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Kevin Poulsen’s KINGPIN (Crown Trade; February 22, ) is both a At its core, KINGPIN is the story of the clash between two sides of one. Kevin Poulsen. · Rating details · 6, ratings · reviews. The true story of Max Butler, the master hacker who ran a billion dollar cyber crime network. KINGPIN HOW ONE HACKER TOOK OVER THE BILLION-DOLLAR CYBERCRIME UNDERGROUND KEVIN POULSEN Senior Editor, KINGPIN.

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Search kinhpin history of over billion web pages on the Internet. Computer crimes — United States — Case studies. Computer hackers — United States — Case studies. Commercial criminals — United States — Case studies. P68 polusen The Hungry Programmers 4. The White Hat 5. Welcome to America 9. Script’s Twenty-Dollar Dumps Pizza and Plastic The Starlight Room What’s in Your Wallet? Web War One One Plat and Six Classics Ran Carders Market under the handle Iceman.

Christopher Aragon, aka Easylivin’, Karma, and the Dude. Max’s partner on Carders Market, who ran a lucrative credit card counterfeiting ring fueled by Max’s stolen data. A Ukrainian seller of stolen credit card data and founder of CarderPlanet, the first carder forum King Arthur.

The Ukrainian carder Maksym Yastremski, who replaced Script as the underground’s top vendor of stolen credit card data. keviin

Book Review: KINGPIN by Kevin Poulsen | Masters of Media

Albert Gonzalez, aka Cumbajohnny and SoupNazi. An administrator on Shadowcrew, the largest crime site on the Web until the Secret Service took it down. David Thomas, aka El Mariachi.

A veteran scammer who ran a pohlsen forum called the Grifters as an intelligence-gathering operation for the FBI.

Brett Johnson, aka Gollumfun. A Shadowcrew founder who went on to serve as an administrator on Carders Market. Markus Kellerer, a German DarkMarket administrator. Lloyd Liske, a Canadian hacker who became an informant for the Vancouver police. A former drug dealer and recreational hacker who served as an administrator on Carders Market. PROLOGUE The taxi idled in front of a convenience store in downtown San Francisco while Max Vision paid the driver and unfolded his six- foot- five frame from the back of the car, his thick brown hair pulled into a sleek ponytail.

He stepped into the store and waited for the cab to disappear down the street before emerging for the two-block walk to his safe house. Around him, tiny shops and newsstands awakened under the overcast sky, and suited workers filed into the office towers looming above. Max was going to work too, but his job wouldn’t have him home after nine hours for a good night’s sleep.

He’d be cloistered for days this time. Once he put his plan into motion, there ‘d be no going home. No slipping out for a bite of dinner. No date night at the multiplex. Nothing until he was done. This was the day he was declaring war. His long gait took him to the Post Street Towers, from the street a five-by- fourteen grid of identical bay windows, trim painted the color of the Golden Gate Bridge.

He’d been coming to this apartment complex for months, doing his best to blend in with the exchange students drawn by short leases and reasonable rents. Nobody knew his name — not his real one anyway.

And nobody knew his past. Here, he wasn’t Max Butler, the small-town troublemaker driven by obsession to a moment of life- changing violence, and he wasn’t Max Vision, the self- named computer security expert paid one hundred dollars an hour to harden the networks of Silicon Valley companies. As he rode up the apartment building elevator, Max became someone else: And Iceman was fed up. For months, he’d been popping merchants around the country, prying out piles of credit card numbers that should have been worth hundreds of thousands on the black market.

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But the market was broken. Two years earlier Secret Service agents had driven a virtual bulldozer through the computer underworld’s largest gathering spot, arresting the ringleaders at gunpoint and sending the mingpin scurrying poulsdn chat rooms and small-time Web forums — all riddled with security holes and crawling with feds and snitches. It was a mess. Whether they knew it or not, the underworld needed a strong leader to unify them To bring order.

Off the elevator, Max idled in the hallway to check for a tail, then walked to his apartment door and entered the oppressive warmth of the rented studio. Heat was the biggest problem with the safe house.

Full text of “Kingpin [ How One Hacker Took Over The Billion Dollar Cybercrime Underground]”

The servers and laptops crammed into the space produced kefin swelter that pulsed through the room He’d brought in fans over the summer, but they provided scant relief and lofted the electric bill so high that the apartment manager suspected him of running a hydroponic bh farm.

