Monday, June 29, 2015

Book Review: Spam Nation

As an Information Security practitioner I am no stranger to Brian Krebs.  He is undoubtedly the foremost investigative reporter covering "cyber crime" (yes, I said "cyber").  I've followed his work since the mid-90's, first on the "Security Fix" blog at the The Washington Post and (naturally) at KrebsOnSecurity.com. I was eager to read this book and finally got around to picking it up a few weeks ago.

Spam Nation is a quasi-autobiographical retelling of Mr. Krebs coverage on the spam industry and pharma-wars.  If you’ve familiar with his work you’ll likely recognize many of the stories.  The book recounts previous news articles with added exposition, provides insights from the author, and includes numerous interviews with both spammers and the people who bought their products.

All in all, Spam Nation is an easy read that is written to appeal to a wide audience.  If you're a seasoned InfoSec professional you won't find a lot of new information however, this book serves as a good review of the golden days of spam and the pharma-wars.  If you are new to the industry (< 10 years) then this is a must read.  It serves as an origin story for spam and it's a good idea to acquaint yourself with its roots.

Lastly, keep in mind that this book wasn't written for the InfoSec community.  It is written for the general public and the language and writing style reflect that.  With that said, I also recommend this book to friends and family.  It provides solid insight into one facet of our world.


Spam Nation is avalable on Amazon here.