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Mafiaboy: A Portrait of the Hacker as a Young Man
     

Mafiaboy: A Portrait of the Hacker as a Young Man

by Michael Calce, Craig Silverman
 

In 2000, an unknown hacker brought down the websites of Amazon, CNN, Dell, E*TRADE, eBay, and Yahoo!, inciting panic from Silicon Valley to the White House. The FBI, police, and independent security experts launched a manhunt as President Clinton covened a cyber security summit to discuss how best to protect America’s information infrastructure from future

Overview

In 2000, an unknown hacker brought down the websites of Amazon, CNN, Dell, E*TRADE, eBay, and Yahoo!, inciting panic from Silicon Valley to the White House. The FBI, police, and independent security experts launched a manhunt as President Clinton covened a cyber security summit to discuss how best to protect America’s information infrastructure from future attacks. Then, after hundreds of hours of wiretapping, law enforcement officials executed a 3 a.m. raid and came face-to-face with the most wanted criminal in cyberspace: a fifteen-year-old kid whose username was “Mafiaboy.”

Michael Calce was an ordinary kid, hanging out with friends, going to school, playing basketball . . . and working from the PC in his bedroom. Then, suddenly, he became headline news. Despite requests from every major media outlet, he has never spoken publicly about his crimes—until now.

In the years since his attacks, Calce has watched the Internet grow less secure, more dangerous, and frighteningly criminal. Average computer users are increasingly the victims of fraud, identity theft, and even extortion. Millions of people stand to lose literally everything. But we can still safeguard ourselves on the Internet; the “Mafiaboy Guide to Protecting Yourself Online”, which closes this riveting book, explains how.

Equal parts true-crime thriller and exposé, Mafiaboy is the story of how a teenager’s obsession resulted in one of the biggest Internet attacks ever. It’s also a strident warning about the dire lack of security in today’s online world. It will take you on an electrifying tour of the fast-evolving world of hacking, from the disruptions caused by Calce and his peers to the new frontier  of organized crime in the twenty-first century.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780762770557
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
08/02/2011
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

Read an Excerpt

From the Introduction:

Hot on the trail of ‘mafiaboy’ read a headline on technology news site Wired.com on February 15, 2000. That was the day Mafiaboy, my online alter ego, became a household name.
 
Before that moment, I was just an ordinary kid growing up in the suburbs. I hung out with friends, went to school, and played basketball. I was a fifteen-year-old tenth grade student living in my father’s house. Then I suddenly became international news.
 
In February 2000, the FBI named me “Mafiaboy” as a suspect in a series of online attacks that had targeted some of the giants of the Internet, including Yahoo!, eBay, CNN, and E*TRADE. Their websites had been slowed or had completely ground to a halt as a result of massive denial-of-service (DoS) attacks. Just like you would jam a phone system with a barrage of calls to prevent anyone else from getting through, someone had bombarded their web servers with so many requests that they were unable to serve content to visitors.
 
That someone was me.

Meet the Author

Michael Calce served eight months in open custody for the fifty-six charges on which he was convicted. He now writes a computer security column.

Craig Silverman is the author of Regret the Error: How Media Mistakes Pollute the Press and Imperil Free Speech. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, Vice, and Report on Business.

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