The Best Computers eBooks




The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires
by Tim Wu
The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires
Format: PDF
Size: 6.9 MB
Pages: 384

In this age of an open Internet, it is easy to forget that every American information industry, beginning with the telephone, has eventually been taken captive by some ruthless monopoly or cartel. With all our media now traveling a single network, an unprecedented potential is building for centralized control over what Americans see and hear. Could history repeat itself with the next industrial consolidation? Could the Internet — the entire flow of American information — come to be ruled by one corporate leviathan in possession of “the master switch”? That is the big question of Tim Wu’s pathbreaking book.

As Wu’s sweeping history shows, each of the new media of the twentieth century — radio, telephone, television, and film — was born free and open. Each invited unrestricted use and enterprising experiment until some would-be mogul battled his way to total domination. Here are stories of an uncommon will to power, the power over information: Adolph Zukor, who took a technology once used as commonly as YouTube is today and made it the exclusive prerogative of a kingdom called Hollywood… NBC’s founder, David Sarnoff, who, to save his broadcast empire from disruptive visionaries, bullied one inventor (of electronic television) into alcoholic despair and another (this one of FM radio, and his boyhood friend) into suicide… And foremost, Theodore Vail, founder of the Bell System, the greatest information empire of all time, and a capitalist whose faith in Soviet-style central planning set the course of every information industry thereafter.

Explaining how invention begets industry and industry begets empire — a progress often blessed by government, typically with stifling consequences for free expression and technical innovation alike — Wu identifies a time-honored pattern in the maneuvers of today’s great information powers: Apple, Google, and an eerily resurgent AT&T. A battle royal looms for the Internet’s future, and with almost every aspect of our lives now dependent on that network, this is one war we dare not tune out.

Part industrial exposé, part meditation on what freedom requires in the information age, The Master Switch is a stirring illumination of a drama that has played out over decades in the shadows of our national life and now culminates with terrifying implications for our future.

 



The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains
by Nicholas Carr
The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains
Format: PDF
Size: 4.9 MB
Pages: 276

The best-selling author of The Big Switch returns with an explosive look at technology’s effect on the mind.

“Is Google making us stupid?” When Nicholas Carr posed that question in a celebrated Atlantic Monthly cover story, he tapped into a well of anxiety about how the Internet is changing us. He also crystallized one of the most important debates of our time: As we enjoy the Net’s bounties, are we sacrificing our ability to read and think deeply? Now Carr expands his argument into the most compelling exploration of the Internet’s intellectual and cultural consequences yet published. Weaving insights from philosophy, neuroscience, and history into a rich narrative, The Shallows explains how the Net is rerouting our neural pathways, replacing the subtle mind of the book reader with the distracted mind of the screen watcher. A gripping story of human transformation played out against a backdrop of technological upheaval, The Shallows will forever alter the way we think about media and our minds..

 



The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That is Connecting the World
by David Kirkpatrick
The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That is Connecting the World
Format: PDF
Size: 6.9 MB
Pages: 384

The inside story of Facebook, told with the full, exclusive cooperation of founder Mark Zuckerberg and the company's other leaders.

In little more than half a decade, Facebook has gone from a dorm-room novelty to a company with 500 million users. It is one of the fastest growing companies in history, an essential part of the social life not only of teenagers but hundreds of millions of adults worldwide. As Facebook spreads around the globe, it creates surprising effects — even becoming instrumental in political protests from Colombia to Iran.

Veteran technology reporter David Kirkpatrick had the full cooperation of Facebook’s key executives in researching this fascinating history of the company and its impact on our lives. Kirkpatrick tells us how Facebook was created, why it has flourished, and where it is going next. He chronicles its successes and missteps, and gives readers the most complete assessment anywhere of founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the central figure in the company’s remarkable ascent. This is the Facebook story that can be found nowhere else.

