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REVIEW: "Mafiaboy", Michael Calce/Craig Silverman

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  • Rob, grandpa of Ryan, Trevor, Devon & Han
    BKMAFIBY.RVW 20081020 Mafiaboy , Michael Calce/Craig Silverman, 2008, 978-0-670-06748-0, C$34.00 %A Michael Calce %A Craig Silverman
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 8, 2008
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      BKMAFIBY.RVW 20081020

      "Mafiaboy", Michael Calce/Craig Silverman, 2008, 978-0-670-06748-0,
      C$34.00
      %A Michael Calce
      %A Craig Silverman www.regrettheerror.com
      %C 10 Alcorn Ave, Suite 300, Toronto, Ontario, M4V 3B2
      %D 2008
      %G 978-0-670-06748-0
      %I Penguin/Signet/Roc
      %O C$34.00 416-925-2249 Fax: 416-925-0068 service@...
      %O http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0670067482/robsladesinterne
      http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0670067482/robsladesinte-21
      %O http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/ASIN/0670067482/robsladesin03-20
      %O Audience n- Tech 1 Writing 1 (see revfaq.htm for explanation)
      %P 288 p.
      %T "Mafiaboy: how i cracked the internet and why it's still broke"

      Yet Another L33t Wannabe Tell-All. Yet another story of broken home
      (I almost wish somebody who lives with both parents would do some
      serious net vandalism so we could dispense with the stereotype **),
      social misfit, problem-with-authority, play-with-things-you-don't-
      understand-and-make-a-mess book.

      The jacket tells us that Mafiaboy has kept silence for eight years,
      and only now will we get the real story. Well, an awful lot of this
      book is on the public record already. So much of it comes from "The
      Hacker Diaries" (cf. BKHCKDRY.RVW) that Dan Verton might be starting
      to think about the boundaries of fair use. (The technical material is
      similar to Verton's level of understanding: certain items from the
      time are identifiable as presented, but others are questionable.)
      When we get down to the inside scoop it's quite a disappointment:
      apparently Mafiaboy doesn't really know that much about what went on
      around him. (An entire chapter seems to be dedicated to this point.)

      The jacket claims that Calce now only uses his powers for good, and
      the introduction says that he is sharing his experience in order to
      help us secure the online world. It goes on to say that this tome is
      not intended to excuse Calce's actions. Indeed, the text notes
      several times that his actions were wrong, and that he was stupid,
      boastful, and ignorant. This is in between the passages where he
      claims that he really was quite technically l33t (since he programmed
      in C, instead of Pascal like his plebian friends), had amazing
      contacts (about whom he can tell us nothing) and status (obtained by
      being a nuisance to everyone he encountered), is actually a great and
      very moral guy (since he could have done more damage), has been
      wrongfully persecuted and slandered (since he really didn't do
      anything wrong, just proved that systems which should have been secure
      weren't), and has been treated shamefully by law enforcement and the
      media.

      In terms of helping the reader to secure Internet use, the second part
      of the book warns that bad things can happen to people who use the
      Internet. The second last chapter of the work spends ten pages giving
      us banal, pedestrian, and simplistic advice on things we can do to
      protect ourselves. There really isn't enough detail in it to do much
      good to anyone.

      If you want the story of Mafiaboy all in one place (albeit slightly
      disjointed), with a few personal and self-serving comments, this is
      your book.


      ** Oh, yeah, sorry, Bob Morris, Jr. Coming up on his 20th
      anniversary, aren't we? Neat timing for another blackhat book ...

      copyright Robert M. Slade, 2008 BKMAFIBY.RVW 20081020


      ====================== (quote inserted randomly by Pegasus Mailer)
      rslade@... slade@... rslade@...
      I fell asleep reading a dull book, and I dreamed that I was
      reading on, so I awoke from sheer boredom. - Heinrich Heine
      victoria.tc.ca/techrev/rms.htm blogs.securiteam.com/index.php/archives/author/p1/
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