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Dimensions:
234 × 156 × 35 mm
344 pages
Format:
Hardback
ISBN:
9781789142853
Published:
10 Aug 2020

Crime Dot Com From Viruses to Vote Rigging, How Hacking Went Global Geoff White

On 4 May 2000, an email that read ‘kindly check the attached LOVELETTER’ was sent from Philippines. Attached was a virus, the Love Bug, and within days it had paralysed banks, broadcasters and businesses across the globe. The age of Crime Dot Com had begun.

Geoff White charts the astonishing development of hacking, from its birth among the ruins of the Eastern Bloc to its coming of age as the most pervasive threat to our connected world. He takes us inside the workings of real-life cybercrimes, revealing how the tactics of high-tech crooks are now being harnessed by nation states.

From Ashley Madison to election rigging, Crime Dot Com is a thrilling account of hacking, past and present, and of what the future might hold.

‘Arguing that cybercrime has grown in power and in danger, journalist White offers a well-written, expertly researched examination of the topic. Relying on published reports and in-depth interviews, the author looks at three different facets: cybercrime gangs, 'hacktivist' movements, and ways in which nation states use cybercrimes. White is at his best when describing this seemingly legally sanctioned hacking, such as in Russia and North Korea. In vivid detail, he explores the 2015 raid on Bangladesh’s Central Bank; the movement Anonymous, which has made attacks on governments; and ways in which data is hacked for profit . . . This is a fascinating, often gripping read, and a solid update to Brian Krebs’s Spam Nation . . . For true crime and technology enthusiasts in search of an overview of cybercrime.’ — Library Journal

‘Journalist White uses the stories of different hacks, dating from the 1980s to the 2016 election, to connect illicit activity on the earliest Internet forums to today's cyberattacks by hacktivists and state-sanctioned hacking teams. He humanizes this history by highlighting the people behind the tech: the Filipino student who unleashed the Love Bug, one of the first global cyberattacks to rely on psychological manipulation; the former cybercriminal who worked with the FBI to bring down Silk Road, a dark Web black market for illegal drugs (a scheme that involved him faking his own death); and the audio producer who lost thousands of dollars in a scam that exploited personal information stolen from telecommunications company TalkTalk.’ — Scientific American

‘Brilliantly researched and written, Crime Dot Com is a vivid insight into the scale of the threat to us all from crime born of and facilitated by the digital age.’ — Jon Snow, Channel 4 News

‘Geoff White is one of the most authoritative reporters on cybercrime and Crime Dot Com is an informative, accessible and entertaining tour of the cyber underworld. If you want to understand everything from ransomware to nation state attacks on key infrastructure this is an excellent primer.’ — Rory Cellan-Jones, BBC News

‘Geoff White offers up a comprehensive and intelligible account of the elusive world of hacking and cybercrime over the last two decades. He ranges from the lone hacktivist to state-sponsored surveillance, from the Love Bug to the Lazarus Group, from Snowden’s revelations to the Huawei controversy. His book is, thankfully, jargon-free, keeping a tight focus on the humans involved rather than the technology. It is lively, insightful and, often, alarming.’ — Ewen MacAskill, former Chief Political Correspondent for the Guardian

‘Geoff White writes with insight and flair about a subject that concerns everyone – or should do. Criminals, hooligans, hostile state actors and terrorists attack our computers and networks every minute of every day. Our money, security and freedom are at risk. Yet the public is still pitifully unaware of the threats we face – and what we need to do to protect ourselves at an individual, business and government level. Crime Dot Com joins the dots, painting a well-informed, easy-to-understand and up-to-date picture of the mounting dangers caused by our complacency, greed and ignorance.’ — Edward Lucas, author of Deception: Spies, Lies and How Russia Dupes the West


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Geoff White is an investigative journalist who has covered technology for numerous outlets, including the BBC and Channel 4 News.

Author’s Note
Introduction

1 Meet the Hackers
2 Fall of the Berlin Firewall
3 Ocean’s 11 Dot Com
4 Digital Extortion
5 Your Data for Sale
6 Beyond the Dark Web
7 The Internet Hate Machine
8 Lights Out
9 Weaponizing Data
10 Hack the Vote

Epilogue
References
Further Reading
Acknowledgements
Index