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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down
I bought this title on my Kindle, after reading an extract in Wired magazine.

This book makes hacking thrilling. What I liked was that the author doesn't skip over the technical details of how the hacks work. You zoom right in, and discover how the attacks are accomplished.

For example, reading Kingpin was the first time I actually understood what a...
Published on 9 Mar 2011 by Mr I Harris

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unputdownable, but could do with more meat...
Great story, fairly well told, if you find the subject interesting.
Only 2 complaints: this would have been more interesting if it had more content and perhaps links out to safely hosted content for those wishing to dig further and I have to say that this deficiency makes it a little on the pricey side. Found the story fascinating though.
Published 20 months ago by Mr Ian Golding


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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE JEKYLL & HYDE HACKER, 7 Jun 2011
By 
DOPPLEGANGER (TEDDY B) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Kingpin: How One Hacker Took Over the Billion-Dollar Cybercrime Underground (Kindle Edition)
Whether Max Butler (aka Max Vision or Iceman among others) was a computer geek who was the 'Robin Hood' of cyber-men, primarily looking after the interests of users from computer attacks, and personal information and identity thefts by other hackers, or whether he was at heart an out-and-out cyber-crook, is the underlying and constant issue in Kevin Poulson's most excellent book tracing the fall, rise and fall of the world's most notorious hacker.

At the outset I will readily confess that the detailed technical accounts of the murky and faceless world of hacking were way beyond my ken and left me for dead, but this did not lessen the gripping tale of intrigue, ducking-and-diving, furtiveness, dishonesty, but more than anything else the sheer 'unreality' of this huge network of evilness being conducted on personal computers, in umpteen, mainly dingy apartments across the world under the sinister cloak of false names and meaningless cyber-jargon.

Butler was just a regular guy out of Boise, Idaho in the late 1980's and when the internet started to take-off found that he was a gifted natural computer geek, and could have ridden on the crest of the wave to fame and fortune just by playing it straight. Alas, straight was something alien to him and he was soon in trouble, forsaking being one who tries to make the internet a more secure medium, he was caught committing hacking crimes against the U.S. Government and was jailed for 18 months.

On his release, again instead of using his brilliant mind positively, he teamed up with Chris Aragon a smooth talking hacker (who'd also done time for actual bank robberies)and together they embarked on a spree of hacking into retail sites and stealing personal credit card details and their sale on to other crooks or themselves through organised teams, buying, selling and pocketing the illicit proceeds.

The tale of his crimes is fast moving and extremely well told by Kevin Poulsen, and relates how the FBI, using a 'sting' type operation reeled Max Butler in, along with quite a few others. The irony is though that a lot of what Max Butler did had a positive contribution to the general computer security of ordinary users, but then he would blow it by being unable to resist cheating the system for mainly his own egotistical satisfaction not necessarily for vast personal financial reward. Butler is now serving 13 years after coming to a plea bargain, and has been ordered to pay $27.5 million in restitution.

This book introduces most of us into a world we did not know existed that makes a pit of vipers seem a bit on the sissy side. A first class read.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Weak Book, 27 May 2013
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You can read this book in a few hours, however, the content and the way they went about their work was pathetic to say the least.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars over-rated and over-priced, 4 Sep 2011
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This review is from: Kingpin: How One Hacker Took Over the Billion-Dollar Cybercrime Underground (Kindle Edition)
I was really looking forward to this book (especially after its great Amazon reviews), but ultimately it's a disappointment.

The story is interesting and does need to be told but I feel the author has done it a major injustice. Frankly, the book seems to be written for the Sunday tabloid newspaper market. It's an easily-digestible list of stuff and is about as exciting and challenging as a cheese sandwich. Yawn.

The book is pushing the boundaries of credibility with its price, too. I suspect that it's received a price hike because all books about computers cost alot. This book is not worth it, buy it and find out.

To summarise then; good story, poor writing, awful price.
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