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Spam Nation: The Inside Story of Organized Cybercrime―from Global Epidemic to Your Front Door MP3 CD – Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged
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"Spam Nation is an excellent look at the technicalities, ethics, economics, global politics, and business of spam and cybercrime, and it is researched and told with enormous care and verve. " - Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing
"A fascinating and somewhat disheartening look why spam is so common...readers of Spam Nation will never look at the spam in their inbox the same way again." - USA Today
"In Spam Nation, journalist Brian Krebs guides readers through the intimidating and technical world of organized cybercrime...Future wars will be waged in part by talented hackers with bot armies at their backs. For now, we have Krebs as a guide, and-thankfully-email filters. " - The Washington Free Beacon
"The book is a strong chronicle of how and why this junk business succeeds..." - Federal Computer Week
"Krebs' guided tour of the cybercriminal underworld is a cautionary tale about menacing cultures of hackers, spammers and duplicitous digital network 'cybercrooks...' an eye-opening, immensely distressing exposé on the current state of organized cyberspammers. " - Kirkus
"Armed with reams of information sent to him by feuding hackers and cybercrooks, Krebs explores just how and why these spammers get away with so much...By exposing our digital weaknesses and following the money, he presents a fascinating and entertaining cautionary tale. Krebs's work is timely, informative, and sadly relevant in our cyber-dependent age." - Publishers Weekly
"Spam Nation does a great job of telling an important aspect of the story, and what small things you can do to make a large difference, such that you won't fall victim to these scammers. At just under 250 pages, Spam Nation is a quick read and an important one at that." - Slashdot
"[A] potent new book...Intricate and superbly documented." - Boston Globe
"Brian Krebs, a well-known security expert, dives deep into the history and culture of the underground world where spam gets made-and along the way touches on that community's participation in online criminal enterprises: identity theft, botnet creation, money laundering, data breaches, and much more." - Before It's News
"Those wishing for a reliable tour of the shadowy world of criminal hacking and cyber thievery need look no further than Spam Nation, a new book by Brian Krebs." - Vending Times
"A riveting historical thriller about the Russian bad guys behind spam and malware attacks, how it grew, why so little was accomplished to stop it & ultimately, how of late the tide has been shifting. " - Newstips
"Brian Krebs's blend of investigative reporting and cybersecurity expertise makes for an informative and entertaining read." - ZDNet
"I know this book review is essentially a Brian Krebs love fest. Sorry, I can't help myself. As a security pro, it's my occupation to find flaws, but I can't find one in this book. At a time when courageous journalists around the world are under threat, investigative journalism of this quality and boldness deserves to be rewarded." - InfoWorld
"Inside story of the sophisticated world of spam and cyber attacks and the people and organizations behind them. It gets into the psychology and methods and relationships behind the people who send it, the few but enough who click and buy, and the rest who are unwittingly part of the system." - Medium --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Brian Krebs is an award-winning journalist and founder of the highly acclaimed cybersecurity blog KrebsOnSecurity.com. For fourteen years, Krebs was a reporter for the Washington Post, where he authored the acclaimed Security Fix blog. He has been profiled in the New York Times and Bloomberg Businessweek and has appeared on the Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, NPR, Fox, ABC News, in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and more.
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Brian left the Washington Post after editorial management at WP decided that Cybercrime was an area that was a little too risky for its appetite.
Brian went on to found his own Website www.krebsonsecurity.com a daily blog dedicated to in-depth cyber-security news and investigation. Brian has become one of the most informed and prolific writers on the subject of Cybercrime.
His first book SPAM Nation chronicles the activities of two leading Russian figures of the Pharmaceutical SPAM racket, Igor Gusev and Victor Vrublevsky, who leaked detailed information about the other in an effort to destroy the other.
This book is a worthy read as it details the feud that developed between key Cybercrime characters and the supporting cast of corrupt banks, less than diligent ISP’s, crooked beauracrats and victims of toxic counterfeit drugs bought over the Internet from “Canadian Pharmacies”. These two individuals (Vrublevsy and Gusev), are responsible for a large percentage of SPAM that has plagued your and everyone else’s inboxes for the past 10 years.
