The Hacker Crackdown

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by Bruce Sterling I bought this book years ago, but for some reason decided to reread it before checking it out.

What a mistake that would have been, after reading Freakonomics which gives you a different way of looking at facts I learnt more about the effects of perceived computer intrusion than at first glance.

Little snippets:

The US Secret Service was set up to counter conterfeit currency, protecting the President was a duty tacked on. Thus in the early ’90s these guys had to into wirefraud in big way.

The amount of money lost to phone freaking paled into significance the volume of money extracted out of people on the back of charity raising scams.

Hacks “used” to use war dialers to derive 800 pre-paid telephone cards, scammers would set up shell company 10 deep, hack US phone exchanges to forward calls via an anonymous warehouses and call up little old grannies who regularly gave money to charity. They got the credit users details from hackers as well. Setup up a credit card account. Next, “Hello I’m calling from Lightbulbs for the Blind…”. Bank the money for a month and wind up the shell companies and start all over again!

It left me thinking – what the hell are the dark sided phone freaks up to now!

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