Advance Praise for KINGPIN

“The lead figures of KINGPIN are brilliant, crooked geeks and the sleazy women who love to help them steal. Their mortal enemies are a cyber-savvy swarm of undercover cops. Kevin Poulsen gets so close to these paranoid, shadowy people that you can smell the sweat on the keyboards and hear the handcuffs clack shut. No other book can match this intimate, expert portrait of a truly modern criminal underworld.”

–Bruce Sterling, Hugo Award-winning novelist and futurist

With the tense drama and future shock of a William Gibson novel, Kevin Poulsen spins a scary-true tale of the dark-side hacker underground and its most adept sorcerer, known as The Iceman.  After reading Kingpin, you might want to convert your holdings from cyber-dollars to precious metals.”

–Steven Levy, author of Hackers and Crypto

A vivid portrait of the major players in the latest wave of computer crime. Building on the best of the police procedural tradition, Kevin Poulsen lays out in clear language the technologies and methods employed by the criminals and crime fighters alike, all the while crafting a sympathetic character study of the conflicted gray hat, Max Vision, at the heart of it all.

–Jonathan Zittrain, Harvard professor and author of The Future of the Internet and How to Stop It

“The most thorough portrait to date of a top modern U.S. cyber criminal and an engaging tale of cops against robbers against other robbers. No one writes with more authority than Kevin Poulsen about how hackers actually go about their business.”

–Joseph Menn, author of All the Rave and Fatal System Error

A superb, insider tour of the dark Internet that lies below ‘the whitewashed, commercialized’ world of the Web. Kevin Poulsen is one of the very few people who understands the territory: the scammers, the scammers of the scammers, and the law enforcement officers trying to catch them. KINGPIN describes a parallel business world, including ‘the underground’s first hostile takeover,’ where characters who call themselves names like DarkCyd and Matrix and Ghost23 battle for control of digital scams. It is a fascinating, scary ride.”

–Ellen Ullman, author of Close to the Machine and The Bug

An exciting crime thriller, a compelling psychological study, and one of the most accurate stories of hacker culture that I’ve ever read … Poulsen deftly explains the technology behind these ultramodern computer crimes and shows how they’re committed.”

–Annalee Newitz, Editor in Chief of