Read Fatal System Error: The Hunt for the New Crime Lords Who Are Bringing Down the Internet by Joseph Menn Free Online
Book Title: Fatal System Error: The Hunt for the New Crime Lords Who Are Bringing Down the Internet|
The author of the book: Joseph Menn
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 730 KB
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Reader ratings: 5.4
Date of issue: January 26th 2010
ISBN 13: 9780786746293
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When I started making entries for GoodReads, I noted that the 5-step rating system was flawed, in that the lowest rating had to be for books so bad that I would in effect be telling people not to bother with these, and that the highest rating had to be for must-read books I felt everyone should read. This left only the three intermediate ratings, which hence automatically meant that the middle 3-star rating had to be for books that ranged from acceptable to well worth reading, the preceding 2-star rating had to be for books that were not the worst I had seen but provided little in the way of entertainment of worthwhile knowledge, and the remaining 4-star rating had to be for books that were better than average but not quite in the must-read category. This book gets five stars; it is an absolute must-read, especially for anyone who has anything to do with computers, and I wish I had the money and wherewithal to send copies to President Obama and every member of Congress--and the wherewithal to force them to read it.
Joseph Menn was a business writer for ten years at the Los Angeles Times and left there last year to join the London-based Financial Times in San Francisco. This book grew out of his investigative reporting work at the Times, where he became acquainted with the activities of Barrett Lyon, a California computer whiz who started his own company in his early 20s to provide computer network security to businesses that were being hacked or otherwise attacked by cyber criminals. Lyon soon realized that the people providing the financial support for his company were also criminals--and, moreover, that his company was being used to protect the computer networks of criminal gangs involved in botnet piracy and other nefarious activities. Lyon on his own started tracking these people though the networks, finding that many of them were Russian teenagers. As part of this investigation, he came into contact with an English police officer, named Andy Crocker, who was doing the same sort of investigation but on an official basis, rather than as a private hobby. Together, although very much acting separately, the two began to home in on the bad guys, watching as they moved from simple hacking to denial-of-service ransom schemes, then to identify theft, and finally to government-supported cyber attacks on other nations.
All of that provides an astonishingly engrossing story that almost reads as a novel, combined with fascinating accounts of police/government indifference and the growing interaction between the teenage hackers and the established underworld ... but the story is really just background for some blood-curdling conclusions that Menn draws at the end of the book with respect to our susceptibility to cyber-attacks by Chinese and Russian government-supported technologists. On the one hand, I decided very early in the book that I would never play online poker; on the other hand, I am now close to being afraid to connect to the Internet at all!
This book was written by a science reporter who knows how to talk about technical subjects without being so technical that his readers cannot understand what he is saying, and who interviewed most of the people being discussed, both good and bad, here and abroad. Underlying the easy-reading prose style is a vast background of research, well-documented at the end of the book. Everyone should read it--and then write to his/her political representatives to demand that something be done about the known dangers before it is too late.
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Read information about the authorJoseph Menn’s third book, "Fatal System Error: The Hunt for the New Crime Lords Who are Bringing Down the Internet," was published in the US in January 2010 and in the UK in February 2010 by PublicAffairs Books. Part true-life thriller and part expose, it became an immediate bestseller, with Menn interviewed on national television and radio programs in the US, Canada and elsewhere. Menn has spoken at major security conferences on his findings, which include hard evidence that the governments of Russia and China are protecting and directing the behavior of some of the world’s worst cyber-criminals.
“Fatal System Error accurately reveals the secretive global cyber cartels and their hidden multibillion-dollar business, proving cybercrime does pay and pays well,” said Richard A. Clarke, special advisor to President George W. Bush for cyber security and author of Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror. The New Yorker magazine said it was “riveted” by the tale, comparing it to the novels of Stieg Larsson.
Menn has reported on technology for more than a decade at the Financial Times and the Los Angeles Times, mostly from his current base in San Francisco. His coverage areas for the FT include technology security and privacy, digital media, and the PC industry. He is a two-time finalist for the Loeb Award, the most prestigious in financial journalism, for coverage of Microsoft and the Hollywood writers’ strike. Earlier, he won a "Best in Business" award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers for tobacco coverage at Bloomberg News, where as legal editor he directed stories that revealed the landmark settlement talks between the cigarette companies and the states.
His previous books include "All the Rave: The Rise and Fall of Shawn Fanning’s Napster," the definitive 2003 work selected as a book-of-the-year finalist by the trade group Investigative Reporters & Editors Inc. All the Rave reversed the conventional wisdom on what had been the most exhaustively covered start-up of the era. The New York Times wrote that All the Rave "provides a well-documented history of one of the most celebrated collapses of the Internet. But it goes far deeper, giving an inside account of the creation of Napster, the battle for its control and the maneuvering by big Silicon Valley names to try to turn music piracy into gold."
Menn is also co-author of The People vs. Big Tobacco: How the States Took on the Cigarette Giants (1998) and a principal editor of The Chronology: The Documented Day-by-Day Account of the Secret Military Assistance to Iran and the Contras (1987). He was taught advanced technology and business writing at the University of California at Berkeley’s graduate school of journalism and lectured at other universities and conferences.
Menn began his professional career at The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer. He grew up in the Boston area and graduated with honors from Harvard College, where he was executive editor of The Harvard Crimson.