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Best Cybercrime & Cyber-espionage Long Form Reads [Master Thread]


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I figured I'd make a master thread for collecting longform stories about historic major events in cybercrime and cyber-espionage. I'm going to start with some of my my favorites and update more when I'm home.

Inside the hunt for Russia's Most Notorious Hackers - https://www.wired.com/2017/03/russian-hacker-spy-botnet/
Inside the Cunning, Unprecedented Hack of Ukraine's Power Grid - https://www.wired.com/2016/03/inside-cunning-unprecedented-hack-ukraines-power-grid/
How a Dorm Room Minecraft Scam Brought Down the Internet - https://www.wired.com/story/mirai-botnet-minecraft-scam-brought-down-the-internet/
The Workaday Life of the World’s Most Dangerous Ransomware Gang - https://www.wired.com/story/conti-leaks-ransomware-work-life/

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Juniper Mystery Attacks Traced to Pentagon Role and Chinese Hackers - https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2021-09-02/juniper-mystery-attacks-traced-to-pentagon-role-and-chinese-hackers

I still think this is the most insane hacking story ever - but I'm biased as a cryptography person. The NSA created the Dual_EC_DRBG RNG algorithm. Cryptographers didn't trust it as it looked like it might contain a backdoor, but the NSA pushed to get it into RSA's BSAFE library and into Juniper devices. If the RNG was used, the backdoor enabled passive decryption of intercepted network traffic from Juniper routers.

But it got much worse. Chinese hackers inside Juniper's network pushed a commit to replace the constant in the Dual_EC_DRBG algorithm, allowing them to decrypt intercepted network traffic instead. Essentially they hijacked the NSA backdoor. And it wasn't discovered for 3 years!


The Full Story of the Stunning RSA Hack Can Finally Be Told - https://www.wired.com/story/the-full-story-of-the-stunning-rsa-hack-can-finally-be-told/

Another sophisticated Chinese hack, jumping over an incomplete "air gap" in RSA's network.


Sex, Drugs, and the Biggest Cybercrime of All Time - https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-news/sex-drugs-and-the-biggest-cybercrime-of-all-time-241836/

Fun article about an earlier group of blackhat hackers.

Edited by hyperreality
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The Hunt for the Dark Web's Biggest Kingpin (This is still ongoing with 2 more parts to come out over the next two weeks) - https://www.wired.com/story/alphabay-series-part-1-the-shadow/

 

While not an article, the book "This is how they tell me the world ends" by Nicole Perlroth is a great read. It covers the creation of the zero-day exploit market as well as the escalations of the cyber arms race.

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https://antilop.cc/sr/

The most complete timeline of the SilkRoad marketplace (with a bit on SR 2.0).

Very long read but worth it. Made by Moustache (twitter.com/lamoustache)

The part about Plural of Mongoose (Variety Jones) is really interesting, as it's a lesser known part of the history of SR.

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https://darknetdiaries.com/transcript/45/

https://darknetdiaries.com/episode/46/

https://youtu.be/yStl8VdK3fc

https://youtu.be/l0ouLOck6sg

became very interesting listening to how long they had been sitting on this an not knowing what to do with it,

never owned an xbox but the actual hack into companys an watching everything for a year was very interesting, i opted to listened rather than read

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I think this is hands down the best one I've ever read, though there was a Silk Road long form piece is something that's not the New Yorker but similar that I remember being awesome.

The Cold War Bunker That Became Home to a Dark-Web Empire

An eccentric Dutchman began living in a giant underground facility built by the German military—and ran a server farm beloved by cybercriminals.

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/08/03/the-cold-war-bunker-that-became-home-to-a-dark-web-empire

 

On 11/16/2022 at 10:08 PM, hyperreality said:

Essentially Chinese Hackers hijacked the NSA backdoor. And it wasn't discovered for 3 years!

ps JFC

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