It provides insight into motives, modus-operandi and the environment, sponsored by corrupt bureaucrats who enable Cybercrime to flourish in Eastern Europe, Russia and parts of Asia.
Why is it worth reading? Because YOU and YOUR IDENTITY are under constant threat from billions of SPAM emails and social engineering scams generated by a sophisticated, determined, patient and growing cadre of Cyber criminals.
If you have not received a letter from your bank or institution where you hold a credit account offering free credit protection services, advising that you that your credentials may have been stolen and that your account may be compromised in the past 12 months, it is almost certain you will receive one in the next 12 months.
Pharma Spam provided the trainer-wheels for the first generation of hackers. They made $millions selling counterfeit pharmaceuticals, manufactured in India, sold via online “Canadian” Pharmacies to Americans who could not afford or could not acquire drugs for any number of serious illnesses and addictive needs.
The Botnets that infected and continue to compromise millions of PC’s, causing them to generate billions of Spam emails daily still exist. They provide a platform to develop and launch more sophisticated phishing and spear-phishing attacks.
Hackers have perfected their craft in what history will record as the “wild-west” days of the Internet.
Ten years ago, these miscreants were making $millions.
Now they are making $Billions.
An increasing variety of clever scams, including impersonation of senior executives using look-alike URL’s to launch phishing and spear phishing attacks (social engineering), to gain access to the corporate network and commit fraud; extortion, identity theft, credit card theft, website ransom and Intellectual Property theft.
The epilogue, A Spam-free World: How you can protect yourself from Cyber-crime, is worth the price of the book ten times over.
If you don’t want to read the book, then please observe Brian’s three simple rules to protect your identity… and never click on a suspicious link or a link unless you can expose and validate that the underlying hyperlink is genuine.
Rule 1: If you didn’t go looking for it, do not install it.
Rule 2: If you installed it, update it.
Rule 3: If you no longer need it, remove it.
If you are interested in any subject related to Cybercrime, follow @Briankrebs on Twitter, make #Cybercrime a Twitter hashtag that you track and read daily and visit Brian’s website, it’s a must.
Finally, if you have never heard of and don’t know what “social engineering” is, then you had better do some research in a hurry, before you become the next victim of identity theft and fraud.
Understanding the environment that computer criminals operate in provides valuable perspective for security practitioners. “Know your enemy” valuable advice. It’s negligent to paint criminals in overly broad strokes like Hollywood tropes, envision this- techno music pumping in a dingy basement, littered with empty vodka bottles, and reeking of cigarette butts. Russian hacker? Nyet comrade. The author demystifies criminal operations and makes the figures real people that can be understood.
The key questions that most people want answers to are outlined in Chapter 1. For example: "Who is buying the stuff advertised in junk email?" But in subsequent chapters, the questions are not answered in the sequence they were asked, and it's not clear where in the book you will find the answer to each question. So you have to read a lot of detail, chapter by chapter, to ferret out the answers. If feels like you are jumping around a lot. One suggestion would have been to organize the chapters by each of the key questions, then provide a clear answer to the question at the end of each chapter. Casual readers probably would find that much more helpful.
The last chapter provides some advice on how you can protect yourself from cybercrime. After you read all the prior chapters, you want to know how to better protect yourself! But the last chapter is a bit slim on suggestions. The suggestions are good, but generic (e.g., use strong passwords, keep your software up to date). I was expecting more, and more specific, suggestions.
Brian did a great job of explaining the answers to these questions, as well the who's who of originating fathers of spam, where they were from, the culture and economy they were operating in with such impunity and just how little money they made relative to what they cost the world economy in economic and frustration. The most shocking part of the book to me was how large a role online pharmacies played and how they were connected to the same billing companies that dealt with extreme and in most countries illegal forms of pornography. It's a non fiction book that read like fiction.
He also did an excellent job of character building. I felt like I knew the main players by the end of the story and almost felt empathy for how far they fell and how they ultimately reaped what they sewed and indicted themselves through envy, hatred and paranoia.