read: 27 January 2014
The fascinating thing that I did not know about this book before I started reading it was that Poulsen, the author and now senior editor of Wired, is a former black-hat hacker who did some prison time. This explains, I think, some of the parts of this book that I liked the best: the really thorough and knowledgeable explanations of the hacks, the lengthy discussions he seems to have had with everyone involved in order to get a good story and the general understanding of how things like IRC and BBSes and other stuff like that worked. As a reader who knows how this stuff works who is often reading books written by people who don’t know, I was really excited to get to read a book written for people like me. Poulsen is a thorough researcher and turned the whole story of Max Vision (Butler) into a linear tale of one guy and the decisions that he makes that turn him into one of the most powerful guys in the online credit card data trading markets. Along the way you learn about these markets, the other players in them and some stuff about Silicon Valley back before the first bubble burst.
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