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Misha Glenny
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3.75  ·  Rating Details ·  789 Ratings  ·  86 Reviews
Shortlisted for the Orwell Prize and the CWA Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction Award

The benefits of living in a digital, globalised 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 online, date, learn, work and live online. But have the institutions that keep us safe on the streets lear
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published October 4th 2011 by House of Anansi Press (first published January 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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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
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
Aug 12, 2012 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 08, 2013 Xing rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 30, 2012 Marie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fact
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.

Jul 02, 2012 Cameron rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.

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."
Nov 02, 2011 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 17, 2014 Dan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There's something off about this book, and I can't decide whether or not it's even Misha Glenny's fault. The guys involved with DarkMarket seem as vapid as the generic screen names they choose for themselves, so, in lieu of anything resembling a compelling character, technology itself steps in as the book's default protagonist. Glenny tries his best to frame the story as an international true crime thriller, but the chain of micro-events is stacked against him. Still, he does a good job of expla ...more
Kathleen Hulser
Misha Glenny tracks the personalities and networks in todays lucrative cybercrime system. It's amazing to meet the young, sometimes idealistic hacker types who set up knowledge exchanges to teach each other how to cash out credit card numbers, find security holes and operate with international online cash systems specially designed to mask identities and origins. Ukraine is a major center of activity, and interestingly Pittsburgh has developed a post-rust belt strength in cyber security.

Marti Martinson
Dec 28, 2014 Marti Martinson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I fully intended to read just 20 pages/day, which meant it would have taken me 2 weeks to read this book. Well, that did not happen. I really felt compelled to keep reading it for 2 reasons: 1) the structure, and 2) the content. With respect to number 1, I appreciated the division into books, parts, and chapters. Say what you will about me being anal retentive, this division made this huge load of information more easily "digestible" -- and a quick read.

With respect to number 2, it was revelator
Chad Bullard
May 22, 2012 Chad Bullard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 25, 2016 Paul rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is so inaccurate it's criminal. The author is so out of his depth this reads like some spoof.

Now let me get back to phishing my hacker trojan on my alienware laptop (a must have hacker accessory) so I can worm a pdf reader app into a shell and download a cracker onto my dark site through an encrypted ICQ channel.

If you read this sentence without choking (the alienware comment is a genuine line from the book, it made me giggle, so did "buffer overload") then it might be safe for you to read
Saifuddin Salim
Well the book is boring and exciting at times, it start pretty dull at first but starting chapter 14 it start picking up. The way I see from chapter 14 onward is like comic showdown between the characters main due they sound like the X-men (because of their nicknames that is) and also the structure of storytelling gets in into superheroes stuff where the good guys was betrayed and change and turn into the big evil dudes that wanted to destroy everything that get in his way, and couples of strang ...more
Jul 29, 2014 Tim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Mar 30, 2014 Lauren rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
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
May 25, 2013 Roland rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 15, 2016 Austin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good backgrounder on cyber crime. Written in 2011 but is informative on the subject of "Hacking" that is being thrown around these days.
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
Dec 13, 2012 Guy Grobler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Alex Jones
This was really interesting subject matter, but didn't quite have the treatment I wanted. Glenny seemed to really struggle to form a narrative out of the content. The writing meanders back and forth through various people, and in order to pad out the wordcount, it offers a large amount of unnecessary detail about their lives. Technical details are unfortunately sparse and unexplained and the writing often seemed to come with a lot of the author's voice and bias attached. It was definitely an int ...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
Jari Pirhonen
Inside look at cyber crime, especially credit card related crime. The book tells good story and gives lots of background information about a few criminal web-sites and hackers running them. It tells also the other side of the story: how law enforcement was working - also undercover - to catch these criminals. If you are a security professional, like me, you probably have read a lot about these events already. This book, however, combines nicely all bits and pieces and goes deep in to the backgro ...more
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 is enjoying their new leath ...more
Mar 20, 2013 Bruno rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: outros, owned
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.
Ian Bebbington
Ft review oct 2 2012. On Charlie Rose, Bloomberg 28/10/2011.
A good read but a lot of detail. particularly people to keep track of - I went back and updated a few of the characters, hope readers don't mind.. In some areas there is too much detail and rambling off subject, eg a page and a half on a cyber cops family history and a description of Pittsburgh, 3 times the space allotted to denial ofservice attacks.

It really needs an index, a glossary and a little less digression
Aug 04, 2013 Peejeedee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Amar Pai
Jul 02, 2012 Amar Pai rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gave-up-on
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.
Oct 11, 2013 Jendella rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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