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Copyright © 2011 by Kevin Poulsen All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Crown Publishers, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., New York. CROWN and the Crown colophon are registered trademarks of Random House, Inc. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Poulsen, Kevin, 1965– Kingpin / Kevin Poulsen.—1st ed. p. cm. 1. Butler, Max. 2. Computer crimes—United States—Case studies. 3. Computer hackers—United States—Case studies. 4. Commercial criminals— United States—Case studies. I. Title. HV6773.2.P68 2010 364.16′8092—dc22 2010027952 eISBN: 978-0-307-58870-8 Jacket design by Chris Sergio Jacket photographs © Jonathan Kitchen/Photographer’s Choice


For Lauren, my unindicted coconspirator in life


Cover Title Page Copyright Dedication COPS AND CARDERS PROLOGUE 1. The Key 2. Deadly Weapons 3. The Hungry Programmers 4. The White Hat 5. Cyberwar! 6. I Miss Crime 7. Max Vision 8. Welcome to America 9. Opportunities 10. Chris Aragon 11. Script’s Twenty-Dollar Dumps 12. Free Amex!

13. Villa Siena 14. The Raid 15. UBuyWeRush 16. Operation Firewall 17. Pizza and Plastic 18. The Briefing 19. Carders Market 20. The Starlight Room 21. Master Splyntr 22. Enemies 23. Anglerphish 24. Exposure 25. Hostile Takeover 26. What’s in Your Wallet? 27. Web War One 28. Carder Court 29. One Plat and Six Classics 30. Maksik 31. The Trial 32. The Mall 33. Exit Strategy 34. DarkMarket 35. Sentencing 36. Aftermath EPILOGUE NOTES



Max Vision, born Max Butler. Ran Carders Market under
the handle Iceman. Also known as Ghost23, Generous, Digits, Aphex, and the Whiz.

Christopher Aragon , aka Easylivin’, Karma, and the
Dude. Max’s partner on Carders Market, who ran a lucrative credit card counterfeiting ring fueled by Max’s stolen data.

Script. A Ukrainian seller of stolen credit card data and
founder of...

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