The Takedown of A $100 Million Chinese Software Pirate

Book - 2015?
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A former U.S. Navy intelligence officer, David Locke Hall was a federal prosecutor when a bizarre-sounding website, CRACK99, came to his attention. It looked like Craigslist on acid, but what it sold was anything but amateurish: thousands of high-tech software products used largely by the military, and for mere pennies on the dollar. Want to purchase satellite tracking software? No problem. Aerospace and aviation simulations? No problem. Communications systems designs? No problem. Software for Marine One, the presidential helicopter? No problem. With delivery times and customer service to rival the world's most successful e-tailers, anybody, anywhere--including rogue regimes, terrorists, and countries forbidden from doing business with the United States--had access to these goods for any purpose whatsoever.

But who was behind CRACK99, and where were they? The Justice Department discouraged potentially costly, risky cases like this, preferring the low-hanging fruit that scored points from politicians and the public. But Hall and his colleagues were determined to find the culprit. They bought CRACK99's products for delivery in the United States, buying more and more to appeal to the budding entrepreneur in the man they identified as Xiang Li. After winning his confidence, they lured him to Saipan--a U.S. commonwealth territory where Hall's own father had stormed the beaches with the marines during World War II. There they set up an audacious sting that culminated in Xiang Li's capture and imprisonment. The value of the goods offered by CRACK99? A cool $100 million.

An eye-opening look at cybercrime and its chilling consequences for national security, CRACK99 reads like a caper that resonates with every amazing detail.

Publisher: New York :, W.W. Norton & Company,, [2015?]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780393249545
Characteristics: 304 pages ; 25 cm


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Jan 30, 2018

Hall has an extremely interesting story to tell, one involving theft of several hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. intellectual property in this one case alone. The author was on the front lines of the takedown of a notorious software pirate, whose website may have materially weakened national security by the complexity of the advanced programming, machining, engineering, and electronic guidance systems that were stolen. Unfortunately, the tale is diluted somewhat in the telling, by Hall's lengthy digressions both narrative and personal that interrupt the story at every turn.

Nov 06, 2015

This is one seriously weird book. I'm not disputing anything the author says, and I believe he's being completely honest, it's just that - - ideally - - something like this should have been turned immediately over to the CIA/DIA/NSA/Secret Service???????
Nothing appears to ever work correctly in the Wall Street-owned and operated US government?
But I most definitely appreciate the author's honesty and forthrightness; he's the working federal prosecutor type (AUSA, or assistant US attorney, the guys and gals who actually do stuff).


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