Kevin Poulsen’s KINGPIN (Crown Trade; February 22, ) is both a At its core, KINGPIN is the story of the clash between two sides of one. Kevin Poulsen. · Rating details · 6, ratings · reviews. The true story of Max Butler, the master hacker who ran a billion dollar cyber crime network. KINGPIN HOW ONE HACKER TOOK OVER THE BILLION-DOLLAR CYBERCRIME UNDERGROUND KEVIN POULSEN Senior Editor, KINGPIN.
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Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Kingpin by Kevin Poulsen. The true story of Max Butler, the master hacker who ran a billion dollar cyber crime network.
The word spread through the hacking underground like some unstoppable new virus: The culprit was a brilliant programmer with a hippie ethic and a sup The true story of Max Butler, the master hacker who ran a billion dollar cyber crime network.
The culprit was a brilliant programmer with a hippie ethic and a supervillain’s double identity.
Book Review: KINGPIN by Kevin Poulsen
Max ‘Vision’ Butler was a white-hat hacker and a kingpjn throughout the programming world, even serving as a consultant to the FBI. But there was another side to Max.
As the black-hat ‘Iceman’, he’d seen the fraudsters around him squabble, their ranks riddled with infiltrators, their methods inefficient, and in their dysfunction was the ultimate challenge: It exposes vast online-fraud supermarkets stocked with credit card numbers, counterfeit cheques, hacked bank accounts and fake passports.
Thanks to Kevin Poulsen’s remarkable access to both cops and criminals, we step inside the quiet,desperate battle that law enforcement fights against these scammers. And learn that the boy next door may not be all he seems. Hardcoverpages. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Kingpinplease sign up.
Lists with This Book. Nov 07, Rob rated it really liked it Shelves: A fascinating and terrifying look at the darker underbelly of the internet and identity theft. Full Review I consider myself fairly knowledgeable about computers and the internet. Computer Security has never really been my thing though. Yet for whatever reason I find reading books about computer crime fascinating. This book is no different. Kevin Poulsen has turned himself from one-time hacker into a leader in covering computer security.
I occasionally read some of his articles Executive Summary: I occasionally read some of his articles on Wired. I like getting the take of someone whose been there before on things. It seems like he’s good about not just presenting the facts, but the reasons behind them. He really gets into Max Butler’s head a little and presents a more complete picture than you might get from a different author. I had read a little here and there about carding over the years, and I had vague recollections about the Dark Market, but I never really knew any of the details behind that bust.
When comparing law enforcement in this book to that of The Cuckoo’s Egg: Of course 20 years have passed, but they really had some clever approaches to tracking and eventually capturing some big players in the cyber crime world. It’s scary to learn just how easy it was and continues to be for people to steal your credit card information, and that the credit industry in the US refuses to change magnetic strips simply because of the upfront cost to replace the machines is so high they prefer to deal with the cost associated with the theft instead.
I don’t know what it will take to finally force a change, but meanwhile innocent consumers continue to have their lives upended by it. I didn’t find this book too technical, though given my background, I’m usually a bad judge of these things. I think anyone who understands the basics of the internet would be able to follow along. It’s really more a character study of Max Butler and others than it is a detailed account of how he did it.
Overall another fascinating read. Sep 17, Nathaniel rated it liked it Shelves: It’s a little weird to file a book on my “history” shelf when the primary subject of the book was born less than 10 years before me and is still 2 years away from finishing his prison sentence, but things change fast in the Internet Age, and this book is a great example of that.
It’s the story of a Max Butlerthe kind of person that makes people use words like “troubled. I was a tame kid, but there were It’s a kingpni weird to file a book on my “history” shelf when the primary subject of the book was born less than 10 years before me and is still 2 years away from finishing his prison sentence, but things change fast in the Internet Age, and this book is a great example of that.
I was a tame kid, but there were definitely boys in my high school circle who exhibited Max’s distinctive blend of manic intelligence and abysmal impulse-control.
It was just one more pouulsen that reading this book felt, for lack of a better word, almost nostalgic. Kevin Poulsen didn’t really ever go into this, but the rise of credit card scams and identity theft through the s and into the s was also, in a way, kingoin history of the rise of the mainstream Internet.
Every time the story moved forward a poulaen, I would think about the types of computers that were cutting edge that year, the Internet sites that were big that year.
The book even mentioned quite a lot of definitive events in the Internet Age–like when Metallica’s “I Disappear” leaked online, leading the band to sue Napster–that I remembered vividly.