How did a nineteen-year-old Harvard student create a company that has transformed the Internet and how did he grow it to its current enormous size? Kirkpatrick shows how Zuckerberg steadfastly refused to compromise his vision, insistently focusing on growth over profits and preaching that Facebook must dominate (his word) communication on the Internet. In the process, he and a small group of key executives have created a company that has changed social life in the United States and elsewhere, a company that has become a ubiquitous presence in marketing, altering politics, business, and even our sense of our own identity. This is the Facebook Effect.

 



Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age
by Clay Shirky
Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age
Format: PDF
Size: 4.5 MB
Pages: 256

The author of the breakout hit Here Comes Everybody reveals how new technology is changing us from consumers to collaborators, unleashing a torrent of creative production that will transform our world.

For decades, technology encouraged people to squander their time and intellect as passive consumers. Today, tech has finally caught up with human potential. In Cognitive Surplus, Internet guru Clay Shirky forecasts the thrilling changes we will all enjoy as new digital technology puts our untapped resources of talent and goodwill to use at last.

Since we Americans were suburbanized and educated by the postwar boom, we've had a surfeit of intellect, energy, and time-what Shirky calls a cognitive surplus. But this abundance had little impact on the common good because television consumed the lion's share of it-and we consume TV passively, in isolation from one another. Now, for the first time, people are embracing new media that allow us to pool our efforts at vanishingly low cost. The results of this aggregated effort range from mind expanding-reference tools like Wikipedia-to lifesaving-such as Ushahidi. com, which has allowed Kenyans to sidestep government censorship and report on acts of violence in real time.

Shirky argues persuasively that this cognitive surplus-rather than being some strange new departure from normal behavior-actually returns our society to forms of collaboration that were natural to us up through the early twentieth century. He also charts the vast effects that our cognitive surplus- aided by new technologies-will have on twenty-first-century society, and how we can best exploit those effects. Shirky envisions an era of lower creative quality on average but greater innovation, an increase in transparency in all areas of society, and a dramatic rise in productivity that will transform our civilization.

The potential impact of cognitive surplus is enormous. As Shirky points out, Wikipedia was built out of roughly 1 percent of the man-hours that Americans spend watching TV every year. Wikipedia and other current products of cognitive surplus are only the iceberg's tip. Shirky shows how society and our daily lives will be improved dramatically as we learn to exploit our goodwill and free time like never before.

 



WWW: Watch
by Robert J. Sawyer
WWW: Watch
Format: PDF
Size: 6.6 MB
Pages: 368

Award-winning author Robert J. Sawyer continues his "wildly thought-provoking" science fiction saga of a sentient World Wide Web. Webmind is an emerging consciousness that has befriended Caitlin Decter and grown eager to learn about her world. But Webmind has also come to the attention of WATCH, the secret government agency that monitors the Internet for any threat to the United States-and they're fully aware of Caitlin's involvement in its awakening. WATCH is convinced that Webmind represents a risk to national security and wants it purged from cyberspace. But Caitlin believes in Webmind's capacity for compassion-and she will do anything and everything necessary to protect her friend.

 



You Are Not a Gadget
by Jaron Lanier
You Are Not a Gadget
Format: PDF
Size: 3.9 MB
Pages: 221

Jaron Lanier, a Silicon Valley visionary since the 1980s, was among the first to predict the revolutionary changes the World Wide Web would bring to commerce and culture. Now, in his first book, written more than two decades after the web was created, Lanier offers this provocative and cautionary look at the way it is transforming our lives for better and for worse.

The current design and function of the web have become so familiar that it is easy to forget that they grew out of programming decisions made decades ago. The web’s first designers made crucial choices (such as making one’s presence anonymous) that have had enormous — and often unintended — consequences. What’s more, these designs quickly became “locked in,” a permanent part of the web’s very structure.

Lanier discusses the technical and cultural problems that can grow out of poorly considered digital design and warns that our financial markets and sites like Wikipedia, Facebook, and Twitter are elevating the “wisdom” of mobs and computer algorithms over the intelligence and judgment of individuals.

