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DarkMarket: Cyberthieves, Cybercops and You Hardcover – Deckle Edge, October 4, 2011

3.3 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


DarkMarket tells you things your mind will have difficulty believing. Twenty-first-century crime is utterly different from anything you've heard about from the media or anyone else. In DarkMarket, Misha Glenny explains the world of cybercrime. You'll think you're inside a hallucinatory science-fiction novel—but it's all true! Over the last two years Misha Glenny met the criminals of the Internet and the people who try to catch them. Everywhere—from the U.S. to Ukraine, via France, Germany and Turkey. This extraordinarily powerful book tells the story of how modern crime knows no borders, how shadowy it is, how impossible to combat. You will realize how these crimes touch your life and your children's lives without your ever noticing it. And this study of Internet crime, like Glenny's book on the international mafia, demonstrates how utterly we lack the shared supranational tools needed to fight it. Like McMafia, DarkMarket is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the world we live in. And you'd better go in with your eyes open.” –Roberto Saviano, author of Gomorra

“A complex, eye-opening account of cybercrime…Scary reading.” –Kirkus

“Glenny’s got an outstanding cast to work with: Before the story is over, Turkish military intelligence agents, the Tamil Tigers, members of the Saudi royal family, and the brother of Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer all make appearances. Stieg Larsson and his tales of sleepy Scandinavian hackers start to look vapid in comparison…an eminently readable, witty narrative that sustains suspense until the very last pages.” –Wall Street Journal
“Glenny accomplishes the herculean task of converting cryptic and tangled information into short, gripping chapters that often read like a high-tech thriller (complete with a surprise ending).” –Publishers Weekly

“America and its western allies are spending billions to perfect future cyber war capability, but Misha Glenny tells us that cyber crime is right here and has been for years—hiding in plain sight. Glenny's account of the international police hunt for a hacker known as Cha0, one of the most successful cyber criminals of our time, should be required reading for the world's cyber war generals.” –Seymour Hersh, The New Yorker

“The interlocking series of websites, organizations and individuals that [Glenny’s] industry has uncovered make for a truly remarkable story…he has succeeded in illuminating much that was hidden. This is an early, at times magnificent pass at a new world, which will grow greatly as our lives become ever more entangled with the web.” –Financial Times

About 50 pages into DarkMarket I walked to my laptop to make sure my antivirus software had done its overnight checks. It was a tribute, of sorts, to Glenny, a British specialist in organized crime, who I think has written the most engaging tale of cops and robbers in cyberspace since The Cuckoo's Egg, Cliff Stoll's engaging account of a computer break-in…[Glenny] has brought the threats home with the force of an approaching typhoon.” –San Francisco Chronicle

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

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf (October 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307592936
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307592934
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 1.2 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #659,933 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By mysterysong on November 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
DarkMarket totally captured me! I found the tales of those deep into the underworld of cyber crime fascinating and frightening. Glenny manages to make what could be a dry subject a page turner and not least, comprehensible (most cyber stuff flies over my head). I tried to read Worm but was completely lost, even bored. Look, if you want to understand what we are up against in this new age of cyber reality, such as identity theft and obsession - then read this book. It explains it all in a dramatic (even fun) way. Enough to get me really thinking about this strange new world we are just beginning to enter. Great book. Glenny hit it out of the park for me.
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Format: Hardcover
'DarkMarket' begins as an interesting report on cybercrime, using the story of a pastor's account being compromised in England by Nigerian chemical engineer employed locally to get started. Unfortunately, the book quickly degenerates into mostly unrelated threads located all around the world, making it difficult to maintain interest.

The book's value is limited to simply summarizing the difficulty of tracking, apprehending, and incarcerating those involved - problems begin with the fact that criminal acts are often perpetrated from an IP address in one country against an individual/corporation in a second, in which the proceeds may be cashed out in a third. The actions taking place may not even be considered a crime in all three nations, the authorities not on the best of terms with each other (eg. U.S. problems caused by hackers in Russia are not a priority for Russia's KGB, but woe to the Russian hacker who attacks Russian individuals or enterprises). Anonymity makes the physical location of a computer difficult to identify, as well as the individual operating it. Encryption is widely available for free, most notably PGP, further complicating law enforcement, though reportedly government entities use Echelon to break these codes. (On the other hand, simple corruption of local languages - usually Russian, make it almost impossible for American agents to infiltrate Russian networks.) Glenny also mentions that German police officers are legally required to ID themselves as belonging to law enforcement if tracking a suspect over the Internet. Similarly, there are legal limitations in the U.S. and elsewhere on the use of Virtual Network Computing (VNC) oversight programs that monitor downloading and software installation.
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Format: Hardcover
If you know nothing about computers, the history of the Internet, or how black hats work; this may be entertaining. However, if you know anything about those things you will find this to be very frustrating. The author writes as if his readers are Luddites with no technical knowledge at all. While reading, I got the feeling that he was taking an interesting subject and trying to "hype it up" into an over the top spy drama instead of just writing about what actually happened from a historical perspective.

Since I am an IT professional, I had high hopes when I stumbled upon a book written by a BBC reporter about subject matter of which I am familiar. I really wanted to like it. The more I read, the more I was frustrated by the semantic inaccuracies of the author; and his constant attempt to elevate excitement by over explaining things or making innocuous things sound more important to the process than they actually were.

I would suggest the author give his audience a little more credit.
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Format: Hardcover
The book starts out in an interesting manner, but then quickly deteriorates into a confusing, often twisting description of different players and their contribution to mis-organized cyber crime. Or maybe not - I don't know, I got lost a couple of times as to who was who and what they were doing. The author does make a pitch at the end that it seems a shame to have such talent go to waste and rot (in the case of one un-tried suspect, literally) in custody. Well, can't that be said of any number of apprehended criminals... such a shame, you know?

It's a confusing, new area of crime and I still haven't learned all that much after reading this book. Is there any progress in developing international agreements in pursuing these guys? Are jurisdictions and legal boundaries being refined? Who's doing what? What are the Russians doing to help out? I think I have more questions that when I started.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a fascinating account of part of the war on cyber crime. We all know there are hackers, but in DarkMarket veteran journalist Misha Glenny describes how their activities have become a market commodity, with websites where hackers and gangsters can buy and sell everything from virus code to access to botnets and credit card readers. The book is the story of a sting operation by the FBI and its international counterparts, and how it almost came unraveled by a story in "Wired".
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