kevin Poulsen has a tale for you. Deftly told.”—San Francisco Chronicle

"What will make this book endure is Poulsen's elegant elucidation of how the hacking world evolved from its pimply, ideological beginnings into a global criminal enterprise"--Atlantic.com

“Poulsen renders the hacker world with such virtual reality that readers will have difficulty logging off until the very end.”—Publishers Weekly
 
“The lead figures of KINGPIN are brilliant, crooked geeks and the sleazy women who love to help them steal. Their mortal enemies are a cyber-savvy swarm of undercover cops.  Kevin Poulsen gets so close to these paranoid, shadowy people that you can smell the sweat on the keyboards and hear the handcuffs clack shut. No other book can match this intimate, expert portrait of a truly modern criminal underworld.”--Bruce Sterling, Hugo Award-winning novelist and futurist
 
“An exciting crime thriller, a compelling psychological study, and one of the most accurate stories of hacker culture that I’ve ever read…Poulsen deftly explains the technology behind these ultramodern computer crimes and shows how they’re committed.”--Annalee Newitz, Editor in Chief of io9.com
 
“With the tense drama and future shock of a William Gibson novel, Kevin Poulsen spins a scary-true tale of the dark-side hacker underground and its most adept sorcerer.”--Steven Levy, author of Hackers and Crypto
 
"The most thorough portrait to date of a top modern U.S. cyber criminal and an engaging tale of cops against robbers against other robbers. No one writes with more authority than Kevin Poulsen about how hackers actually go about their business."--Joseph Menn, author of All the Rave and Fatal System Error
 
“Building on the best of the police procedural tradition, Kevin Poulsen lays out in clear language the technologies and methods employed by the criminals and crime fighters alike, all the while crafting a sympathetic character study of the conflicted gray hat, Max Vision, at the heart of it all.”--Jonathan Zittrain, Harvard professor and author of The Future of the Internet and How to Stop It
 
“A superb, insider tour of the dark Internet that lies below "the whitewashed, commercialized" world of the Web. Kevin Poulsen is one of the very few people who understands the territory: the scammers, the scammers of the scammers, and the law enforcement officers trying to catch them. KINGPIN describes a parallel business world, including "the underground's first hostile takeover," where characters who call themselves names like DarkCyd and Matrix and Ghost23 battle for control of digital scams. It is a fascinating, scary ride.”--Ellen Ullman, author of Close to the Machine and The Bug
 

Kurzbeschreibung

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 form for 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 word spread 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 of dollars 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 and double 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 their plots.
 
The culprit they sought was the most unlikely of criminals: a brilliant programmer with a hippie ethic and a supervillain’s double identity. As prominent “white-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-hat “Iceman,” 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 card numbers 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, their ranks 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 if it 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, Kingpin lays 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 bank accounts, 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 trace the 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 enforcement continues 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 in hand with murderous Russian mobsters and where a simple Wi-Fi connection can unleash a torrent of gold worth millions.


From the Hardcover edition.

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5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Von ChrisLE
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Ich habe dieses Buch im englischen Original gelesen - wobei gelesen nicht das richtige Wort ist. Denn wenn man dieses Buch beginnt, kann man es nicht mehr beiseite legen.

Poulsen, selbst erfahrene Zwielichtgestalt des frühen Cybercrime und heute investigativer Wired.com-Journalist, beschreibt auf gerademal 250 Seiten 20 Jahre Cybercrime mit tiefen und faszinierenden Einblicken über die Machenschaften von Hackern und Cardern und dem blühenden Schwarzmarkt gestohlener Kreditkartendaten - nicht zuletzt auch die unsauberen Taktiken von FBI und Secret Service.

100 % wahre Geschichte, geschrieben und lesbar wie ein fesselnder Roman erinnert dieses Buch an eine Mischung aus Neal Stephenson, William Gibson und Dan Brown und John Le Carre. Man mag fast vergessen dass es sich um die wahre Geschichte des Hackers Max Vision Butler handelt. Wenn einem diese Einsicht dann wieder klar wird, erscheint das Geschriebene umso fesselnder, erleuchtender,faszinierender, und ... erschreckend.

