Summary of Fatal System Error

The Hunt for the New Crime Lords Who are Bringing Down the Internet

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Fatal System Error book summary
Cybercrime threatens you and your business, says this scary war story from the cyberfront. Learn how to protect yourself.


8 Overall

9 Importance

8 Innovation

7 Style


The Internet has become the ultimate mob hangout, a dangerous venue where U.S. Mafiosi, vicious Russian gang members and illegal hackers from many nations, especially from Eastern Europe, ply their dirty deeds. Cybersecurity reporter Joseph Menn examines cybercrime, exposing the bad guys while telling exciting stories about two intrepid investigators – Barrett Lyon, a U.S.-based “white hat” security hacker, and Andy Crocker, a British cybersecurity agent – who have successfully waged war against cybercriminals. Menn’s book is both fascinating and disturbing, with its discussion of “zombie armies” of computers, and its exotically named online desperadoes, like CumbaJohnny. getAbstract recommends this gripping saga to those who want to protect themselves from cybercrime. This outstanding book’s only deficiency is, ironically, its remarkable, overwhelming abundance of complex detail. If you think you need a cast list, tech manual and dictionary of arcane online terms, never mind; just hang on for a scary, revealing ride.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What cybercrime is,
  • How online attacks work,
  • What forces threaten Internet security and
  • What governments, companies and individuals can do.


Barrett Lyon
The Internet provides a cornucopia of connections, communication, education and other remarkable benefits. Unfortunately, it provides even more opportunities for breaking the law – extortion, identity theft, child pornography distribution, commercial fraud, theft of financial...
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About the Author

Joseph Menn covers technology issues, including cybersecurity, for the Financial Times. He also wrote All the Rave: The Rise and Fall of Shawn Fanning’s Napster.

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