Kingpin: How One Hacker Took Over the Billion-Dollar Cybercrime Underground

“Kingpin: How One Hacker Took Over the Billion-Dollar Cybercrime Underground” is a captivating book that delves into the intriguing world of cybercrime and one man’s rise to power within it. Written by Kevin Poulsen, a renowned journalist and former hacker himself, this book offers a gripping true story of criminal mastermind, Max Butler, and his unprecedented success in the underground cybercrime community.

The Story

The book unravels the astonishing account of Max Butler, who started as a talented computer hacker and eventually became one of the most influential figures in the billion-dollar cybercrime industry. It details his journey from hacking credit card numbers for personal gain to organizing an intricate criminal network that specialized in stealing millions of dollars through identity theft and credit card fraud.

Kevin Poulsen, through meticulous research and interviews with key individuals involved in Butler’s story, takes readers deep into the underground world of cybercrime. The narrative explores the motivations and decisions that propelled Butler’s criminal career forward, showcasing both the allure and consequences of a life lived on the edge of legality.

Awards, Reviews, and Praise

“Kingpin” has received critical acclaim for its riveting storytelling and in-depth analysis of the cybercrime landscape. The book was a New York Times bestseller, captivating readers with its fascinating blend of true-crime storytelling and technological insight.

Reviewers have praised the book for its ability to uncover the motivations and mindset of cybercriminals, while also shedding light on the vulnerabilities within the cybersecurity landscape. Poulsen’s unique perspective as a former hacker lends authenticity and a deeper understanding to the narrative.

With its masterful storytelling and thorough research, “Kingpin” has become a favorite among readers interested in the intersection of technology, true crime, and cybersecurity.

Important Characters

Throughout “Kingpin,” several key characters play significant roles in Max Butler’s story. These characters include:

Max Butler:

The central figure of the book, Max Butler, is portrayed as a brilliant hacker who eventually becomes a criminal mastermind. His journey from hacking to leading the cybercrime underground forms the core of the narrative.

Special Agent Keith Mularski:

As the FBI agent with extensive knowledge of cybercrime, Mularski plays a crucial role in tracking down and apprehending Butler. His pursuit of Butler unveils the complexities of the cybercrime world and the challenges law enforcement faces in combating it.

TJX Hacker ‘Soupnazi’:

A skilled hacker who collaborates with Butler, Soupnazi is a significant character in the book’s narrative. Together, they exploit the vulnerabilities in payment card systems.


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