Ein absolutes "Must-Read" für jeden, der als Entwickler, Produktmanager, oder sonstiger Verantwortlicher im Webumfeld tätig ist.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Klasse 2. August 2014
Von Christian
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Spannend geschrieben und man erfährt wer der Mensch wirklich ist und wie er tickt. Ausserdem ist es erschreckend wie mit unseren Daten umgegangen wird. Autsch, hat sich da irgend etwas verändert? Anscheinend nicht.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 von 5 Sternen  137 Rezensionen
51 von 53 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Terrific Narrative, Well Written 23. Februar 2011
Von Amazon Customer - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
I bought this book yesterday after reading a synopsis about it on Wired; it was absolutely fantastic. The author takes the most important technological and cultural revolution of the last fifty years and pulls away the veneer to reveal a deep criminal underworld. With the colored perspective that only a former hacker could offer, the author delivers both a survey course in the rise and fall of phreaking and hacking communities, as well as a compassionate narrative regarding its willing victims. Although I work in the tech field, I immediately realized that it was in no way a pre-requisite for enjoying this piece. By focusing on characters and setting the author has done a terrific job of communicating the story without entangling the reader in unnecessary technical detail.
Every part disturbing as I hoped it would be, this book showcases how fragile the internet revolution has made sensitive data. I felt like I was reading Le Carre, the double agents, the betrayal, it was everything to remind myself that this is a true story. I have already recommended this to friends.
52 von 57 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Excellent book on the contemporary face of computer crime 26. März 2011
Von Richard Bejtlich - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
I've read and reviewed almost all of the non-fiction computer crime and espionage books written since the 1980s. Kingpin by Kevin Poulsen is one of my favorites. I will recommend this book to fellow digital security professionals and those who would like insights into our world. Kingpin's coverage of Max Ray Butler's (MRB) constant entanglement with the dark side is a lesson for anyone contemplating using their skills for evil.

One of the reasons I enjoyed reading Kingpin is that I've been familiar with the case since 1998. Poulsen described how MRB exploited vulnerable BIND instances on Air Force and other DNS servers that year. I happened to be a captain in the Air Force CERT and worked with the analyst who discovered MRB's exploitation of Air Force name servers.

Because of my familiarity with this case (limited though it may be), I identified more than one instance where Poulsen seemed to take what I consider to be an unnecessarily "sympathetic" or "understanding" approach to MRB's actions. For example, if MRB acted in the best interest of the Air Force by exploiting and then patching DNS servers, he didn't need to leave a rootkit behind. Worse, he didn't need to return to the compromised systems via his rootkit and backdoor once his "work" was done. Poulsen didn't question MRB's stated motives by presenting a more reasonable explanation for this activity: MRB was a black hat and acted like one.

I noted more "sympathy" for MRB when Poulsen described the incident where MRB choked his girlfriend. Instead of saying MRB "choked his girlfriend," Poulsen wrote on p 11 that "Max began trembling. Then his hands were around her throat and he was pushing her down onto the mattress." This sort of language is disturbing beyond the event itself, because it seems to reveal too much bias.

Once readers recognize this aspect of the book, however, I believe they will still like reading it. Poulsen has a real knack for covering technology and security news and events. I only noticed one odd observation on p 6: Poulsen wrote about the year 1990 and said "the Internet was seven years old then." I think he meant that TCP/IP was seven years old in 1990, having been invented in 1983. Otherwise, I found Poulsen's descriptions of MRB's various exploits to be accurate and intriguing.

If you're interested in a great true story on modern cybercrime, take a look at Kingpin. I finished the book in about two sittings and read every word! I hope Poulsen decides to tackle other aspects of the digital underground in future books.
23 von 24 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Can't Put It Down 26. Februar 2011
Von WH - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
Like the first reviewer, I read the excerpts on Wired.com and was instantly intrigued. The book offers a glimpse into the personalities of the digital underground and you quickly understand the compartmentalization that these characters had to construct to justify themselves in their acts.

