Tracing an international ring of computer hackers which spanned three continents and nearly a decade of computer crime, author Suelette Dreyfus weaves a gripping tale against a backdrop of cutting edge technology. Underground uncovers the previously hidden story behind hackers from 8LGM, The Realm, the publishers of International Subversive and other linked Internet hacking groups. These elite hackers were the cream of the international computer underground and broke into tens of thousands of computers, belonging to some of the world's most prestigious institutions including Citibank, the Pentagon, NATO, the FT 100, NASA, Lockheed-Martin, Deutsche Telekom and Australian Telecom. After hacking the Defence Data Network's NIC, some had total control over the most important computers on the Internet - computers which would let them stop communications across the entire net. They divised methods of making free and untraceable telephone calls to hide their activities, invented worms, stalked, hacked and thumbed their noses at security experts such as Eugene Spafford & Cliff Stoll and reporters from the New York Times. They monitored the police -- while the police monitored them. The hackers came from all walks of life, gathering on-line in Germany from Australia, Europe, the UK, the US and Canada, to pursue their targets with an obsessive fervour.
Irreverent, sometimes brilliant and always obsessed, many of the hackers found themselves addicted to their illegal behaviour. Some fell to drug addiction and madness, others were convicted and jailed for their crimes.
Riveting as the finest detective novel and meticously researched, Underground follows the hackers through their crimes, their betrayals, the hunt, raids and investigations by the Australian Federal Police, the FBI, the Secret Service, the DST (French Secret Service) and Scotland Yard, and the resulting trials; their life on remand, on the run accross America, in prison, mental hospital and beyond.
Based on more than two years of writing and research drawn from hundreds of exclusive interviews and telephone intercepts and over 30,000 pages of court documents, Underground is the first hacking book published out of Australia and the only one to delve into the mind and world of the international computer hacker. Critically aclaimed, it has been said that Underground is the only book to examine the computer underground with real depth and insight.