Book picks similar to
Silk Road by Eileen Ormsby


non-fiction
true-crime
crime
mystery

Fatal System Error: The Hunt for the New Crime Lords Who are Bringing Down the Internet


Joseph Menn - 2010
    His guides are California surfer and computer whiz Barrett Lyon and a fearless British high-tech agent. Through these heroes, Menn shows the evolution of cyber-crime from small-time thieving to sophisticated, organized gangs, who began by attacking corporate websites but increasingly steal financial data from consumers and defense secrets from governments. Using unprecedented access to Mob businesses and Russian officials, the book reveals how top criminals earned protection from the Russian government.Fatal System Error penetrates both the Russian cyber-mob and La Cosa Nostra as the two fight over the Internet's massive spoils. The cloak-and-dagger adventure shows why cyber-crime is much worse than you thought—and why the Internet might not survive.

Pill City: How Two Honor Roll Students Foiled the Feds and Built a Drug Empire


Kevin Deutsch - 2017
    The teens' plan: to use their gang connections and computer programming skills to set up a high tech drug delivery service and Dark Web marketplace. The result: the boys became America's youngest drug lords, in the process sparking bloody gang warfare and a nationwide wave of addiction and murder. Now mixing in deadly circles, Brick and Wax soon found their own lives were on the line... In this groundbreaking work of investigative journalism, Newsday criminal justice reporter Kevin Deutsch chronicles the rise of these gangland upstarts as they help steal $100 million worth of high-powered opiates, and build a national narcotics empire from scratch.As gripping and compulsive as a thriller, Pill City takes readers into the heat of the action as Brick and Wax outwit the FBI and DEA, gang members like Damage and Lyric live and die by their own brutal code, the cops battle to stop the carnage, and a high-school coach risks a bullet to get addicts into rehab. A gritty, hard-hitting story of gangland survival, Pill City will open the world's eyes to the plague of drug-related killings rocking America, and reveal the deadly cost of the Baltimore riots.

The Players Ball: A Genius, a Con Man, and the Secret History of the Internet's Rise


David Kushner - 2019
    Only 5 percent of Americans were using the internet at the time, and even fewer were looking online for love. He quickly bought the Sex.com domain too, betting the combination of love and sex would help propel the internet into the mainstream. Imagine Kremen’s surprise when he learned that someone named Stephen Michael Cohen had stolen the rights to Sex.com and was already making millions that Kremen would never see. Thus follows the wild true story of Kremen’s and Cohen’s decade-long battle for control. In The Players Ball, author and journalist David Kushner provides a front seat to these must-read Wild West years online, when innovators and outlaws battled for power and money. This cat-and-mouse game between a genius and a con man changed the way people connect forever, and is key to understanding the rise and future of the online world. “Kushner delivers a fast-paced, raunchy tale of sex, drugs, and dial-up.” —Publishers Weekly

Glass Houses: Privacy, Secrecy, and Cyber Insecurity in a Transparent World


Joel Brenner - 2011
    He saw at close range the battleground on which adversaries are attacking us: cyberspace.Like the rest of us, governments and corporations inhabit “glass houses,” all but transparent to a new generation of spies who operate remotely from such places as China, the Middle East, Russia, and even France. In this urgent wake-up call, Brenner draws on his extraordinary background to show what we can—and cannot—do to prevent cyber spies and hackers from compromising our security and stealing our latest technology.

Barbarians Led by Bill Gates: Microsoft From The Inside: How The World's Richest Corporation Wields Its Power


Jennifer Edstrom - 1998
    District Judge Stanley Sporkin. Teamed with the daughter of one of Bill Gates's closest associates, thirteen-year Microsoft veteran Marlin Eller shows us what it was like at every step along Gates's route to world domination, making all that's been written before seem like a rough guess. If the Justice Department had Eller and Edstrom investigating the current-headline-making antitrust case, they would have on the record many of Microsoft's most respected developers directly contradicting the "authorized" version of events being presented in court. They would know the real scoop on how Windows was developed in the first place, shedding new light on the 1988 Apple v. Microsoft lawsuit over the alleged copying of the Mac. They would even know the real story of how Microsoft killed off Go Corporation, told for the first time by the man who did the deed, Marlin Eller himself. Revealing the smoke-and-mirror deals, the palms greased to help launch a product that didn't exist, and the boneyard of once-thriving competitors targeted by the Gates juggernaut, this book demonstrates with often hilariously damning detail the Microsoft muddle that passes for strategic direction, offset by Gates's uncanny ability to come from behind to crush whoever's on top.