There were times where I had to stop myself and readjust my frame of reference because it reads almost like fiction. There is incredible detail in the book that often painted a cloud of disbelief in my skeptical mind. It would be quite interesting to pour over the author's notes and sources, seeing where he may have injected a bit more creative license than the source material lent itself to, but I see that more as a compliment than criticism. The truth, as the saying goes, can be stranger than fiction.

The writing is very well done and would be a good read, even if you're not technically proficient in the world of digital security. To those that may mind, the book is uncensored from the over-the-top banter that is exchanged between these online personas. It can be gritty at times, but the unrestrained approach is very telling of the hubris in which the underground trades.

This is an excellent book and very educational on the security problems that we all face in the digital age. Get it. Read it. Gorge on it.
15 von 15 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Fascinating Story 29. März 2011
Von Kevin Mitnick - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Kevin was kind of enough to send me a galley version of Kingpin for review. In between writing my own book and trying to meet some serious deadlines, I was fortunate enough to get an opportunity to read Kevin's book when in route to Europe.

Once I started reading Kingpin, it was difficult to put down; I wanted to know what would happen next.

I followed several of the book's characters in the media such as Max Butler, Jonathan James, and Albert Gonzales, so I was already interested in the subject matter. Kevin's skill as a writer came alive as he was able to turn Max Butler's tale into a thrilling adventure.

I highly recommend Poulsen's book to everyone. Great job, Kevin!

Kevin Mitnick
7 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Are you 1337 enough? 15. März 2011
Von MyTwoCents - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
This is my first review for Amazon.com, I had enough thoughts on Kevin Poulsen's "Kingpin" to warrant sharing them. If you're reading this, you're likely thinking "Should I buy this book?" The answer is "absolutely yes" if you have any interest in the subject matter, "probably no" if you don't.

I say this because "Kingpin" was written for a very niche audience. It deals extensively with the topics of computer security, cybercrime, and identity theft. The book often dives into 1-2 page semi-technical explanations of computer viruses, security holes in networks, or tactics used by hackers. Occasionally there will be one or two lines of actual programming code thrown in. It's all integrated seamlessly into the main narrative. The book is also based on a true story and contains a detailed list of sources for the facts used in each chapter. You DO NOT actually need any computer background to enjoy and understand the book, since Poulsen masterfully explains complex concepts and technical terms, but interest in this kind of thing is a prerequisite. If you don't care for computers and have no interest in the history or methods of hacking, you will not get much out of the book. There are other crime thrillers that focus more on character development and would likely be better suited for the average reader, like several of John Grisham's books.

I bought this book because I am a first year college student thinking of majoring in Information Science. I had heard that this book provided a detailed history and authentic perspective on evolution of cybercrime and the computer security field, and I liked the idea of reading a novel and learning a few things along the way (I don't need another textbook in my life right now). The book surpassed my expectations! I learned more from it than I thought I would, and was entertained throughout. I could not put the book down. The plot is gripping, the pacing is spot-on, the story is true, and Poulsen really knows his stuff, as he spent time in prison for black hat hacking before becoming an author and magazine editor. The book is as authentic and close to hacking scene as one can get without breaking into a computer!

Though the good far outweighs the bad, I did have some complaints. One is that the book doesn't really flesh out and develop any of the characters outside of Max, the protagonist. This is understandable since it has a much more technical focus than other novels, but it still hurts the story a little bit. Another problem is that the early chapters aren't particularly well done or interesting. They only set up Max's background, and are rather dull compared to the rest of the story. Also, Max is not the most likable or relatable protagonist. Even though Poulsen does a great job with showing the reader his motives and inner psyche, I found it hard to sympathize with Max at certain points in the novel. Finally, "Kingpin" is not the greatest crime thriller ever written if judged solely on the story and writing, ignoring its technical insight into the computer world. The fact is there are better books out there, just none that do exactly what "Kingpin" does.

Overall, "Kingpin" is a fantastic book that manages to be simultaneously informative and entertaining. It is a unique foray into the shadowy cybercrime underground, and I strongly recommend it to those interested in anything related to the internet and computers. To those looking only for an entertaining story, there are better options.
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