Is it really a scary world out there?

As some of you may know, I work in information security (also called IT-, cyber- or data-security) and as a result I get to hear about all sorts of interesting goings on. There are a fair few which fall into the “you couldn’t make it up” category, but others are just beyond any “normal” person’s experience – at least, they’re not something you’re generally aware of.

Two of the topics which I don’t get involved in are covered in books by Misha Glenny, and I think they’re a really interesting read, even for those who don’t work in that area.

Dark Market focuses on the world of credit card fraud, cloning and other related topics. It’s all about the people involved and the services offered, and the challenges which law enforcement globally has in tracking down and preventing such activities. Ok, so it gets a bit techie in places, but never to the extent that you can’t follow what’s going on.

McMafia is a fascinating insight into the comoditisation and industrialisation of various forms of criminal activity, from people smuggling to drug trafficking, from financial fraud to the impact of the fall of the USSR. As a journalist and former BBC Eastern Europe correspondent, there’s a lot of really interesting detail which is provided  and the links between these various activities are fascinating.

If you’re mildly curious about either of these areas, these are really good, well written books and well worth your time and attention.

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