An Army of Davids: How Markets and Technology Empower Ordinary People to Beat Big Media, Big Government, and Other Goliaths


Glenn Reynolds - 2006
    Book by Reynolds, Glenn

The Internet Is Not the Answer


Andrew Keen - 2015
    There are many positive ways in which the Internet has contributed to the world, but as a society we are less aware of the Internet’s deeply negative effects on our psychology, economy, and culture. In The Internet Is Not the Answer, Andrew Keen, a twenty-year veteran of the tech industry, traces the technological and economic history of the internet from its founding in the 1960s through the rise of the big data companies to the increasing attempts to monetize almost every human activity, and investigates how the internet is reconfiguring our world—often at great cost. In this sharp, witty narrative, informed by the work of other writers, academics, and reporters, as well as his own wide-ranging research and interviews, Keen shows us the tech world, warts and all, and investigates what we can do to make sure the choices we make about the reconfiguring of our society do not lead to unpleasant unforeseen aftershocks.

The Downing of TWA Flight 800


James Sanders - 1997
    The Downing of TWA Flight 800 is the first and only complete account and analysis of what really happened on July 17, 1996.

Flash Crash: A Trading Savant, a Global Manhunt, and the Most Mysterious Market Crash in History


Liam Vaughan - 2020
    In the span of five minutes, a trillion dollars of valuation was lost. The Flash Crash, as it became known, represented the fastest drop in market history. When share values rebounded less than half an hour later, experts around the globe were left perplexed. What had they just witnessed?Navinder Singh Sarao hardly seemed like a man who would shake the world's financial markets to their core. Raised in a working-class neighborhood in West London, Nav was a preternaturally gifted trader who played the markets like a computer game. By the age of thirty, he had left behind London's "trading arcades," working instead out of his childhood home. For years the money poured in. But when lightning-fast electronic traders infiltrated markets and started eating into his profits, Nav built a system of his own to fight back. It worked--until 2015, when the FBI arrived at his door. Depending on whom you ask, Sarao was a scourge, a symbol of a financial system run horribly amok, or a folk hero who took on the tyranny of Wall Street and the high-frequency traders.A real-life financial thriller, Flash Crash uncovers the remarkable, behind-the-scenes narrative of a mystifying market crash, a globe-spanning investigation into international fraud, and the man at the center of them both.

Banking Bad: Whistleblowers, Corporate Cover-ups and One Journalist's Fight for the Truth


Adele Ferguson - 2019
    Its revelations rocked the nation. Even defenders of the banks were blindsided.Few people were more instrumental in bringing about the commission than journalist Adele Ferguson. Through her exposes in print and on television, she pursued the truth about funds mismanagement, fraud, lack of probity, and the hard-sell culture that took over the finance industry after deregulation in the 1980s. But it wasn't just light-touch regulators and crooked bankers growing fat on bonuses she put under the spotlight. It was also their victims - men and women who had lost everything, and had no recourse when they discovered empty accounts, egregious fees, forged documents and broken promises.Now in Banking Bad, Ferguson tells the full story of the power imbalance, toxic culture and cover-ups. She describes the long fight for justice by whistleblowers, victims and political mavericks, and she looks at the outcomes of the royal commission - the falls from grace, the damaging hubris, the scathing assessment of the regulators, and the colossal compensation bill - an estimated $10 billion.Finally, she asks where to from here? In May 2019, the Coalition government, which resisted calls for a royal commission, was re-elected. Bank stocks surged and lending regulations were loosened. Will it all be business as usual from now on, or have our financial executives learned that their wealth cannot come at the expense of ordinary Australians?

American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road


Nick Bilton - 2017
    In 2011, a twenty-six-year-old libertarian programmer named Ross Ulbricht launched the ultimate free market: the Silk Road, a clandestine Web site hosted on the Dark Web where anyone could trade anything—drugs, hacking software, forged passports, counterfeit cash, poisons—free of the government’s watchful eye. It wasn’t long before the media got wind of the new Web site where anyone—not just teenagers and weed dealers but terrorists and black hat hackers—could buy and sell contraband detection-free. Spurred by a public outcry, the federal government launched an epic two-year manhunt for the site’s elusive proprietor, with no leads, no witnesses, and no clear jurisdiction. All the investigators knew was that whoever was running the site called himself the Dread Pirate Roberts. The Silk Road quickly ballooned into $1.2 billion enterprise, and Ross embraced his new role as kingpin. He enlisted a loyal crew of allies in high and low places, all as addicted to the danger and thrill of running an illegal marketplace as their customers were to the heroin they sold. Through his network he got wind of the target on his back and took drastic steps to protect himself—including ordering a hit on a former employee. As Ross made plans to disappear forever, the Feds raced against the clock to catch a man they weren’t sure even existed, searching for a needle in the haystack of the global Internet.Drawing on exclusive access to key players and two billion digital words and images Ross left behind, Vanity Fair correspondent and New York Times bestselling author Nick Bilton offers a tale filled with twists and turns, lucky breaks and unbelievable close calls. It’s a story of the boy next door’s ambition gone criminal, spurred on by the clash between the new world of libertarian-leaning, anonymous, decentralized Web advocates and the old world of government control, order, and the rule of law. Filled with unforgettable characters and capped by an astonishing climax, American Kingpin might be dismissed as too outrageous for fiction. But it’s all too real.

