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Underground: Tales of Hacking, Madness and Obsession on the Electronic Frontier [Kindle Edition]

Suelette Dreyfus , Julian Assange
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £12.99
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Book Description

Suelette Dreyfus and her co-author, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, tell the extraordinary true story of the computer underground, and the bizarre lives and crimes of an elite ring of international hackers who took on the establishment.

Spanning three continents and a decade of high level infiltration, they created chaos amongst some of the world’s biggest and most powerful organisations, including NASA and the US military. Brilliant and obsessed, many of them found themselves addicted to hacking and phreaking. Some descended into drugs and madness, others ended up in jail.

As riveting as the finest detective novel and meticulously researched, Underground follows the hackers through their crimes, their betrayals, the hunt, raids and investigations. It is a gripping tale of the digital underground.

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An astonishing book. - Sydney Morning Herald

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'Gripping ... A highly intense and enjoyable read.' Rolling Stone

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1204 KB
  • Print Length: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Canongate Books; Main edition (5 Jan. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005GK7LHE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #436,860 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best little-known titles there is 5 Aug. 2012
By KevinM
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I first read Underground on a Psion Series 5 a few years after it was first published. It went out of print for while and the text was freely available, but obviously the publishers have decided to capitalise on its association with Julian Assange and his current notoriety.

Julian's input was the research and his technical expertise. Thankfully, Suelette Dreyfus' is a skillful author and the combination of her engaging style with this detailed research is a rollercoaster of a book you'll want to read again and again (I've read Underground four times which is two more times than I've been grabbed by any other novel!).

If you were involved in the early electronic bulletin board systems, you will love this book.
If you are younger, or not that technical, don't let that you put you off; there are good explanations of all the activities in terms that anyone who can surf the web and use email will understand, and Suelette takes great care to ensure the technical aspects do not interfere with the telling of the story.

What I found particularly impressive is the way that the author has managed to get into the heads of the hackers involved so that you really feel you know what drives them. The reactions of the systems administrators, law-enforcement agencies are surprisingly human, and it's great to see their side of things told as well.
Without wanting to give any spoilers away, some of the court case judgements range from heavy-handed to hilarious.

This book is a real treasure - should be compulsory reading for anyone involved in defending hacking offences or their prosecution. Would make a great film too.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting and riveting read 11 Feb. 2013
By acme01
I read 'Underground' due to my growing interest in early hacking culture, as well as the links to Julian Assange; and I'm extremely glad I did, this is one of the best books I have read for a long time, not just for the detailed descriptions of early hacking & phreaking techniques, but because it is a thrilling and fascinating real life story; thoroughly researched and very well written.

Dreyfus covers a lot of ground detailing; hacking the pre-internet on early Apples & Ataris, amazing phreaking techniques, the BBS scene, a vast array of international characters, stories of Hackers on the lamb avoiding the FBI by seconds, the effects dedicated or rather; obsessive hacking has on personal relationships, arrests, court cases, and much, much more. All this combined with Dreyfus' flowing, easy to follow style made this a gripping read.

One of the things I liked most about this book is that it doesn't just follow one hacker, or one group of hackers; many of the successful international hackers and phreakers at that time are covered in great detail. From their first interest in computing to their greatest hacks, the links between the groups, the personal connections and relationships, as well as (for some) their ultimate fate at the hands of the various 3 letter agencies out to get them. Some of the hackers in this book were among the first to go to court in their respective countries on hacking charges, and the court cases and their outcomes are described in riveting detail.

Personally I think Underground is a must read for anyone interested in 80's/90's hacking and phreaking, or for anyone interested in Julian Assange's early days as a hacker (although real names weren't used; it wasn't hard to figure out one of the featured hackers is him!) But it should also appeal to anyone who enjoys a thrilling, well-written, real life story.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Internet Social History 28 Dec. 2013
Regardless of wether you agree with hacking for political or financial gain this book reads like a thriller, except its based on actual peoples lives within the internet in earlier years. I cannot really add more than the previous synopsis on the book written by other reviewers. I found it gripping, feeling sympathy with the young minds that were searching for ways into organisations or anything they could find a way into that was a challenge; a little like Harry Houdini except he was finding ways of escaping not entering. You don't have to agree that hacking is a good thing but certainly this book is an eye opener in so many ways. I thoroughly enjoyed but find out for yourself and give it a read.
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