On the other hand, there was an awful lot of information in this book that I didn’t know anything about. That’s not a coincidence, either. Poulsen mentions in passing how industry trade groups deliberately suppressed data about the extent and nature of credit card theft, pretending to the world that theft was a minor problem and relegated primarily to online shopping when in fact fraud levels were skyrocketing and were primarily a result of brick-and-mortar stores being hacked, not online sales getting compromised.
I wouldn’t say the story was exactly riveting–credit card theft is not exactly high-stakes, as world events go–but it was definitely engrossing. The constant squabbling among the various thieves–and especially their territorial disputes over masculine reputation games–was interesting and also kind of sad. It felt, in a way, like a primatologist’s field notes on a particularly quarrelsome band of chimpanzees.
I guess, in the end, it was mostly just a story that I already knew too well to find really revelatory. I’m not an Internet security expert by any means, but I am familiar with how shockingly irresponsible most companies are when it comes to IT security, and so the news that hackers could easily use know-exploits to seize control of computers around the world is not remotely surprising.
Contrast that mediocrity with the fiendish delight some hackers take in simply going where they’re not supposed to be allowed, and there really is no contest. Hackers–dedicated, zealous, and innovative–are going to win out over underpaid, bored employees any day of the week. And then the rest of it–the way that what we do on the Internet can become divorced from our real lives, and how our personalities can bend and morph and even detach completely from our real-world personas as they stretch and distort to suit digital environs–is also not shocking.
Book Review: KINGPIN by Kevin Poulsen | Masters of Media
It’s the same thing everyone who grew up at the dawn of the Internet Age learned. And so I guess that’s why I’m going with three stars. Kinfpin was moderately interesting, but the events and the personalities themselves are just not compelling or surprising or significant enough for someone already familiar with the basic subject matter.
Everything and everyone is basically exactly what you’d expect. What a book like this needs, I think, to really become something special is some kind of analysis or insight to tell us what these events mean about society, or how they tie in to geopolitical tensions between the US and Russia or China, just something more than a recitation of the fact that bad guys like to steal your credit cards.
Max is an interesting character. He wasn’t ever a bad guy, really. He was just good at rationalizing, bad at impulse control, and found a medium–the Internet–that’s uniquely suited to dissociation. Telling his story like he’s the exceptional case isn’t the right move, I think. Telling his story as emblematic of all of us in a digital age might have been a better approach to take. Because he’s not unique. He is who we all are, with our multiple online identities, our curated and context-dependent personas, and our cyborg inner lives.
Mar 27, Nick Black rated it it was amazing Recommended to Nick by: View all 3 comments. May 11, Katherine Tomlinson rated it liked it. And in a time of wikileaks, the story is totally current. This would be 3. Although I really enjoyed the book, they seemed to have over simplified some things. I’m not sure if it was the poulwen or the biography form of the book, but the way it was told didn’t quite grab and keep my attention, I found myself drifting away a lot.
Some things getting explained in the book like the Bind hack that didn’t have a checksum and you could append extra bytes to kinngpin end of you post to run code, and the way they explained SQL injection was really well writte This would be 3. Some things getting explained in the book like the Bind hack that didn’t have a checksum and you could ppulsen extra bytes to the end of you post to run code, and the kinglin they explained SQL injection was really well written.
Short paragraphs explaining the kevon of the technicalities. This book really makes you think whether you are doing enough to kingpij your own data, and keeping up to date with security. Each one for himself. It seems that some of the biggest fish get all their crime charges dropped by helping the FBI in capturing even higher profile criminals.
In the end they even get paid for their crimes. It is also scary how a hacker can make the FBI seem like n00b5. He was always a step loulsen until he got split by his “partner” hide spoiler ] All in all a worth while read. Jan 06, Greg added it. Inside look at the cybercrime underworld, specifically carders people who steal credit card information. Book is really well written and hard to put down, and additionally it actually manages to cover the technical parts in enough detail to be interesting without being boring.
Book keivn the life of Max Burton and how kkevin came to rule the carding world. Interestingly, he started out with light stuff, got in trouble, and went white hat for a while.
But when the FBI wanted him to inform on one Inside look at the cybercrime underworld, kfvin carders people who steal credit card information. But when the FBI wanted him to inform pohlsen one of his friends, he refused and got put in the slammer. It was kevln that he turned black hat once more, and once out of jail started getting into carding.