DarkMarket: Cyberthieves, Cybercops and You
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DarkMarket: Cyberthieves, Cybercops and You

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3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  432 ratings  ·  60 reviews
"This extraordinarily powerful book demonstrates how utterly we lack the shared supranational tools needed to fight cybercrime. Essential reading." --Roberto Saviano, author of Gommorah

The benefits of living in a digital, globalized society are enormous; so too are the dangers. The world has become a law enforcer’s nightmare and every criminal’s dream. We bank online; shop...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published October 4th 2011 by Knopf (first published 2011)
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Kate O'Hanlon
Facsinating story let down in places by workmanlike prose and a confusing cast of characters. A dramatis personae would not have gone amis.
Also I'm annoyed that he didn't tell us the outcome of the Dietmar Lingel trial. Did I miss something?

These complaints aside it's impossible not to be impressed by the hours of research and good old fashioned journalistic leg work that goes into something like this.

For a little taster of what's in the book you can listen to Glenny on the RSA podcast
http://ww...more
Gerald Sinstadt
Cut up your credit cards, close down your PC, cancel on-line banking, hide your money under the mattress. After reading Misha Glenny's investigation of cybercrime you will find it hard to believe anything is safe. If you haven't been affected yet, put it down to luck. But don't doubt that it is coming to an ATM near you any time soon.

DarkMarket is the story of a loose alliance of (mainly young) geeks, sufficiently bored, sufficiently savvy and sufficiently amoral, who find ways of helping themse...more
Richard
Glenny's secret here as with his earlier McMafia is to take a fragmented subject which has many real world loose ends and forge something close to a novel type structure which makes the whole story accessible. Certainly the issues here are serious although it is slightly oversold as most of the crime is credit card fraud (although there is an astonishing amount of that). Its difficult to see how our national law & order systems ever get to grips with an international problem like this partic...more
Xing
Published in 2011, an action-packed account of the events and characters involved in the rise, operation and decimation of several high-profile online marketplaces that provided a venue for scammers, credit card fraudsters, hackers, and such cyber criminals, to build reputations, form connections, and exchange goods and services.

Key insights from the book:

Cultural, political, legal and societal differences between countries give rise, as with any criminal activity, to loopholes that lawbreaker...more
Marie
This was an easy read which was actually a disappointment as I was expecting something a bit more serious and less like a novel. It was a little dumbed down which I think is unnecessary with the younger audience who surely know what the internet is but need to understand more about the dangers of using your credit card. There were a lot of characters and I occasionally got lost between remembering thier real name and thier virtual identity. There were a few loose ends but I can live with that.

I...more
Cameron
I work in this field. This is one of the most misleading inaccurate titles I've read. It doesn't give a good understanding of the field and skirts around some of the most important issues around. See the definition of viruses, trojans and worms for just how wrong this book is.

It actually hurt to read at points.

This is incredibly disappointing because Misha Glenny is a fantastic journalist who cut his teeth doing war journalism in the Balkans.
J.
Cringe-worthy.

While I had a few problems with this book, my primary one was undoubtedly the writing style, which seemed too colloquial, simplistic and almost condescending to any adult. See, for example, how the footnote on page 34 ends an explanation on the differences between viruses, worms and trojans with: "But, basically, they all do bad things to your computer."
Tim
I found this book deeply disturbing, in a way that says "truth is stranger than fiction". All the more disturbing because it is real, rather like having a nightmare only to awake to find that it wasn't a dream after all.

I can't suggest that I understood all of the technicalities but it was clear enough that there is a new underworld out there. An underworld that dabbles in things very dear to all of us, like swiping your credit card without fear. The apparent extent of the problem and the inabil...more
Lauren
This book is a mess, and it's only getting the second star because I find the subject matter interesting.

I realise that trying to find a timeline for the book would've been difficult, but this thing jumps all over the damn place (in both time and space) that it's difficult to follow the various threads of the story. There doesn't really seem to be a central character in all of it, which would've helped - even the focus on DarkMarket is muddied by the way Glenny sets it up in the context of other...more
Chad Bullard
The book "DarkMarket, Cyberthieves, Cybercops and You" by Misha Glenny brilliantly shows the dark cyber world in the internet realm. Misha Glenny uses uncanny accuracy in shedding light on the scenes behind the forums and sites that computer hackers dwell. I enjoyed playing Dungeon and Dragons while a teen. This dark world parallels Dungeon and Dragons in many ways. It does in that Dungeon and Dragon players are portrayed through their chosen characters as the cyberthieves are portrayed through...more
John
I gave this book four stars despite the fact that it is not an easy book to read and leaves you with a sense of hopelessness about the safety of anything of yours (including your own identity) that can be manipulated via the Internet. DarkMarket is explores the three fundamental threats facing us in the twenty-first century: cybercrime, cyberwarfare and cyber-industrial espionage. Governments and the private sector are losing billions of dollars each year fighting an ever-morphing, invisible,...more
Dragan Nanic
I got interested in this book when a good friend of mine and a colleague mentioned that he's reading it. The pure mention of subject made me interested. However, my friend warned me that he was hooked at the beginning but soon started struggling with it. Confusing characters, skipping from one to another and from one part of the story to another between chapters, unimportant digressions, repetitions and missing technical details are more or less the cause of it.
However, simple facts in this sto...more
Roland
Darkmarket is great investigative reporting about a murky subject. Like so many other things Internet, the perpetrators of cybercrime do things online that they'd never have the ability (or the personality) to do when dealing with people face-to-face, and they lie and inflate their self-importance as naturally as breathing or swiping credit cards.