Lanier also shows:
How 1960s antigovernment paranoia influenced the design of the online world and enabled trolling and trivialization in online discourse
How file sharing is killing the artistic middle class;
How a belief in a technological “rapture” motivates some of the most influential technologists
Why a new humanistic technology is necessary.

Controversial and fascinating, You Are Not a Gadget is a deeply felt defense of the individual from an author uniquely qualified to comment on the way technology interacts with our culture.

 



Binge
by Tyler Oakley
Binge
Format: PDF
Size: 4.5 MB
Pages: 256

Sorry, no description about this book. :(

 



Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader
by Brent Schlender, Rick Tetzeli
Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader
Format: PDF
Size: 8.3 MB
Pages: 464

Based on the explosive cover story about Steve Jobs in Fast Company in May 2012, this is the real story of how Steve Jobs became the most famous and forward-looking CEO on Earth. Veteran journalist Brent Schlender and veteran editor Rick Tetzeli take us behind the scenes, to friends, industry insiders, and the people who knew Jobs best — but decided not to talk to Walter Isaacson. Schlender, who was friends with Jobs for 25 years, has over 100 hours of never-before-transcribed interview tapes with Jobs to draw on as well, only pieces of which made it into the Fast Company cover story.
     Brent Schlender is an enormously respected journalist, writing about technology and Silicon Valley over the past three decades, and in May 2012, his Fast Company cover story about Steve Jobs, entitled "The Lost Tapes of Steve Jobs, " broke, spawning hundreds of articles and a feeding frenzy for the book rights. Walter Isaacson's authorized biography, Steve Jobs, was a landmark publication that sold millions of copies and has been on the New York Times bestseller list for two years. But the most interesting years of Jobs's life are shortchanged, as many people refused to talk, because Jobs was still alive and because of the extraordinary haste in finishing the book in order to get it out immediately after Jobs's death.
Apple devotees and Silicon Valley tech readers will be dazzled by the array of stories from people who worked alongside him. Becoming Steve Jobs is a vividly dramatic and high-octane biography that reveals Jobs at his most colourful and volatile.

 



The Information Diet: A Case for Conscious Consumption
by Clay A. Johnson
The Information Diet: A Case for Conscious Consumption
Format: PDF
Size: 2.6 MB
Pages: 150

The modern human animal spends upwards of 11 hours out of every 24 in a state of constant consumption. Not eating, but gorging on information ceaselessly spewed from the screens and speakers we hold dear. Just as we have grown morbidly obese on sugar, fat, and flour — so, too, have we become gluttons for texts, instant messages, emails, RSS feeds, downloads, videos, status updates, and tweets.

We're all battling a storm of distractions, buffeted with notifications and tempted by tasty tidbits of information. And just as too much junk food can lead to obesity, too much junk information can lead to cluelessness. The Information Diet shows you how to thrive in this information glut — what to look for, what to avoid, and how to be selective. In the process, author Clay Johnson explains the role information has played throughout history, and why following his prescribed diet is essential for everyone who strives to be smart, productive, and sane.

In The Information Diet, you will:

Discover why eminent scholars are worried about our state of attention and general intelligence
Examine how today’s media — Big Info — give us exactly what we want: content that confirms our beliefs
Learn to take steps to develop data literacy, attention fitness, and a healthy sense of humor
Become engaged in the economics of information by learning how to reward good information providers
Just like a normal, healthy food diet, The Information Diet is not about consuming less — it’s about finding a healthy balance that works for you

 



Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World's Most Wanted Hacker
by Kevin D. Mitnick, William L. Simon, Steve Wozniak
Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World's Most Wanted Hacker
Format: PDF
Size: 7 MB
Pages: 393

Kevin Mitnick was the most elusive computer break-in artist in history. He accessed computers and networks at the world's biggest companies, and however fast the authorities were, Mitnick was faster, sprinting through phone switches, computer systems, and cellular networks. He spent years skipping through cyberspace, always three steps ahead and labeled unstoppable. For Mitnick, hacking wasn't just about technological feats; it was an old-fashioned confidence game that required guile and deception to trick the unwitting out of valuable information.