Gangland: How the FBI Broke the Mob


Howard Blum - 1993
    The target: John Gotti, the seemingly invincible head of the richest and most powerful crime of modern-day Untouchables, the FBI's C-16 Organized Crime squad, who finally ended the cocky crime lord's reign of terror.Drawing on unprecedented access to FBI records and agents, bestselling author and prize-winning journalist Howard Blum tells the riveting and suspenseful story behind the headlines. Here is the deadly game of cat and mouse that pitted Gotti, his ruthless henchmen and his elusive law-enforcement mole against the Bureau.It is a tale of courage, murder and betrayal. From Mafia backrooms to FBI squad rooms, from the high-tech electronic invasion of Gotti's headquarters to the desperate effort to expose the mole, Gangland is more shocking than fiction -- an instant Mafia classic.

The Court of the Last Resort


Erle Stanley Gardner - 1952
    In 1945, Erle Stanley Gardner, noted attorney and author of the popular Perry Mason mysteries, was contacted by an overwhelmed California public defender who believed his doomed client was innocent. William Marvin Lindley had been convicted of the rape and murder of a young girl along the banks of the Yuba River, and was awaiting execution at San Quentin. After reviewing the case, Gardner agreed to help—it seemed the fate of the “Red-Headed Killer” hinged on the testimony of a colorblind witness. Gardner’s intervention sparked the Court of Last Resort. The Innocence Project of its day, this ambitious and ultimately successful undertaking was devoted to investigating, reviewing, and reversing wrongful convictions owing to poor legal representation, prosecutorial abuses, biased police activity, bench corruption, unreliable witnesses, and careless forensic-evidence testimony. The crimes: rape, murder, kidnapping, and manslaughter. The prisoners: underprivileged and vulnerable men wrongly convicted and condemned to life sentences or death row with only one hope—the devotion of Erle Stanley Gardner and the Court of Last Resort. Featuring Gardner’s most damning cases of injustice from across the country, The Court of Last Resort won the Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime. Originating as a monthly column in Argosy magazine, it was produced as a dramatized court TV show for NBC.

JFK: The Smoking Gun


Colin McLaren - 2013
    Thousands lined the streets cheering; others hung out of windows to catch a glimpse of the much-loved First Lady and President. Suddenly, the unthinkable: three shots - bang…bang, bang - rang out. In front of the world, John F Kennedy was fatally wounded.Lee Harvey Oswald was caught.But did he fire the fatal bullet?Who REALLY killed JFK?Fifty years after the tragic events in Dallas, JFK: The Smoking Gun solves the ultimate cold case. With the forensic eye of a highly regarded ex-cop, Colin McLaren gathered the evidence, studied 10,000 pages of transcripts, discovered the witnesses the Warren Commission failed to call, and uncovered the exhibits and testimonies that were hidden until now. What he found is far more outrageous than any fanciful conspiracy theory could ever be.JFK: The Smoking Gun proves, once and for all, who did kill the President.

Future Crimes


Marc Goodman - 2015
    Hackers can activate baby monitors to spy on families, thieves are analyzing social media posts to plot home invasions, and stalkers are exploiting the GPS on smart phones to track their victims’ every move. We all know today’s criminals can steal identities, drain online bank accounts, and wipe out computer servers, but that’s just the beginning. To date, no computer has been created that could not be hacked—a sobering fact given our radical dependence on these machines for everything from our nation’s power grid to air traffic control to financial services.      Yet, as ubiquitous as technology seems today, just over the horizon is a tidal wave of scientific progress that will leave our heads spinning. If today’s Internet is the size of a golf ball, tomorrow’s will be the size of the sun. Welcome to the Internet of Things, a living, breathing, global information grid where every physical object will be online. But with greater connections come greater risks. Implantable medical devices such as pacemakers can be hacked to deliver a lethal jolt of electricity and a car’s brakes can be disabled at high speed from miles away. Meanwhile, 3-D printers can produce AK-47s, bioterrorists can download the recipe for Spanish flu, and cartels are using fleets of drones to ferry drugs across borders.     With explosive insights based upon a career in law enforcement and counterterrorism, Marc Goodman takes readers on a vivid journey through the darkest recesses of the Internet. Reading like science fiction, but based in science fact, Future Crimes explores how bad actors are primed to hijack the technologies of tomorrow, including robotics, synthetic biology, nanotechnology, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence. These fields hold the power to create a world of unprecedented abundance and prosperity. But the technological bedrock upon which we are building our common future is deeply unstable and, like a house of cards, can come crashing down at any moment.     Future Crimes provides a mind-blowing glimpse into the dark side of technological innovation and the unintended consequences of our connected world. Goodman offers a way out with clear steps we must take to survive the progress unfolding before us. Provocative, thrilling, and ultimately empowering, Future Crimes will serve as an urgent call to action that shows how we can take back control over our own devices and harness technology’s tremendous power for the betterment of humanity—before it’s too late.From the Hardcover edition.