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CRACK99 Audiobook

CRACK99: The Takedown of a $100 Million Chinese Software Pirate

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Publisher's Summary

The utterly gripping story of the most outrageous case of cyber piracy prosecuted by the US Department of Justice.

A former US 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 online retailers, 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 US 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 is like a caper that resonates with every amazing detail.

©2015 David Locke Hall (P)2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (28 )
5 star
 (12)
4 star
 (7)
3 star
 (4)
2 star
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1 star
 (1)
Overall
3.8 (24 )
5 star
 (9)
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3 star
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1 star
 (1)
Story
4.1 (25 )
5 star
 (13)
4 star
 (7)
3 star
 (1)
2 star
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1 star
 (1)
Performance
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  •  
    Steven ANCHORAGE, AK, United States 08-29-16
    Steven ANCHORAGE, AK, United States 08-29-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    78
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not what I thought it was going to be."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No, it was not like the story I was expecting at all. Maybe it was my fault for not looking in to it enough.


    Was CRACK99 worth the listening time?

    I thought books like @WAR, Data and Goliath where way better. So no it was not worth my time.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    veryspecialscorp 07-18-16 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Snoozefest..."
    What disappointed you about CRACK99?

    II usually don't write reviews. But this book was not good and I don't want anyone else to waste nearly 11 hours of their life on it. I love true crime, especially when it comes to technology--but this was literally written from the most boring point of view possible--the US Attorney that prosecuted the piracy case. Here's what I didn't like about the book 1.) It was way too long--it was filled with fluff from the author about other unrelated cases that he prosecuted throughout his career 2.) He spent wait too much time on the details in the case, i.e.. repeating the name of every piece of software and what it was worth throughout the story,. It just seemed to drag on with no end in sight. This would have been much more interesting if it was told from another perspective or with more of the actual technology behind the cracks--which was actually pretty sophisticated but only talked about in passing. There was no real connection to the other characters in the book and the end felt anticlimactic. There are plenty of other tech-crime stories out there to tickle your fancy. Sorry--but it was just really hard to finish this book.


    What could David Locke Hall have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    The story didn't seem like a story but really just a series of events cut an pasted together. There was no real plot and I feel like there could have been one.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Mark Peckham’s performances?

    I'm not sure--he kind of sounded like he had a cold the entire time he was reading


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Farmer Reva, VA United States 07-01-16
    M. Farmer Reva, VA United States 07-01-16

    MD Farmer

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Real Time Cyber_Piracy Warfare"
    What did you love best about CRACK99?

    This is the real cyber and piracy war. Much larger then I had imagined. The added political realities only drove the problem home.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Real take downs, trials and legal applications.


    Have you listened to any of Mark Peckham’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No but I will


    If you could give CRACK99 a new subtitle, what would it be?

    The Cyber-Piracy War


    Any additional comments?

    The recent trade of Iranian criminals with pastors and newsmen with Iran only drives the story home.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael J Schnoblen 03-24-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "eh, not what I expected"

    struggled to finish this book. wanted more technical aspects of the crime. more of a dragnet type story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Todd 02-28-16
    Todd 02-28-16 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    15
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Story could have been told in a hour."

    Repeating the software titles and versions over and over again is annoying. Not well written at all. Not enough information for a book. Should have been a 60 Minutes story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SA Developer 02-22-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    22
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent subject matter and revealing facts"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Yes and no ... I loved the subject and facts about the tremendous amount of stealing by china's government sponsors crackers and cyber thieves.


    Have you listened to any of Mark Peckham’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    First listen by this narrator but liked his voice acting.


    Could you see CRACK99 being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    YES!


    Any additional comments?

    The story's subject was very interesting as it has become a very hot topic in the computer security community and is right in line with many articles explicitly detailing the amount of financial/economic destruction being done by foreign governments stealing America's corporate and government intellectual property.
    While the story but good, the author's writing style was ... shall I say ... wordy?! No, it was extremely wordy, over-cooked, redundant and repetitive to an extreme. Reminded me of a Baptist preacher. Anyone could start reading/listening just about anywhere in the book and understand the whole story because of how much he constantly repeated himself, as if he was talking to 2nd graders. I almost stopped listening to the story because of this, but I found that I could play it at double speed and even then skip several minutes/chapters and not miss anything important to the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Graziani 12-30-15 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Important story that needed to be told"

    I suspect that few know that IP theft goes on at this level. I also suspect that few know that the US govt can conduct investigations and arrest operations at this level. This book does a great job unveiling the murky world of international IP theft and the cloaked world of US govt operations trying to address the problem. I found the insiders perspective to be both interesting and informative.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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