Driven by a powerful urge to accomplish the impossible, Mitnick bypassed security systems and blazed into major organizations including Motorola, Sun Microsystems, and Pacific Bell. As the FBI's net began to tighten, Mitnick went on the run, engaging in an increasingly sophisticated cat-and-mouse game that led through false identities, a host of cities, plenty of close shaves, and an ultimate showdown with the Feds, who would stop at nothing to bring him down.

Ghost in the Wires is a thrilling true story of intrigue, suspense, and unbelievable escape, and a portrait of a visionary whose creativity, skills, and persistence forced the authorities to rethink the way they pursued him, inspiring ripples that brought permanent changes in the way people and companies protect their most sensitive information.

 



I'm Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59
by Douglas Edwards
I'm Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59
Format: PDF
Size: 7.7 MB
Pages: 432

Comparing Google to an ordinary business is like comparing a rocket to an Edsel. No academic analysis or bystander’s account can capture it. Now Doug Edwards, Employee Number 59, offers the first inside view of Google, giving readers a chance to fully experience the bizarre mix of camaraderie and competition at this phenomenal company. Edwards, Google’s first director of marketing and brand management, describes it as it happened. We see the first, pioneering steps of Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the company’s young, idiosyncratic partners; the evolution of the company’s famously nonhierarchical structure (where every employee finds a problem to tackle or a feature to create and works independently); the development of brand identity; the races to develop and implement each new feature; and the many ideas that never came to pass. Above all, Edwards — a former journalist who knows how to write — captures the “Google Experience,” the rollercoaster ride of being part of a company creating itself in a whole new universe.

I’m Feeling Lucky captures for the first time the unique, self-invented, yet profoundly important culture of the world’s most transformative corporation.

 



The Filter Bubble: What the Internet is Hiding From You
by Eli Pariser
The Filter Bubble: What the Internet is Hiding From You
Format: PDF
Size: 5.2 MB
Pages: 294

An eye-opening account of how the hidden rise of personalization on the Internet is controlling-and limiting-the information we consume.

In December 2009, Google began customizing its search results for each user. Instead of giving you the most broadly popular result, Google now tries to predict what you are most likely to click on. According to MoveOn. org board president Eli Pariser, Google's change in policy is symptomatic of the most significant shift to take place on the Web in recent years-the rise of personalization. In this groundbreaking investigation of the new hidden Web, Pariser uncovers how this growing trend threatens to control how we consume and share information as a society-and reveals what we can do about it.

Though the phenomenon has gone largely undetected until now, personalized filters are sweeping the Web, creating individual universes of information for each of us. Facebook-the primary news source for an increasing number of Americans-prioritizes the links it believes will appeal to you so that if you are a liberal, you can expect to see only progressive links. Even an old-media bastion like The Washington Post devotes the top of its home page to a news feed with the links your Facebook friends are sharing. Behind the scenes a burgeoning industry of data companies is tracking your personal information to sell to advertisers, from your political leanings to the color you painted your living room to the hiking boots you just browsed on Zappos.

In a personalized world, we will increasingly be typed and fed only news that is pleasant, familiar, and confirms our beliefs-and because these filters are invisible, we won't know what is being hidden from us. Our past interests will determine what we are exposed to in the future, leaving less room for the unexpected encounters that spark creativity, innovation, and the democratic exchange of ideas.

While we all worry that the Internet is eroding privacy or shrinking our attention spans, Pariser uncovers a more pernicious and far- reaching trend on the Internet and shows how we can- and must-change course. With vivid detail and remarkable scope, The Filter Bubble reveals how personalization undermines the Internet's original purpose as an open platform for the spread of ideas and could leave us all in an isolated, echoing world.

 



In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives
by Steven Levy
In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives
Format: PDF
Size: 6.9 MB
Pages: 387

Written with full cooperation from top management, including cofounders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, this is the inside story behind Google, the most successful and most admired technology company of our time, told by one of our best technology writers.

