By Kevin Poulsen
Former hacker Kevin Poulsen has, over the last decade, equipped a name as one of many most sensible investigative newshounds at the cybercrime beat. In Kingpin, he pours his unequalled entry and services into ebook shape for the 1st time, providing a gripping cat-and-mouse narrative—and an unparalleled view into the twenty-first century’s signature type of equipped crime.
The note unfold throughout the hacking underground like a few unstoppable new virus: Someone—some outstanding, audacious crook—had simply staged a adverse takeover of an internet legal community that siphoned billions of bucks from the U.S. economic climate.
The FBI rushed to release an formidable undercover operation geared toward monitoring down this new kingpin; different businesses worldwide deployed dozens of moles and double brokers. jointly, the cybercops lured a number of unsuspecting hackers into their clutches. . . . but at each flip, their major quarry displayed an uncanny skill to smell out their snitches and notice via their plots.
The offender they sought was once the main not likely of criminals: an excellent programmer with a hippie ethic and a supervillain’s double id. As well-known “white-hat” hacker Max “Vision” Butler, he was once a star through the programming global, even serving as a specialist to the FBI. yet because the black-hat “Iceman,” he present in the area of information robbery an impossible to resist chance to check his oversized talents. He infiltrated millions of pcs round the state, sucking down thousands of bank card numbers at will. He easily hacked his fellow hackers, stealing their ill-gotten profits from less than their noses. including a smooth-talking con artist, he ran an immense real-world crime ring.
And for years, he did all of it with seeming impunity, while numerous competitors ran afoul of police.
Yet as he watched the fraudsters round him squabble, their ranks riddled with infiltrators, their equipment inefficient, he started to see of their disorder the final word problem: He could degree his coup and attach what was once damaged, run issues as they need to be run—even if it intended portray a bull’s-eye on his brow.
Through the tale of this criminal’s awesome upward thrust, and of legislation enforcement’s quest to trace him down, Kingpin lays naked the workings of a silent crime wave nonetheless affecting hundreds of thousands of usa citizens. In those pages, we're ushered into great online-fraud supermarkets stocked with bank card numbers, counterfeit assessments, hacked financial institution debts, useless drops, and faux passports. We study the workings of the various hacks—browser exploits, phishing assaults, Trojan horses, and masses more—these fraudsters use to ply their alternate, and hint the complicated routes in which they flip stolen facts into hundreds of thousands of bucks. and because of Poulsen’s outstanding entry to either police officers and criminals, we step contained in the quiet, determined fingers race that legislations enforcement keeps to struggle with those scammers today.
Ultimately, Kingpin is a trip into an underworld of startling scope and gear, one during which usual American little ones paintings hand in hand with murderous Russian mobsters and the place an easy wireless connection can unharness a torrent of gold worthy millions.
From the Hardcover edition.