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Mafiaboy: How I Cracked the Internet and Why It's Still Broken Hardcover – Sep 30 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Canada; First Edition edition (Sept. 30 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670067482
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670067480
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 15.9 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 458 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #442,197 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Craig Silverman is a journalist and the founder of RegretTheError.com, a Web site compiling media errors that receives tens of thousands of visitors every month. He is a columnist for the Globe and Mail and for Hour, a Montreal weekly, and his writing has appeared in publications including The New York Times, the Montreal Gazette, and Editor & Publisher.

Michael Calce gained noteriety as the hacker Mafiaboy. He now uses his knowledge to help people and businesses protect themselves online.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

By Miguel B. Ouellet on April 12 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Its was a super deal and the product look fine. A bunch of year then im looking for this book. Thanks a lot!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By NorthVan Dave on Aug. 11 2009
Format: Hardcover
For those of you with memories that go far back enough, back in February 2000, several large scale Denial of Service (DoS) attacks went out to sites such as Amazon, CNN, and E*Trade.The attacks were large enough that they crippled the aforementioned sites and resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars of lost productivity and revenue. After a joint investigation by the FBI and RCMP, the culprit was identified by his on-line username: Mafiaboy.

This book details how the then 15 year old went about creating his DoS attacks and why he did it. The book also provides a brief glimpse in to hacker culture and the oneupmanship that takes place in this community. Yes, mafiaboy (real name Michael Calce) does his share of bragging and at times it does seem to be a bit much. But then again if you crashed some of the larger sites on the internet, wouldn't you be bragging as well?

In short I liked this book. It was well written and I found it to be very interesting to read. If you're in to hacker culture and are interested in those internet attacks low-those years ago, then give this book a read.
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5 of 11 people found the following review helpful By T. Quiring on Dec 7 2008
Format: Hardcover
Mafiaboy - How I Cracked The Internet & Why It's Still Broke reads more like a "what I did last summer" essay combined with a school research project than a true authoritative look at the problems inherent with security and the internet. I found Mr. Calce's tale to be built more on ego and teenage swagger than on remorse. Granted, he did learn some good coding skills in his early career, but I find it hard to believe that an otherwise seemingly well-behaved kid had no foresight into the wrongness of his activities. At times I did wonder who he was trying to convince - himself, his family, or readers - that his foray into piracy, hacking and bot herding was nothing more than an innocent quest for knowledge gone wrong.

While I understand the lure of power and being able to do something no one else (or very few) can do, Mr. Calce broke the law, and he deserved all he got. Although he cautions others against following in his footsteps as the end result is not worth the brief intoxication of power, my respect falls on the side of the RCMP and FBI agents who put an end to Mafiaboy's thoughtless attacks. I do not feel that his inclusion of very basic internet security information in any way redeems the millions of dollars in damage and lost time he caused.

I freely admit to harbouring ill-feelings towards script-kiddies and bot herders - feelings developed through firsthand experiences as our own network fell victim to botnet DDoS attacks. That said, I tried to not let that experience influence my opinion of this book, and I think that for the most part I succeeded. I was able to read this book more from an educated point of view in regards to internet and network security rather than as a neophyte. However, try as I might, I found very few redeeming qualities in Mafiaboy.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5 reviews
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Not Worth The Read Dec 7 2008
By T. Quiring - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Mafiaboy - How I Cracked The Internet & Why It's Still Broke reads more like a "what I did last summer" essay combined with a school research project than a true authoritative look at the problems inherent with security and the internet. I found Mr. Calce's tale to be built more on ego and teenage swagger than on remorse. Granted, he did learn some good coding skills in his early career, but I find it hard to believe that an otherwise seemingly well-behaved kid had no foresight into the wrongness of his activities. At times I did wonder who he was trying to convince - himself, his family, or readers - that his foray into piracy, hacking and bot herding was nothing more than an innocent quest for knowledge gone wrong.

While I understand the lure of power and being able to do something no one else (or very few) can do, Mr. Calce broke the law, and he deserved all he got. Although he cautions others against following in his footsteps as the end result is not worth the brief intoxication of power, my respect falls on the side of the RCMP and FBI agents who put an end to Mafiaboy's thoughtless attacks. I do not feel that his inclusion of very basic internet security information in any way redeems the millions of dollars in damage and lost time he caused.