Few companies in history have ever been as successful and as admired as Google, the company that has transformed the Internet and become an indispensable part of our lives. How has Google done it? Veteran technology reporter Steven Levy was granted unprecedented access to the company, and in this revelatory book he takes readers inside Google headquarters — the Googleplex — to show how Google works.

While they were still students at Stanford, Google cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin revolutionized Internet search. They followed this brilliant innovation with another, as two of Google’s earliest employees found a way to do what no one else had: make billions of dollars from Internet advertising. With this cash cow, Google was able to expand dramatically and take on other transformative projects: more efficient data centers, open-source cell phones, free Internet video (YouTube), cloud computing, digitizing books, and much more.

The key to Google’s success in all these businesses, Levy reveals, is its engineering mind-set and adoption of such Internet values as speed, openness, experimentation, and risk taking. After its unapologetically elitist approach to hiring, Google pampers its engineers — free food and dry cleaning, on-site doctors and masseuses — and gives them all the resources they need to succeed. Even today, with a workforce of more than 23, 000, Larry Page signs off on every hire.

But has Google lost its innovative edge? With its newest initiative, social networking, Google is chasing a successful competitor for the first time. Some employees are leaving the company for smaller, nimbler start-ups. Can the company that famously decided not to be evil still compete?

No other book has ever turned Google inside out as Levy does with In the Plex.

 



The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood
by James Gleick
The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood
Format: PDF
Size: 9.4 MB
Pages: 527

James Gleick, the author of the best sellers Chaos and Genius, now brings us a work just as astonishing and masterly: a revelatory chronicle and meditation that shows how information has become the modern era’s defining quality — the blood, the fuel, the vital principle of our world.
The story of information begins in a time profoundly unlike our own, when every thought and utterance vanishes as soon as it is born. From the invention of scripts and alphabets to the long-misunderstood talking drums of Africa, Gleick tells the story of information technologies that changed the very nature of human consciousness. He provides portraits of the key figures contributing to the inexorable development of our modern understanding of information: Charles Babbage, the idiosyncratic inventor of the first great mechanical computer; Ada Byron, the brilliant and doomed daughter of the poet, who became the first true programmer; pivotal figures like Samuel Morse and Alan Turing; and Claude Shannon, the creator of information theory itself.
And then the information age arrives. Citizens of this world become experts willy-nilly: aficionados of bits and bytes. And we sometimes feel we are drowning, swept by a deluge of signs and signals, news and images, blogs and tweets. The Information is the story of how we got here and where we are heading.

 



The Thank You Economy
by Gary Vaynerchuk
The Thank You Economy
Format: PDF
Size: 4.5 MB
Pages: 256

If this were 1923, this book would have been called "Why Radio Is Going to Change the Game"…

If it were 1995, it would be "Why Amazon Is Going to Take Over the Retailing World"…

The Thank You Economy is about something big, something greater than any single revolutionary platform. It isn't some abstract concept or wacky business strategy — it's real, and every one of us is doing business in it every day, whether we choose to recognize it or not. It's the way we communicate, the way we buy and sell, the way businesses and consumers interact online and offline. The Internet, where the Thank You Economy was born, has given consumers back their voice, and the tremendous power of their opinions via social media means that companies and brands have to compete on a whole different level than they used to.

Gone are the days when a blizzard of marketing dollars could be used to overwhelm the airwaves, shut out the competition, and grab customer awareness. Now customers' demands for authenticity, originality, creativity, honesty, and good intent have made it necessary for companies and brands to revert to a level of customer service rarely seen since our great-grandparents' day, when business owners often knew their customers personally, and gave them individual attention.

Here renowned entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk reveals how companies big and small can scale that kind of personal, one-on-one attention to their entire customer base, no matter how large, using the same social media platforms that carry consumer word of mouth. The Thank You Economy offers compelling, data-driven evidence that we have entered into an entirely new business era, one in which the companies that see the biggest returns won't be the ones that can throw the most money at an advertising campaign, but will be those that can prove they care about their customers more than anyone else. The businesses and brands that harness the word-of-mouth power from social media, those that can shift their culture to be more customer-aware and fan-friendly, will pull away from the pack and profit in today's markets.

