The benefits of living in a digital, globalised society are enormous; so too are the dangers. The world has become a law enforcer's nightmare and every criminal's dream. We bank online, shop online, date, learn, work and live online. But have the institutions that keep us safe on the streets learned to protect us in the burgeoning digital world? Have we become complacent about our personal security - sharing our thoughts, beliefs and the details of our daily lives with anyone who cares to relieve us of them?
In this fascinating and compelling book, Misha Glenny, author of the international best seller McMafia, explores the three fundamental threats facing us in the 21st century: cyber crime, cyber warfare and cyber industrial espionage. Governments and the private sector are losing billions of dollars each year, fighting an ever-morphing, often invisible, often super-smart new breed of criminal: the hacker.
Glenny has travelled and trawled the world. And by exploring the rise and fall of the criminal website, DarkMarket, he has uncovered the most vivid, alarming and illuminating stories. Whether JiLsi or Matrix, Iceman, Master Splynter or Lord Cyric; whether Detective Sergeant Chris Dawson in Scunthorpe or Agent Keith Mularski in Pittsburgh, Glenny has tracked down and interviewed all the players - the criminals, the geeks, the police, the security experts and the victims - and he places everyone and everything in a rich brew of politics, economics and history. The result is simply unputdownable.
DarkMarket is authoritative and completely engrossing. It's a must-read for everyone who uses a computer: the essential crime book for our times.
©2011 Misha Glenny (P)2011 Random House Audio Go
I nearly didn't buy this book because it sounded very technical and dull, but Misha Glenny explains all of the technicalities from a lamens perspective giving the reader enough background so that you can understand how the complex systems worked. It will certainly make you think twice when next choosing passwords for logins to websites and pin numbers for your credit cards. Misha's other book on Audible McMafia is excellent as well. Highly recommended.
At the turn of the Millennium policing and regulation were non-existent on the Internet and individuals could move freely and anonymously across regions and jurisdictions. With the value of business being done online increasing exponentially it was a place ripe for exploitation. At the same time hackers began to evolve from the recreational script kiddies of the nineties to more sophisticated, highly skilled and motivated individuals with specific goals and targets. Some crime syndicates even began to engage this new breed of mercenary hacker.
The book is an account of the fight by worldwide law enforcement agencies against this criminal underworld on the internet. The book describes a sinister domain that is deeply intertwined into the fabric of the global economy via the internet. The author reveals and profiles a network of individuals across the globe, from the US, Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and China to the UK. He delves into the personalities of these individuals in astonishing detail. Really very interesting character profiling here.
It is believed that some Governments have harnessed the energies of this criminal fraternity to target rival nations in Cold War style espionage. In the book, Glenny details the sequence of events which led to the attack on the Estonian Internet infrastructure in 2007. We learn too about Stuxnet a piece of malicious code devised to attack Industrial Control Systems. (The source of the Stuxnet code is said to be a Nation State and its primary target was likely the Iranian nuclear plant at Natanz in 2009.)
Its clear that Glenny is not an engineer or a hacker. Indeed if your looking for specific technical details there isnt a great deal here if you are a techie. However its very accessilbe and certainly the book is authoritative, based on detailed interviews with the characters described within. It’s aimed at anyone with even a basic knowledge of the internet and is a great read.
Glenny is a fine writer and he has a fascinating story to tell about a group of teenagers and geeks who almost accidentally unleashed a global crimewave.
I admit to being disappointed that this is not quite the book I thought it was - the subtitle makes it sound as though it contains a wider discussion of cyber-crime and its importance in the world today whereas this limits itself to a specific aspect of a specific crime. That isn't a criticism of the book - only the subtitle.
I would warn that, if imperfectly rendered accents bother you, you might want to read the book. The Author is not a professional narrator and his renderings of some of his character's voices can grate.
"Insightful, well-written, and captivating"
As a bit of a nerd who is involved in security matters, I was initially skeptical about buying this book. I'm really glad I did as it is extremely well researched, and the story is very captivating. The book also covers cross-continental politics and policing, and will make you think twice before ever handing over your credit card to anyone. The reading is also really great. Really glad I read this.
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