How One Hacker Took Over the Billion-Dollar Cybercrime Underground
Author: Kevin Poulsen
Category: True Crime
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.
An Economic Encyclopedia of Friending, Following, Texting, and Connecting
Author: Jarice Hanson
Category: Social Science
Social media shapes the ways in which we communicate, think about friends, and hear about news and current events. It also affects how users think of themselves, their communities, and their place in the world. This book examines the tremendous impact of social media on daily life. • Provides an insightful perspective on the past and future that demonstrates how the technologies of communication serve to create the nexus of social interaction • Examines the fundamental need and desire of humanity to communicate, which in turn determines what we think of ourselves, how we see the world, and how we make meaning • Focuses on social media as a powerful tool, not only for communication and entertainment but also for potentially equalizing power and social mobility locally, nationally, and globally • Considers the financial impact of social media as it challenges legacy media for consumers, users, and audiences
Covering topics ranging from web filters to laws aimed at preventing the flow of information, this book explores freedom—and censorship—of the Internet and considers the advantages and disadvantages of policies at each end of the spectrum. • Introduces key concepts and traces the evolution of Internet censorship from its earliest days • Shows how anti-censorship groups—including the American Civil Liberties Union, the OpenNet Initiative, Reporters Without Borders, Anonymous, WikiLeaks, and the Censorware Project—band together to fight for freedom of information • Explores the role of American businesses in facilitating Internet censorship abroad • Shares opinions on Internet freedom versus Internet censorship from experts in a range of fields, including criminology, political science, philosophy, and psychology • Includes an overview of Internet usage and penetration rates by region and an examination of the Freedom on the Net 2012 findings
Research on cybercrime has been largely bifurcated, with social science and computer science researchers working with different research agendas. These fields have produced parallel scholarship to understand cybercrime offending and victimization, as well as techniques to harden systems from compromise and understand the tools used by cybercriminals. The literature developed from these two fields is diverse and informative, but until now there has been minimal interdisciplinary scholarship combining their insights in order to create a more informed and robust body of knowledge. This book offers an interdisciplinary approach to research on cybercrime and lays out frameworks for collaboration between the fields. Bringing together international experts, this book explores a range of issues from malicious software and hacking to victimization and fraud. This work also provides direction for policy changes to both cybersecurity and criminal justice practice based on the enhanced understanding of cybercrime that can be derived from integrated research from both the technical and social sciences. The authors demonstrate the breadth of contemporary scholarship as well as identifying key questions that could be addressed in the future or unique methods that could benefit the wider research community. This edited collection will be key reading for academics, researchers, and practitioners in both computer security and law enforcement. This book is also a comprehensive resource for postgraduate and advanced undergraduate students undertaking courses in social and technical studies.
Social network analysis finally reached a critical mass of scholars in the field of criminology. The proven track record of network theory and methods in fostering new advances in our understanding of crimes and criminals has extended the web of researchers willing to integrate this approach to their work. It is more than just a fad – once you adopt a network approach, it almost inevitably becomes the main lens through which you see crime. The insights learned from analysing matrices of relations among offenders, from exploiting the interdependence among actors instead of finding ways to avoid it are simply too great to ignore. This book provides a state of the art assessment into network research currently being conducted in criminology and beyond, pushing the field further in multiple ways. A series of contributions tackle themes and offending types that had yet to be previously empirically investigated, including political conspiracies, steroid distribution, methamphetamine production, illicit marketplaces on the Internet, and small arms trafficking. Advances are also found in the data sources used to extract illicit networks, and the methods used to analyse them. This book was originally published as a special issue of Global Crime.