Filled with Vaynerchuk's irrepressible candor and wit, as well as real-world examples of companies that are profiting by putting Thank You Economy principles into practice, The Thank You Economy reveals how businesses can harness all the changes and challenges inherent in social media and turn them into tremendous opportunities for profit and growth.

 



The Most Human Human: What Talking with Computers Teaches Us About What It Means to Be Alive
by Brian Christian
The Most Human Human: What Talking with Computers Teaches Us About What It Means to Be Alive
Format: PDF
Size: 5.4 MB
Pages: 303

The Most Human Human is a provocative, exuberant, and profound exploration of the ways in which computers are reshaping our ideas of what it means to be human. Its starting point is the annual Turing Test, which pits artificial intelligence programs against people to determine if computers can “think.”

Named for computer pioneer Alan Turing, the Tur­ing Test convenes a panel of judges who pose questions — ranging anywhere from celebrity gossip to moral conundrums — to hidden contestants in an attempt to discern which is human and which is a computer. The machine that most often fools the panel wins the Most Human Computer Award. But there is also a prize, bizarre and intriguing, for the Most Human Human.

In 2008, the top AI program came short of passing the Turing Test by just one astonishing vote. In 2009, Brian Christian was chosen to participate, and he set out to make sure Homo sapiens would prevail.

The author’s quest to be deemed more human than a com­puter opens a window onto our own nature. Interweaving modern phenomena like customer service “chatbots” and men using programmed dialogue to pick up women in bars with insights from fields as diverse as chess, psychiatry, and the law, Brian Christian examines the philosophical, bio­logical, and moral issues raised by the Turing Test.

One central definition of human has been “a being that could reason.” If computers can reason, what does that mean for the special place we reserve for humanity?

 



Zero Day
by Mark Russinovich, Howard A. Schmidt
Zero Day
Format: PDF
Size: 5.8 MB
Pages: 328

An airliner's controls abruptly fail mid-flight over the Atlantic. An oil tanker runs aground in Japan when its navigational system suddenly stops dead. Hospitals everywhere have to abandon their computer databases when patients die after being administered incorrect dosages of their medicine. In the Midwest, a nuclear power plant nearly becomes the next Chernobyl when its cooling systems malfunction.

At first, these random computer failures seem like unrelated events. But Jeff Aiken, a former government analyst who quit in disgust after witnessing the gross errors that led to 9/11, thinks otherwise. Jeff fears a more serious attack targeting the U. S. computer infrastructure is already under way. And as other menacing computer malfunctions pop up around the world, some with deadly results, he realizes that there isn't much time if he hopes to prevent an international catastrophe.

Written by a global authority on cyber security, Zero Day presents a chilling "what if" scenario that, in a world completely reliant on technology, is more than possible today — it's a cataclysmic disaster just waiting to happen.

 



Kingpin: How One Hacker Took Over the Billion-Dollar Cybercrime Underground
by Kevin Poulsen
Kingpin: How One Hacker Took Over the Billion-Dollar Cybercrime Underground
Format: PDF
Size: 5.1 MB
Pages: 288

