Kevin Poulsen's Kingpin Essay

507 Words3 Pages
The story Kingpin, written by Kevin Poulsen, depicts the life and story of the famous, or infamous depending on who you ask, hacker: Max Butler. We are walked along the journey of Max flirting on the edge of white hat and black hat hacking, and his struggle to keep his throne as the best computer hacker in history. His hacks ventured from stealing credit cards to taking down large and prominent websites such as; yahoo, msn, and eBay. A fatal error in deleting his RAM history eventually led to his downfall with the FBI which ended his reign in the hacking world but certainly did not taint his reputation in the field. Poulsen does a great job in depicting the criminal mastermind that was Max Butler. He made sure to tell both sides of the story; not only the good things that Butler did, such as anonymously repairing important software for companies, but also his black-hat hacking which gained him a fortune in stolen credit card numbers. This book allows the reader to see how real life hacking differs from how it is portrayed in movies or on tv shows. Instead of being in a big elaborate building surrounded by teammates to help him like in movies, he was pretty much alone with equipment he put together from the ground up. It also shows just how far a man is willing to go to get to the top…show more content…
It included all the context that is needed to fully understand his story. It shows his rise to the top of the hacking scene where he accumulated over $86 million dollars in stolen credit card charges, to his downfall which landed him in a 13 year prison sentence (Longest US sentence ever given for a computer hacking crime). Kingpin not only shows the elaborate story of Butler but also shows the hard work and dedication put in by the federal agent’s whose job it is to take down the hackers. This offers a unique contrast in the story line which gives the reader a great deal of insight of both sides of the hacking
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