Thursday, October 16, 2014

Books: DarkMarket

Over the years, the internet has transformed from a luxury to necessity. It is fast becoming a fundamental human right. In Finland, it already is. With internet proliferation comes a group of people who are exploiting it for making money. For instance, you have either heard about or received emails regarding the promise of treasure out of nowhere commonly referred to as the Nigerian scam. There are a whole lot of other scams. Misha Glenny uses his background in investigative journalism to trace the rise and fall of DarkMarket, one of the sites favored by hackers. In order to uncover the complex world of secrecy and anonymity, he travels from Brazil to Turkey via Scandinavian and East European countries.

Although the book chronicles the rise and fall of the website named DarkMarket, it is not a straight narrative. It does lack a chronological narrative. The book jumps back and forth between different characters and time periods. As a result, the book confuses anyone who is not reading this at a stretch. The book also will disappoint you if you are looking for conclusions. The authorities catch a major player behind the website as documented in the book. But after capture of this criminal, no one is sure if they have got the right person. The major success of the book turns out to be the shocker it delivers to a person who has adopted technology with both hands without realizing its darker side. These days, we conduct a lot of our day to day activities using the internet. Our online identities are vulnerable. An experienced hacker can effortlessly extract this information from our computers. The extracted information is sold cheaply to fraudsters who then uses it for various schemes. Any legal procedures against these people take enormous efforts, and sometimes fruitless, because these crimes extend international boundaries. With law enforcers spread across the world, it is difficult to keep it a secret and also to get everybody to  cooperate. Since there is a lot of money involved here, the organizations behind these websites are becoming like the modern mafia.

Technology makes our lives easy. At the same time, technology also has an evil side. We have been ignorant of the negative aspects. Misha Glenny wakes up from the slumber. Forget the lack of structure in the book. This book is still a must-read for you to understand the darker side of the internet. I am sure you will be afraid to use even the nearest ATM machine after reading this book.



Tags: Books,Misha Glenny,Hackers




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