Fatal System Error Looks At Mob, Internet and Costa Rica

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Jan/26/2010
Fatal System Error

There is a new book out entitled "Fatal System Error", which, among other things, takes an in depth look at the Mob and its influence over the Internet from the United States to Costa Rica to Russia. 

The first half of the book tells the story of Barrett Lyon, who as founder of Prolexic Technologies seven years ago applied his skills to protecting customers, a number being in the online gambling industry, against denial-of-service (DDoS) attack from extortionists who were bringing down their sites and demanding tens of thousands of dollars to go away.  Eventually, a  young Russian cybercriminal named Ivan Maksakov was brought to justice thanks mostly to Lyon's efforts.

From the San Francisco Gate:

"But Lyon, portrayed in the book as a twenty-something CTO surrounded by high-rolling sponsors from gambling firms in their offshore havens as the U.S. passes laws against online gambling, can't escape the feeling some of his customers are involved in criminal activities themselves.

"And after distancing himself from Prolexic a few years ago, Lyon, at the request of the Florida division of the FBI, agreed to wear a hidden microphone. He used it to converse with Prolexic's then-CEO Darren Rennick, who, according to Menn's book was "installed by the gambling men," infuriating Lyon as he watched Rennick continue to sell his Digital Gaming Solutions casino-style software right in the Prolexic office."

"I felt a moral obligation to expose this industry," says Lyon, now 31 years old.

As fascinating as the first half of the book may seem, the second half could be even more compelling.

"It's here that Menn tells the tale of British investigator Andy Crocker with the United Kingdom's National Hi-Tech Crime Unit (NHTCU) back in 2003, which like the FBI had also received Lyon's information about DDoS attackers. Crocker retired last year and shared his story.

"Crocker got on the trail of DDoS attacks because Canbet, an Australian betting company with an office in Portsmouth, England, had told British authorities that it had suffered crippling attacks and was wiring tens of thousands of dollars to Latvia via Western Union to appease the DDoS attackers.

"With that, Crocker's adventures, which lead into Russia, begin as he navigates a tangle of government bureaucracy, eventually hooking up with his Russian counterpart, Igor "Yakovlev, a colonel in the 40-man Investigative Committee in the Ministry of the Interior (known by its Russian acronym MVD) . The MVD is said to operate like the FBI, but also runs police departments in every city."

BetCRIS, the oldest established online sports betting site catering to the North American market, is mentioned in the book.

 

Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher

 

 

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