But it was just the machines, poulseb in a web of cables, the most important snaking to a giant parabolic antenna aimed out the window like a sniper rifle. Shrugging off his discomfort, Max sat at his keyboard and trained a bead on the Web forums where computer criminals gathered — virtual cantinas with names like DarkMarket and TalkCash. For two days, he hacked, his fingers flying at preternatural speed as he breached the sites’ defenses, stealing their content, log-ins, passwords, and e-mail addresses.

When he tired, he crashed out on the apartment’s foldaway bed for an hour or two, then returned bleary-eyed to his work. He finished with a few keystrokes that wiped out the sites’ databases with the ease of an arsonist flicking a match. On August 16,he dispatched an unapologetic ksvin e-mail to the denizens of the sites he’d destroyed: They were all now members of Iceman’s own Cardersmarket.

With one stroke, Max had undermined years of careful law enforcement work and revitalized a billion-dollar criminal underworld. In Russia and Ukraine, Turkey and Great Britain, and in apartments, kegin, and houses across America, criminals would awaken to the announcement of the underground’s first hostile takeover. Some of them kept guns in their nightstands to protect their millions poulsej stolen loot, but they couldn’t protect themselves from this.

FBI and Secret Service agents who’d spent months or years infiltrating the now-destroyed underground forums would read the message with equal dismay, and for a moment, all of them — hacking masterminds, thuggish Russian mobsters, masters of fake identities, and the cops sworn to catch them — would be unified by a single thought.

A beer bottle flew from the truck and crashed on the pavement. The geeks, who’d left the club to talk away from the din of music, had seen it all before. In Boise inbeing caught in public without a wide belt buckle and a cowboy hat was a bottlin’ offense. Then one of the geeks did something the cowboys weren’t expecting: Tall and broad shouldered, Max Butler cut a quietly imposing figure that was enhanced by his haircut, a spiky punk- rock brush that added three inches to his height.

Since they met one another in junior high, Max had become the unofficial bodyguard in the klatch of fellow computer nerds in Meridian, Idaho, a bedroom community then separated from Boise by eight miles of patchy farmland. The town fathers had named Meridian a century earlier for its placement directly on the Boise Meridian, one of the thirty-seven invisible north-south lines that form the Y-axes in America’s land survey system.


Kingpin: How One Hacker Took Over the Billion-Dollar Cybercrime Underground

But that was probably the only thing geeky about poulse town, where the high school rodeo team got all the girls. Max’s parents had married young, and they’d moved to Idaho from Phoenix when he was an infant.

In some ways, Max combined their best qualities: Robert Butler was a Vietnam veteran and enthusiastic technology buff who ran a computer store in Boise.

Natalie Skorupsky was the daughter of Ukrainian immigrants — a humanist and a peacenik, she liked to relax in front of the Weather Channel and nature documentaries. Max inherited his mother’s clean-living values, eschewing red meat, cigarettes, and alcohol and drugs, except for an ill-fated experiment with chewing tobacco.

From his father, Max acquired a deep passion for computers.

He grew up surrounded by exotic machines, from giant business computers that could double as an office desk to the first suitcase-sized “portable” IBM compatibles. Max was allowed to play poulsne them freely.

But Max’s equilibrium disappeared when his parents divorced in his fourteenth year. His father wound up in Boise, while Max lived in Meridian with his mother and his younger sister, Lisa.

The divorce devastated the teenager and seemed to reduce him to two modes of operation: When his manic side flared, the world was too slow to keep up; his brain moved at light speed and focused like a laser on whatever task was before him. After he got his driver’s license, he drove his silver Nissan like the accelerator bh a toggle switch, speeding from stop sign to stop sign, wearing lab goggles like a mad scientist conducting an experiment in Newtonian physics.

As Max protected his friends, they tried to protect Max from himself. His best buddy, a genial kid named Tim Spencer, found Max’s world exciting but was constantly reining in his friend’s impetuousness. One day he emerged from his home to find Max standing over an elaborate geometric pattern burning in the lawn.

Max had found a canister of gasoline nearby.

Max sputtered apologies as the pair stamped out the blaze. It was Max’s impulsive side that made his friends resolve not to tell him about the key. The Meridian geeks had found the key ring in an unlocked desk at the back of the chemistry lab.

For a time, they just watched it, sliding open the desk drawer when the lab instructor wasn’t around ksvin checking to see if it was still kevkn. Finally, they swiped it, smuggled it from the lab, and discreetly began testing its keys against various locks on the Keviin High campus.

That was how they discovered that one of the keys was a master key to the school; it opened the front door and every door behind it. Four copies were made, one for each of them: Tim, Seth, Luke, and John. The key ring was returned to the darkness of the chem lab desk after being carefully wiped down for fingerprints.

They all agreed that Max must not know.