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DarkMarket: How Hackers Became the New Mafia Paperback – October 2, 2012

3.2 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“[An] engaging tale of cops and robbers in cyberspace.” —San Francisco Chronicle
  
“An eminently readable, witty narrative that sustains suspense until the very last pages.” —The Wall Street Journal
 
“Misha Glenny tells us that cyber crime is right here and has been for years—hiding in plain sight. . . . Required reading.” —The New Yorker
 
“A truly remarkable story. . . . Magnificent.” —Financial Times

“This extraordinarily powerful book demonstrates how utterly we lack the shared supranational tools needed to fight cybercrime.” —Roberto Saviano, author of Gomorrah

About the Author

Misha Glenny is a former BBC Central Europe correspondent. Glenny covered the fall of Communism and the wars in the former Yugoslavia. He is the author of McMafia; The Rebirth of History; The Fall of Yugoslavia (which won the Overseas Press Club Award in 1993 for Best Book on Foreign Affairs); and The Balkans: Nationalism, War and the Great Powers, 1804-1999. He has been regularly consulted by U.S. and European governments on major policy issues. Misha Glenny lives in London.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (October 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780307476449
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307476449
  • ASIN: 0307476448
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #501,654 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Phil on January 11, 2013
Format: Paperback
This is a very enjoyable read. Basically, it reads like a long New Yorker article and should be very accessible for anybody who is basically computer literate. Mercifully, the author does not dwell excessively on the technical details of Internet fraud at the same time that he explains the fraud industry (right word) coherently. At about 275 pages the book is almost a novella, but the good news is that it also reads like a crime thriller (which it arguably is). Long story short, computer literate readers will learn little new from this book other than the extensive nature of credit card fraud, esp. as it is practiced (and apparently tolerated) in the former Soviet Union. That's okay, however, as Misha Glenny has produced yet another informative and very entertaining read. This is holiday reading you can mention to your fiends without sounding the least bit vapid. On the contrary, they will applaud you for reading a book about such a complex topic as cyber crime at the same time that you know you mostly just enjoyed a tru-crime thriller. Enjoy.
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Format: Paperback
There's something off about this book, and I can't decide whether or not it's even Misha Glenny's fault. The guys involved with DarkMarket seem as vapid as the generic screen names they choose for themselves, so, in lieu of anything resembling a compelling character, technology itself steps in as the book's default protagonist. Glenny tries his best to frame the story as an international true crime thriller, but the chain of micro-events is stacked against him. Still, he does a good job of explaining how these internet savvy criminals are exploiting global techno-capitalism.

Since all of the greatest hits in human activity increasingly manifest themselves as sitting at a keyboard or thumbing through a phone, it only makes sense that crime would follow suit. As a criminal odyssey full of fascinating deviance and ill fated adventure, this book is indigestible. What is actually interesting and important here are the widening loopholes in the banking system and the ease with which they can be exploited by any computer literate person with the will to do so. Glenny explains very clearly how banking and insurance businesses factor in the cost of fraud and pass it on to customers, and also why solving these crimes is often next to impossible.

And yet, by Glenny's description, most of the individual actors in this saga seemed largely unaware of how much power they actually had. Most seemed to have little to do with the money that their carding scams netted, and were much more concerned with the hyper-fluid hierarchy within their online subculture. There was seldom any real mission, only method.
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Format: Paperback
If your exposure to Misha Glenny was in one of his long historical works - such as his brilliant history of the Balkans - then you may be a little disappointed with this, his latest work. Glenny gets back into his reporter sleuthing mode to report the story of international cyber criminals through the narrative of three inter-related cyber crime websites and their organisers.

The story runs along with good reportage details - quick leaps from one criminal to the other, short background bits where relevant of the people and the millieu they function within, legal and politico-economic hurdles in dealing with them - it is not however a history of cyber crime.

Although I did devour the volume in about 4-5 sittings, I at times felt less than thrilled. This may be because the subject matter at times lends itself to drama - Stuxnet, Russian Criminal Societies, and cyber warfare, but it is hard to get excited about most of the cyber criminals.

There is little technical detail in this book as befits a book such as this, but conceptually Glenny does describe well botnets, trojans, dumps and the various architecture of cybercrime and how, especially in the case of Russia, the state gives more or less carte blanche approval of their enterprises, as long as they continue to fleece markets outside of Russia. They would not be able to survive for a day if they turned on people inside Russia.

A dark and frightening space and perhaps a good jumping off point for a more serious study of cybercrime in the future.

I look forward to Glenny getting back into the historical mode.
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Just reading the preface had me hooked on reading this interesting book. It's intriging as a spy novel and would make a great movie except that it may be hard to follow with all that goes on in it. I feel like all hackers should be punished whether they actually steel money/identities/information or not. My daughter was hacked by a guy she met on a social network and he became like a stalker - nothing was stolen because she has no money but the trauma of someone sneaking around in your PC without permission is just disgusting - she called the police but they didn't believe her. Anyway I wanted to read up on what makes a hacker and this book helped somewhat. In one part it describes what motivates a hacker: "Science has shown that people who take risks experience a rush of the so-called happiness hormone. That hormone multiplied by whatever quantity of rustling dollar bills, plays the fundamental, decisive part in motivating someone to keep working in this not entirely honest industry." Oh boy..."not entirely honest" - can you believe it? Hackers do it just for the rush, just like a drug addict! Great read for all geeks!
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