A generation ago, cybercrime was an esoteric topic that could be written about as quantum mechanics or the volatility of the derivatives market. Now it is a central feature of many novels.
Whether it’s phishing by criminal gangs to steal sensitive data to sell on the dark web, hacking college folks on Facebook, or daily text messages asking us to click a link to claim a prize or verify a payment, we’re under constant attack. Pension scams, identity theft, all these strangers following our kids on TikTok, everywhere we turn, someone is trying to turn the technology we rely on against us.
This new reality is the core of my novel box. After Ed Truman’s daughter’s ally throws a milkshake at the leader of the new popular movement Men Together, she becomes a target for his followers. being harassed and deceived (Where private information is posted online to intimidate), and eventually disappears. Ed teams up with his daughter’s girlfriend, Phoenix, a teenage hacker, to find her, but they soon find themselves on the run and off the grid.
The electronic chip dominates many things in our life; The same is true of crime. From online stalking to multi-billion dollar bank fraud, it’s mostly done by computer these days. Here are some of my favorite books about this shift in the zeitgeist.
1. The Art of Deception: Controlling the Human Security Element by Kevin Mitnick
It is a rule in cybersecurity that the weakest point in a computer network is the human being. Whether it’s about scam emails or a phone call “from the bank” that they’re calling about a fraudulent transaction, Kevin Mitnick has written a book about exploiting such a vulnerability. He’s written many books on hacking, notably his brilliant memoir Ghost in the Wires, but I’m still the best handy guide to social engineering. Do you think you can’t be tricked into handing over important information? Read this and think again.
2. People Love It by Ellery Lloyd
Within a decade, stalking on social media had become ubiquitous in psychological thrillers, but few did it as well as Ellery Lloyd, the pseudonym for married writing team Colette Lyons and Paul Fleetus. People like her tell the story of celebrity InstaMum Emmy and her washed-up novelist husband, who hate their newfound fame. Throw in a cyber predator, some flashy writing, and a breathless dash to the end and you’ve got one great digital thriller.
3. The Blue Nowhere by Jeffrey Deaver
Dean of Crime Stories Deaver was writing about hackers and cyber scammers before most people had a computer at home. Set in 1999 and featuring dial-up modems and floppy disks, it targets two hackers – one a sinister psychopath who lures his victims to death, the other released from prison to aid the investigation – into a relentless bloodstained cat and mouse hunt. It’s old, but way ahead of its time, and few are better than Deaver at keeping you in touch.
4. Impostor Syndrome by Cathy Wang
If you, like me, have read The Circle by Dave Eggers and thought, “It’s a great book, but where’s the story?” Then Impostor Syndrome is for you. When Alice, a keyboard drone at tech giant Tangerine, notices unusual activity on the company’s servers, the ensuing intrigue leads to the top. Part spy mystery, part spy thriller, and part Silicon Valley satire about the role of minority women in the development community, few new novels feel as fresh and fresh as this.
5. Countdown to Day Zero: Stuxnet and the launching of the world’s first digital weapon by Kim Zetter
With so many cyber scammers trying to spoil us with texts to pay extra postage, it is easy to forget that technology is also used to carry out malicious acts nationwide. In 2010, centrifuges at Iran’s uranium enrichment plant continued to fail. the reason? A new type of virus called Stuxnet developed by the United States and Israel made them circulate very quickly and break. This is a great story about state-sanctioned sabotage, which presents the technical chatter of machine codes in simple terms any reader can enjoy.
6. Manipulated: Inside the Electronic Warfare of Election Theft and Distortion of the Truth by Theresa Payton
How to watch something you don’t know is considered a crime? Once upon a time, the only way to rig elections was to steal enough votes from the recently deceased. Now you can drip effect directly into people’s eyeballs without them noticing. AI viruses, fake videos, and phishing farms are the battlefield in a war that most people, including those who protect us, have no idea it continues. Can it be stopped before our political systems collapse?
7. The little brother of Cory Douro
Doctorow is best known for his digital activism, his role as editor of the influential Zen Boeing magazine, and his subsequent online novels. At the heart of this Act is the trilogy of little brother, 17-year-old Marcus, who along with his crew has created a special “nested net” to defend against a miserable state of surveillance. Cue staying with the Department of Homeland Security. All but one were released. As the country slides into totalitarian martial law, how can they prove that their friend is still being held?
8. Dan Brown’s Digital Castle
I haven’t read Dan Brown since I gave up The Da Vinci Code halfway through, but in the late ’90s I was blown away by Digital Castle. Starring Kikas cipher specialist Susan Fletcher – at a time when most females were either scared, reckless, or both – it’s a race against time to save the NSA captured by a mysterious and malicious code.
9. dark market: How Hackers Became the New Mafia by Misha Glenny
Spend half an hour in the dark web and you’ll never look at the internet the same way again. Anything you want to buy – drugs, weapons or stolen passports – can be delivered to your door in a matter of days. Do you need a hacker? professional killer? It’s easy to find a .onion site to serve your needs. This is where your data ends up after it was stolen in a ransomware attack. After reading this, you will think carefully before entering your name and address online.
10. Lorraine Beaux Zoo
What better way to weed out a top 10 cybercrime than with this subversive novelist by Lauren Beaux, smasher of the South African genre. Set in the alternative city of Johannesburg where animal families are tied to criminals to tag them, the film tells the story of Zinzi, a lost psychic and 419 prankster (think emails from alleged princes) who plunges into a murder mystery with resonance.
The Box by Dan Malakin Published by Profile Books. To help the guardian and the observer, Order your copy from guardianbookshop.com. Delivery charges may apply.