This gripping espionage tale penetrates the network of international mobsters and hackers who use the Internet to extort money from businesses, steal from tens of millions of consumers and attack government networks. In this disquieting cyber thriller, Joseph Menn takes readers into the murky hacker underground, travelling the globe from San Francisco to Costa Rica and London to Russia. His guides are California surfer and computer whiz Barrett Lyon and a fearless British high-tech agent. Through these heroes, Menn shows the evolution of cyber-crime from small-time thieving to sophisticated, organised gangs, who began by attacking corporate websites but increasingly steal financial data from consumers and defence secrets from governments. Using unprecedented access to Mob businesses and Russian officials, the book reveals how top criminals earned protection from the Russian government. "Fatal System Error" penetrates both the Russian cyber-mob and Cosa Nostra as the two fight over the Internet's massive spoils. The cloak-and-dagger adventure shows why cyber-crime is much worse than you thought - and why the Internet might not survive.