Former hacker Kevin Poulsen has, over the past decade, built a reputation as one of the top investigative reporters on the cybercrime beat. In Kingpin, he pours his unmatched access and expertise into book form for the first time, delivering a gripping cat-and-mouse narrative — and an unprecedented view into the twenty-first century’s signature form of organized crime.
The word spread through the hacking underground like some unstoppable new virus: Someone — some brilliant, audacious crook — had just staged a hostile takeover of an online criminal network that siphoned billions of dollars from the US economy.
The FBI rushed to launch an ambitious undercover operation aimed at tracking down this new kingpin; other agencies around the world deployed dozens of moles and double agents. Together, the cybercops lured numerous unsuspecting hackers into their clutches… Yet at every turn, their main quarry displayed an uncanny ability to sniff out their snitches and see through their plots.
The culprit they sought was the most unlikely of criminals: a brilliant programmer with a hippie ethic and a supervillain’s double identity. As prominent “white-hat” hacker Max “Vision” Butler, he was a celebrity throughout the programming world, even serving as a consultant to the FBI. But as the black-hat “Iceman,” he found in the world of data theft an irresistible opportunity to test his outsized abilities. He infiltrated thousands of computers around the country, sucking down millions of credit card numbers at will. He effortlessly hacked his fellow hackers, stealing their ill-gotten gains from under their noses. Together with a smooth-talking con artist, he ran a massive real-world crime ring.
And for years, he did it all with seeming impunity, even as countless rivals ran afoul of police.
Yet as he watched the fraudsters around him squabble, their ranks riddled with infiltrators, their methods inefficient, he began to see in their dysfunction the ultimate challenge: He would stage his coup and fix what was broken, run things as they should be run — even if it meant painting a bull’s-eye on his forehead.
Through the story of this criminal’s remarkable rise, and of law enforcement’s quest to track him down, Kingpin lays bare the workings of a silent crime wave still affecting millions of Americans. In these pages, we are ushered into vast online-fraud supermarkets stocked with credit card numbers, counterfeit checks, hacked bank accounts, dead drops, and fake passports. We learn the workings of the numerous hacks — browser exploits, phishing attacks, Trojan horses, and much more — these fraudsters use to ply their trade, and trace the complex routes by which they turn stolen data into millions of dollars. And thanks to Poulsen’s remarkable access to both cops and criminals, we step inside the quiet, desperate arms race that law enforcement continues to fight with these scammers today.  
Ultimately, Kingpin is a journey into an underworld of startling scope and power, one in which ordinary American teenagers work hand in hand with murderous Russian mobsters and where a simple Wi-Fi connection can unleash a torrent of gold worth millions.

 



Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World's First Digital Weapon
by Kim Zetter
Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World's First Digital Weapon
Format: PDF
Size: 7.2 MB
Pages: 406

In January 2010, inspectors with the International Atomic Energy Agency noticed that centrifuges at a uranium enrichment plant in Iran were failing and being replaced at an unprecedented rate. The cause of their failure was a complete mystery.

Five months later, a seemingly unrelated event occurred. A computer security firm in Belarus was called in to troubleshoot some computers in Iran that were caught in a reboot loop — crashing and rebooting repeatedly. At first, technicians with the firm believed the malicious code they found on the machines was a simple, routine piece of malware. But as they and other experts around the world investigated, they discovered a virus of unparalleled complexity and mysterious provenance and intent. They had, they soon learned, stumbled upon the world’s first digital weapon.

Stuxnet, as it came to be known, was unlike any other virus or worm built before: It was the first attack that reached beyond the computers it targeted to physically destroy the equipment those computers controlled. It was an ingenious attack, jointly engineered by the United States and Israel, that worked exactly as planned, until the rebooting machines gave it all away.

And the discovery of Stuxnet was just the beginning: Once the digital weapon was uncovered and deciphered, it provided clues to other tools lurking in the wild. Soon, security experts found and exposed not one but three highly sophisticated digital spy tools that came from the same labs that created Stuxnet. The discoveries gave the world its first look at the scope and sophistication of nation-state surveillance and warfare in the digital age.

Kim Zetter, a senior reporter at Wired, has covered hackers and computer security since 1999 and is one of the top journalists in the world on this beat. She was among the first reporters to cover Stuxnet after its discovery and has authored many of the most comprehensive articles about it. In COUNTDOWN TO ZERO DAY: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World’s First Digital Weapon, Zetter expands on this work to show how the code was designed and unleashed and how its use opened a Pandora’s Box, ushering in an age of digital warfare in which any country’s infrastructure — power grids, nuclear plants, oil pipelines, dams — is vulnerable to the same kind of attack with potentially devastating results. A sophisticated digital strike on portions of the power grid, for example, could plunge half the U. S. into darkness for weeks or longer, having a domino effect on all other critical infrastructures dependent on electricity.

 






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