The result of all this murkiness is a confusing book that keeps you wondering exactly who is whom and who is on which side. It's eye-opening, though. I...more
Doug Newdick
Dark Market just isn't as good as Misha Glenny's previous book McMafia. That was a roller coaster ride through the world of organised crime, funny and shocking. Dark Market is more of a short road trip to an unpleasant place populated by weird characters. The basic story is reasonably interesting (though hardly what I would call riveting) - the rise and fall of website that acted as a focal point for credit card hacking - and some of the characters are colourful enough in their own right. But, o...more
Guy Grobler
A very easy to read book about a very interesting topic.
The book reviews the development of crime and law enforcing in the Internet from its inception and goes into the details of how law enforces can work together, or (and to the determent of US law enforcing) foolishly compete and thus put in risk law enforcement operations.
It also attempts to push the point that those behind internet crime are not classic criminals and that to bring them into the fold and away from crime will require a diff...more
I-Ching
I finished reading this book last night...and this morning, I received a text notification from my credit card company alerting me to a fraudulent purchase on my account. What irony that I read a fascinating, mind-opening exposé on cybercrime, and immediately afterwards fall victim to credit card fraud. Thanks, universe, for that practical joke. Now it makes me wonder how my credit card account was compromised. I hope whoever made the online purchase with radley.co.uk is enjoying their new leath...more
Bruno
A very good journalistic essay, excellently written. The author accurately describes the cyber underworld (or almost due to conflict fantasy vs reality of many of the interviewees) and even creates a plot with the stories of RedBrigade, JilSI, Master Splynter, Script, etc, making the reading of this book extremely interesting and extremely informative. A must-read for anyone who wants to understand a little bit of what is going on in cyberspace and to understand in what extent is the illusion of...more
Andrew Robins
Nothing like as interesting as I thought it would be. I'd expected (maybe I should have read the cover blurb closer) a more detailed story of modern hacking groups (it has a person wearing an Anonymous mask on the cover, so perhaps not the stupidest of assumptions), but it is actually about a group of characters who shared credit card details / sold card skimming machines on a site a few years ago.

It quickly gets dull, though, and I struggled to care enough to see it through to the end.
Jonas Persson
I wavered between three or four stars. It's an interesting topic, and Glenny is a good story teller. However, the last third of the book was a bit disappointing, and even though the epilogue ties it together, it also makes the rest of the book feel wordy, but narrow in scope.
Jendella
I was very pleasantly surprised by this book. A fascinating story that you couldn't make up in some parts. Thoroughly engaging, action-packed and incredibly well-researched. This a densely woven story of intrigue, featuring a cast of fascinating characters and technological props that I didn't know existed. Misha Glenny has done an amazing job and although I purchased this book out of a mere passing interest, I will most certainly be reading his other one.
Keith
Thanks to the relentless march of technology, we can check email in bed, have intercontinental sex on Skype, update our blogs on the street, and even tweet on the toilet. Meanwhile, our personal information and bank accounts are easy targets for anyone with computer savvy and loose ethics. In "Dark Market," a veteran investigative reporter offers a fascinating, frightening look at cyber-crime, a subculture that���s ���part gangster, part anarchist, part Tolkien.���
Matthew Higgins
I liked it, but it is such a complicated history, and one that the author clearly acknowledges he can't verify much of, so it can be quite a muddle in places.

Overall though, I'd strongly recommend it to anyone with an interest in the internet or modern crime.
Derek Baldwin
By no means a bad book, and certainly an interesting insight into the extent of cybercrime, but a lot of the specifics are glossed over and how cybercriminals are "the new mafia" is never satisfactorily handled. The text feels like a series of articles stitched together, which is not in itself a bad thing, but it lacks coherence and is rather repetitive. Perhaps I would have enjoyed it more presented in serial fashion rather than all in the one sitting.
Amar Pai
Pretty much the exact same book as Kingpin . I mean, really similar, to the point where Glenny should be embarrassed. What's the point of retreading the exact same ground? Maybe it's just a coincidence, but the gap in publication date is big enough that DarkMarket includes Kingpin in its bibliography! And Glenny doesn't bring anything new to the table.
Peejeedee
For a non fictional fact based book it's reads surprisingly like a novel with a definitive statement and clear point of view. Sometimes a bit misleading but at the end it makes a clear conclusion and bright vision how law enforcers and governments should change up the whole system so that everyone will profit from the knowledge of hackers in stead of wasting their knowledge in detention or other ways
Annie
Really enjoyed this (and subsequently found a 'Trojan' on my computer, because this book convinced me to get an anti-virus software thingy majig).

It's a cross between a crime/thriller and a really good tv documentary. I liked it.

Would have been 5 stars but the writing got a bit messy and hard to follow towards the end.

A very worthwhile read - McMaffia's up next!
Jim Rimmer
Engrossing follow-up to McMafia with Glenny this time exploring a world of shadows and pseudonyms, high stakes and hardball. Filled with a stellar cast and compelling motives DarkMarket reads like a Boys Own Adventure for your unwitting dystopian now. These are the untold stories of the dangers that slither from the darkest crevices of the internet, and they affect us all.
Alex Wise
Enjoyed but preferred Kingpin: How One Hacker Took Over the Billion-Dollar Cybercrime Underground which had access to major players and provided an accurate representation of events.
Dave Spence
Pretty well written in terms of structure, as the writer roughly follows a linear path but splits the book into blocks focusing on the different players involved.

This removes the need to keep referring back to find out who someone is etc, since you learn about them all in one go and not in little titbits.

Bruno de Maremma
Fascinating description of the world of cyber crime, illuminated through the attempts to infiltrate the card skimming website DarkMarket and to arrest and prosecute 'some' of its members and administrators. Really scary implications for those of us who use debit, credit or other cards regulary.
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