I just got done reading American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road and I can't recommend it enough as a purely entertaining book that is very much on-topic for a dev site.
It's a book about the rise and fall of the Silk Road and its founder Ross Ulbricht.
From the PHP technical debt that first forced Ulbricht seek outside help, to the computer forensics, to the Stack Overflow question that traced back to Ulbricht as evidence—the book was a code thriller.
This was the Stack Overflow question mentioned in the book, if you're curious:
I'm trying to connect to a Tor hidden service using the following PHP code:
$url = 'http://jhiwjjlqpyawmpjx.onion/' $ch = curl_init(); curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_URL, $url); curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, true); curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_PROXY, "http://127.0.0.1:9050/"); curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_PROXYTYPE, CURLPROXY_SOCKS5); $output = curl_exec($ch); $curl_error = curl_error($ch); curl_close($ch); print_r($output); print_r($curl_error);
When I run it, I get the following error:…
It was surprisingly pivotal in the investigation.
American Kingpin read as a narrative arc worthy of the true crime drama it was, and it was a page turner the whole time.
Between this book and Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup, I've very much enjoyed reading about these tech startup criminals.