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on 14 September 2012
This could have been a very good book, unfortunately, it never meets those expectations.

I think the most frustrating aspect of this book is that the author only ever feels one step ahead of the reader in terms of knowledge. There's nothing necessarily wrong with someone approaching a topic they initially know nothing about; on the contrary, when written with wit and intelligence, an author thrown into the deep end of an entirely new world can be incredibly entertaining - Jon Ronson springs to mind - however, this doesn't come anywhere near that standard.

When explaining concepts, it feels like he only vaguely understood the meaning of crackers and hackers a few minutes before putting pen to paper; he seems completely out of his depth. I know it's supposed to be a book about a man, through investigative journalism, discovering and exploring the dark underworld of cybercrime, but it feels like maybe someone who has a lot more background in this field should be writing it.

I know he has written books like this in the past, but his previous experience does not come across; it constantly feels like I'm reading the thoughts of someone who spent 20 minutes on wikipedia finding out the technical aspects of the topic, and then spent the rest of his time interviewing random people on the internet for info - which the author himself admits almost certainly will be largely exaggerated accounts - on the people who carried out these crimes. Much of this personal information I found myself doubting how he came to know as well, as some of it is so minor yet precise I seriously can't imagine anyone recalling it 10-20 years later.

On the whole, the author certainly has a gift for making you turn the page - albeit without being particularly well-written, a la Dan Brown - but it's a deeply unfulfilling book, and this is from someone who didn't really know anything about these things beforehand; for anyone who knew about hackers and crackers it must have been even worse - almost cringe-worthy - like having an A-level physics student explaining to Stephen Hawking about the nature of time.

I'm surprised at the level of positive praise for this, I would seriously consider buying another book on what could have been an interesting area.
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on 16 September 2011
I can't say how strongly I disagree with the first reviewer!
I,too,have read both books and there is actually very little crossover between them. Poulson's book is basically a story that takes place on the west coast of America, whereas Glenny ranges from there to Turkey via Ukraine,Britain,Germany and elsewhere.
I do agree on one thing, that for those interested in the technology, Poulsen's is a more detailed book (albeit a little too detailed for me). But for those who want to know how cybercrime actually relates to ordinary peoples' lives and about the psychology of hackers and criminals on the web , I would say Dark Market wins out for sure.
As regards the specific case of DarkMarket ,which I followed in 'Wired' magazine, both bring what looks to me like real inside knowledge but much of Glenny's stuff has never really been written about before (at least I've never come across it before)- for example about how international law enforcement agencies do or don't co-operate, plus I found the stuff about Germany and Turkey really eye-opening.
But most of all, I couldn't put it down- I read it in two sessions because I couldn't help myself.
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on 5 January 2012
I started this book expecting a factual account of credit card fraud unfortunately what I got was a lot of technical inaccuracies, technophobia and unnecessary padding.

This book is clearly meant to be a thriller, 'based on a true story' but closer to a Hollywood film's version of true events than a piece of factual journalism.

Do not get me wrong here, I'm not objecting to the author glossing over technical detail, that I would have no issue with. What this book does is go out of its way to include technical discussion that simply makes no sense. It's pretty clear that the author is cobbling together sentences from interviews with someone who is already trying to dumb down the topic.

As for the treatment of the villains in this story it seems that so much as sitting at a computer makes you a social recluse (the author even goes so far as to imply one suffers from aspergers, after sentences earlier describing what sounds like a normal kid). We even have our old friend 'video games cause violence' popping up now and again.

If you are interested in computers and computer security this is definitely not a book for you.

I've given the book 3 stars, as a thriller it is not terrible; if I liked thrillers and it was about rogue physicists I may well have enjoyed it (as I know nothing about physics). But I did not like the book and I think if you are technically minded you will not like it either.
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on 29 April 2013
This is a scary story, of what can happen when credit card details and other personal details are stolen. They are put for sale to the highest bidder and can be bought by anyone. The story goes from The Ukraine, US, Germany, Turkey and everywhere in between. how the dark market was infiltrated by cops, hackers turned informants and ultimately was broken up. Well researched and written.
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on 28 September 2011
Like some other reviewers here I also have read Poulsen's work but have to say that for my money Misha Glenny's trademark in-depth research, ability to juggle the various strands of his tale, to wear his intelligence lightly and to make what is a complicated, near impenetrable dark art to non-geeks like me won me over and impressed me greatly.

At once a thorough analysis of the rise and fall of DarkMarket and the scintillating (but misguided at best) characters behind it, of the tidal wave of net crime that the law enforcement agencies are barely able to hold back and of the relevance of it all to us mere mortals whose bank accounts, personal details and so on are daily under siege, Glenny weaves a gripping tale of personal allegiances and betrayals, of the serendipitous moments that catching the protagonists often hinged on and enlightens, demystifies and educates the reader along the way.

For the layman user of the internet, those of us for whom code is exactly that, an impenetrable language used by folk with IQs higher than most, this is a must read. Gripping, fascinating, frightening but also a very human tale masterfully handled by an informed and empathetic master of his craft.

Well done Mr Glenny and thank you.
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on 8 September 2014
Great read, about something I knew nothing about previously which I was kind of surprised about. It's a great insight into the dark side of technology. Some aspects disappointed me a bit because I'm a techie guy and the author clearly isn't, but if you can look past that you'll enjoy it.
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on 19 February 2014
I gave this book to quite a few of my family and friends and they all were so impressed. Glenny explains and goes into detail painting a lovely picture of the dark world of cyber crime. Even someone from the stone age will be able to understand and fathom the concept of cyber crime
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on 18 January 2012
If you are interested to read more about Cyber crime, then do not miss this book. It tells you about how the cyber crime has become global with no frontiers, hence the difficulty to fight it.
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on 9 October 2012
Written like a thriller. More scary though as it is true! Well worth a read if you are interested in internet stories and crime.
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on 25 February 2013
I have read other books by Misha Glenny and, as I expected, this proved to be a very good and informative read.
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