Spam Nation: The Inside Story of Organized Cybercrime — from Global Epidemic to Your Front Door
In Spam Nation, investigative journalist and cybersecurity expert Brian Krebs unmasks the criminal masterminds driving some of the biggest spam and hacker operations targeting Americans and their bank accounts. Tracing the rise, fall, and alarming resu ...more
Krebs has been engaged in a little war with Russian spammers: getting onto their forums, looking for weak points like abuse-friendly ISPs or payment processors, and blowing the whistle on them; he’s been heavily aided by the feuding community leaking lots of information and vouches to him, and the book revolves around one he’s hyped up as the ‘Pharma Wars’. All the leaks me...more
This book illustrates just how difficult it is to write a first book, even if the author has a long career as a writer writing short pieces. Krebs has trouble deciding which things require longer explanation and which can be glossed over. For example, at one point he points out the importance of understanding what IP addresses are, but Krebs would have done well to spend much more time going into detail about what an IP address is, why it is impor ...more
Krebs states that Russia is the key spam Nation with skilled hackers and corrupt police and is now the global epicenter of cyber cri ...more
Audio book: Christopher Lane does a decent job. He has a passable Russian accent, but for some reason he didn't always use it for the Russian characters. I wouldn't have done this in audio except it was on sale. I wouldn't bother with the audio book otherwise, and you'd be better off borrowing this from the library.
I continue to be fascinated by computer crime. This is another ...more
The book follows the history of email spam in its heyday. It’s actually been declining in favor of phishing, ransomware, and other scams.
It turns out the vast majority of spam came from Russia from onl ...more
I think it fell a bit into the pitfall that some non-fiction writers fall into in terms of following the narrative of such a small number of people; I would have liked to see more about other folks involved in the spam wars (including anti-spammers), but I understand why the book was structured the way it was.
For the most part, Krebs does a good job of not getting bogged down with technical details, but still explaining technical matter ...more
In Spam Nation, Brian Krebs covers a key portion of our cyber security and cyber crime history: 2007–2013, that period when we started to learn about the Russian Business Network, bulletproof-hosting providers, fast-flux obfuscation, criminal best business practices, underground cyber crime forums, and strange-sounding botnet names like Conficker, Rustock, Storm, and Waledac. This period just happens to coincide with Krebs’s rise in popularity as one of the leading cyber securit ...more
The parts on why people buy from spammers were really interesting, which point to why most of the big pharma companies don't really want to investigate them, as it mostly seems that they sell the same s ...more
An interesting, richly detailed account of the cyber crime ecosystem. I must admit I was slightly bemused by the fact that the author doesn't know that Livejournal was an American company sold to a Russian one, not the other way around (at one point he says that Russian Livejournal bought Six Apart and I was like ORLY? Also remember when having a MovableType install as a blogger was like buying a BMW? *sigh*) ... but this is just olds on the internet ...more
Do you know someone who has had their email account hacked? A few years ...more
Specifically for the audible version: big parts were spoken with a to my ears Russian accent, a nice touch to indicate the words of the Russian people involved.
I've often wondered just how profitable it is to spam people. I mean, if it wasn't profitable people wouldn't be doing it. The vast majority of us despise spam and we go to great lengths to avoid it. We set up elaborate spam filters on our email, or we pointedly choose email providers that will do that for us.
As with so many things, the different components of it are outsourced to different gro ...more
You probably wouldn't be reading this blog, or this review as posted on-line, if you didn't know what 'spam' is, or if you only thought it was a canned meat-like food. And if you know what spam is, you probably find it annoying -- a clutter filling your email in-box -- but not necessarily dangerous. You would be wrong.
Brian Krebs, the cybersecurity expert who first reported the infamous security breach at Target®, is a j ...more
For those who in IT Security (as I am) or curious about spam industry and history this is an excellent book. The narrator does an A+ job and even talks in Russian and New York accents when recounting discussions. You will get a chuckle at times at the absurdity of various conversations Krebs had with cyber criminals.
I think in one sense the cyber criminals come off as humanized and everyday citizens ...more
The Partnerka harvests millions of email addresses (with a special focus on the US) and spams them relentlessly through armies of botnets (networks of infected computers) in an attempt to sell everything from unregulated drugs to illegally copied software to child porn. The Pa ...more
Unfortunately the spam will go on and even though some of the actors in the book have been taken down, plenty more where that comes from.
I think it covers a lot, and does well in conveying the intended information.
I did learn quite a few things about how spammers and online pharmaceuticals work that I didn't know before.
Like any other cyber crime books, it always makes you a bit worried about your own security and whether you are doing enough.
The book was focused around the Russians a lot, but th ...more
Krebs provided great detail of the schemes behind botnets, how they are developed and modified, and then sold in a "busines ...more
Kreb's writing may not be my favorite writer style wise (a bit dry), but I think he is very good investigate journalist ...more
"If you ever get a call from Brian Krebs, just accept that you are going to have a really bad day ... He seems like a great guy, but I never want to be anywhere near him. Bad stuff just keeps happening to him."
Krebs has made a name for himself as an investigative reporter who sees cyber crime as his beat. Everyone in cybersecurity - criminals and researchers alike - follows his blog. If your organization gets infec ...more
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