Cyberthieves, Cybercops, and You

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Shortlisted for the Orwell Prize and the CWA Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction Award

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 bestseller McMafia, explores the three fundamental threats facing us in the twenty-first 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, and highly intelligent 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 Bolton 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.

Publisher: New York, NY :, Alfred A. Knopf
Copyright Date: ♭2011
ISBN: 9781770890480
Branch Call Number: Online eBook
Characteristics: 1 online resource
text file, rda
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc
Alternative Title: Dark market

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Jul 16, 2018

The author has written several good books, but this is not one of them. It is a collection of mini-memoirs of notorious hackers. This is good for trivia aficionados and makes for some great name-dropping at social events, but seems slightly lacking otherwise.

Feb 22, 2012

It's hard to have confidence in the author's assessment of security on
the Internet when he knows so little of the technology. A VPN
(Virtual Private Network) is said to be a system whereby a group of
computers share a single address. That's not a VPN (which is a system
of network management, and possibly encryption): it's a description of
NAT (Network Address Translation). True, a VPN can, and fairly often
does, use NAT in its operations, but the carelessness is concerning.

This may seem to be pedantic, but it leads to other errors. For
example, Glenny asserts that running a VPN is very difficult, but that
encryption is easy, since encryption software is available on the
Internet. While it is true that the software is available, that
availability is only part of the battle. As I keep pointing out to my
students, for effective protection with encryption you need to agree
on what key to use, and doing that negotiation is a non-trivial task.
Yes, there is asymmetric encryption, but that requires a public key
infrastructure (PKI) which is an enormously difficult proposition to
get right. Of the two, I'd rather run a VPN any day.

It is, therefore, not particularly surprising that the author finds
that the best way to describe the capabilities of one group of carders
was to compare them to the fictional "hacking" crew from "The Girl
with the Dragon Tattoo." The activities in the novel are not
impossible, but the ability to perform them on demand is highly

This lack of background colours his ability to ascertain what is
possible or not (in the technical areas), and what is likely (out of
what he has been told). Sticking strictly with media reports and
indictment documents, Glenny does a good job, and those parts of the
book are interesting and enjoyable. The author does let his taste for
mystery get the better of him: even the straight reportage parts of
the book are often confusing in terms of who did what, and who
actually is what.

jlazcan Nov 12, 2011

This book is so intriguing that I could not put down. I buzzed through the 250 pages in less than 2 days. The author Misha Glenny takes the reader on a journey into the underworld of cyber-crime that has flourished alongside the internet over the past few decades. He mixes easily digestible tech terminology with the interesting back stories of both the criminals and the law enforcement agents trying to make their convictions. Glenny has done his homework and seems to have a direct link to many of the players involved. The book is informative, entertaining and very engrossing. I dare you to read the first 15 pages and can almost guarantee you will keep on reading it. Give it a shot.

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