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.
A definitive resource for understanding such far-reaching and often interconnected crimes as cyber theft, drug trafficking, human smuggling, identity theft, wildlife poaching, and sex tourism. • Includes primary source documents such as international treaties and conventions related to global crime • Provides quick access to key terms, events, individuals, and organizations playing a key role in combating global crime • Includes suggested sources for additional information in each entry to aid readers who want to examine the topic in more detail • Features scholars and practitioners from more than 10 countries who have specific knowledge of, and experience with, many of the global crimes covered in the work
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
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.
This book examines technological and social events during 2011 and 2012, a period that saw the rise of the hacktivist, the move to mobile platforms, and the ubiquity of social networks. It covers key technological issues such as hacking, cyber-crime, cyber-security and cyber-warfare, the internet, smart phones, electronic security, and information privacy. This book traces the rise into prominence of these issues while also exploring the resulting cultural reaction. The authors’ analysis forms the basis of a discussion on future technological directions and their potential impact on society. The book includes forewords by Professor Margaret Gardner AO, Vice-Chancellor and President of RMIT University, and by Professor Robyn Owens, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of Western Australia. Security and the Networked Society provides a reference for professionals and industry analysts studying digital technologies. Advanced-level students in computer science and electrical engineering will also find this book useful as a thought-provoking resource.