I freely admit to harbouring ill-feelings towards script-kiddies and bot herders - feelings developed through firsthand experiences as our own network fell victim to botnet DDoS attacks. That said, I tried to not let that experience influence my opinion of this book, and I think that for the most part I succeeded. I was able to read this book more from an educated point of view in regards to internet and network security rather than as a neophyte. However, try as I might, I found very few redeeming qualities in Mafiaboy. He alone did not crack the internet as the title seems to imply - there were many before him and many more after him who saw the internet as their personal crime-filled playing field. I don't understand why Mr. Calce felt that a full-blown book was required in order to "clear the air" other than to draw further attention to what he did and perhaps earn himself a little notoriety and fame within a new generation of young internet criminals. Despite his words to the contrary, I view Michael Calce's book as nothing more than a way to make money from his crimes. Perhaps this is why there is yet another version of his book being published in 2009 - but the new title is "Mafiaboy - A Portrait of the Hacker As A Young Man" - perhaps others took exception to the boastful claim in his title - or perhaps there was another reason, but either way, it's a new title I won't be picking up - reading this story once was more than enough for me.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Not what happended. Sept. 2 2012
By Monk - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I was an actual member of tnt/phorce and I recall things VERY differently. MB asked others to help him packet the sites that were mentioned in the news, and most of them said F' off. Mafiaboy wrote no tools at all, most of any attack programs were written by phifli, sinkhole and a few select others. He did use a semi-public scanner to 'own' machines (solaris boxes, irix) and just either put bots on them, or used them with trinoo. Before trinoo, he simply logged into a bunch of machines and manually smurf'd or UDP flooded targets.

I think he just wrote this because nobody wants to hire him, and he wanted to make money off of other people's accomplishments. What's sad is he made money off the following people:

ShadowKnight
phifli
dreamwalk
sinkhole
CORE (group)
conflict (group)
madcrew (group)
NoName (group)
chrome (group)

.. And countless others. By attacking all of those sites, he initially was the result of many people just giving it up (ie: phifli, dreamwalk, myself) because he attracted unwanted attention to the scene. I'm pretty sure Mshadow was the one who leaked the logs of him attacking the sites to the RCMP/FBI and that's what got him busted. There is much hatred towards him for this book, him attacking corporate companies. I showed this book to someone who was around at the same and his jaw dropped as the BS that is in this book.

Also, the media portrays MB as some superhacker. HAH. Far from it, he's a victim of the public's stupidity.
15 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Terrible book Oct. 13 2008
By C. Wareham - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
"Mafiaboy" was what computer professionals typically call a "script kiddie" - someone who gets their kicks from running programs written by others, in an attempt to block other peoples websites, or gain access to their machines. They are the computer equivalent of vandals, with little or no understanding of how the programs they run actually work and Mafiaboy fits this profile precisely, as his own book proves. This is a turgid account of how he ran a few programs he downloaded off of the internet, took down a couple of websites, and then got arrested. The fact that he now makes a living as a "security consultant" is laughable - I doubt he does much more than reiterate common sense statements such as "don't run software of unknown provenance" or "don't click on links in dodgy looking emails", as on the strength of this book he knows very little about computer security from a programmers perspective.
4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A fascinating glimpse into the mind of a teenage hacker Oct. 27 2008
By R. Rocha - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Michael Calce was a kid when he discovered his love for computers. The machine is what inspired him, what motivated him to learn and master it. His notion of ethics was still flimsy; he had no idea of the destructive power of hacking and networking.

Mafiaboy relates a teenager's quest for power online as the rest of his life falls apart, and how the reality of his actions came crashing down on him with the full force of the law. We get an intimate glimpse into the chaotic blend of confusion, bravado, fright, and enthusiasm that resided in him. Silverman's prose is simple and clear, faithful to the speech and logic of a nerdy kid.
0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
packaging Jan. 21 2010
By Kym E. Grant - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book arrived in good time but it was delivered to our mailbox during rain and was soaked through. A plastic lining in the envelope would have prevented this.


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