Book details

Macmillan Children's Book

The Ransomware Hunting Team

A Band of Misfits' Improbable Crusade to Save the World from Cybercrime

Author: Renee Dudley and Daniel Golden; read by BD Wong

The Ransomware Hunting Team

The Ransomware Hunting Team


About This Book

A real-life technological thriller about a band of eccentric misfits taking on the biggest cybersecurity threats of our time.

Scattered across the world, an elite team...

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Book Details

A real-life technological thriller about a band of eccentric misfits taking on the biggest cybersecurity threats of our time.

Scattered across the world, an elite team of code-cracking techies is working tirelessly on your behalf to thwart the most notorious cyber scourge of our time. You've probably never heard of them. But if you work for a school, a business, a hospital, or a municipal government, especially if its cybersecurity is imperfect, chances are that you're painfully familiar with the group's sworn enemy: ransomware. Again and again, these ordinary people, mostly self-taught and often struggling to make ends meet, have outwitted the shadowy networks of hackers and criminal gangs that lock computer networks and extort huge payments in return for the key.

The Ransomware Hunting Team is the incredible true story of a band of misfits who have used their extraordinary skills to save millions of ransomware victims from paying billions of dollars to criminals. Working in their free time from bedrooms and back offices, they offer their services pro bono to those whom the FBI, other government agencies, and the private sector are unwilling or unable to help. This book follows the teammates as they respond to dire calls for help—and tracks the ups and downs of their work as they race to rescue precious files and communicate directly with their adversaries. Urgent, uplifting, and entertaining, Renee Dudley and Daniel Golden's The Ransomware Hunting Team is a real-life technological thriller set in a dangerous new era of cybercrime.

A Macmillan Audio production from Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Imprint Publisher

Macmillan Audio



In The News

"Dudley and Golden do a brilliant job of tracing the back-and-forth between attackers and defenders . . . [They] are highly attuned to the havoc ransomware can wreak . . . Dudley and Golden are most interested in the characters at the center of this fight . . . The book offers lively portraits of these people . . . as it traces the evolution of ransomware into a more professionalized business for organized cartels." —Josephine Wolff, The New York Times Book Review

"[Dudley and Golden] focus as much on people as on the computers . . . Fascinating . . . The ransomware business is complicated, ruthless, and growing fast. Those looking for a guide should start here." The Economist

"Journalists Dudley and Golden explore with verve and fascinating detail the assorted group of unpaid, self-taught experts in the U.S. and Europe who make it their duty to protect the innocent from ransomware . . . [They create] vivid portraits of several brilliant, occasionally socially awkward members of the loosely organized team . . . Anyone with internet access should find this intriguing, and a little horrifying." Booklist

"Intriguing . . . Dudley and Golden render their subjects—some of whom endured poverty and bullying in their teens—with warmth and admiration while acknowledging that competition between hacker gangs and ransomware hunters has helped spur more sophisticated viruses and bigger paydays. Readers will put down this engrossing underdog story just long enough to back up their own files." Publishers Weekly

"[Dudley and Golden] weave a vast and intricate story about a global crime and the ragtag band of volunteers who have assembled to step in where law enforcement was unable or unwilling. Profiles of the ransomware hunters . . . push this book along at a swift pace, adding an interesting human element to a problem that can often seem impenetrable to outsiders. For anyone interested in the modern reality of global cyber-crime, this is a must-read." CrimeReads

"Dudley and Golden are both respected journalists, and their writing reflects their acclaimed careers. With the pacing of an action-packed thriller, The Ransomware Hunting Team is loaded with page-turning moments . . . [This] is a book that should not be overlooked by anyone who wishes to better understand the complex cyberworld we inhabit." —Micah Cummins, Open Letters Review

"An accessible, tautly written account of cyberwarfare in real time." Kirkus Reviews

"What Michael Lewis did for baseball in Moneyball, Dudley and Golden do brilliantly for the world of ransomware and hackers. Cinematic, big in scope, and meticulously reported, this book is impossible to put down. Welcome to a brand-new world of geniuses, crooks, capers and global intrigue that you’re already part of, and likely didn’t even know it." Doug Stanton, New York Times bestselling author of In Harm’s Way and Horse Soldiers

“If you’ve ever used a computer, you need this book. Renee Dudley and Daniel Golden have burrowed into the digital underworld to reveal the unlikely heroes saving the rest of us from cyber chaos. The Ransomware Hunting Team is nonfiction with the narrative engine of a thriller.” —Mitchell Zuckoff, New York Times bestselling author of Fall and Rise and 13 Hours

"A deeply reported dive into the rising tide of digital exploitation gangs, their nefarious methods, and the scraggly band of volunteers who are fighting to keep us safe. Totally engrossing." —Julia Angwin, author of Dragnet Nation

"Meet the whitehats who unravel the baffling malware infesting our connected computers. Unsung and unpaid, these clever computer jocks rescue individuals, businesses, and governments." —Clifford Stoll, author of The Cuckoo's Egg and other books

"The Ransomware Hunting Team is a tour de force of investigative reporting, with more twists, turns and shadowy figures than any spy thriller. Renee Dudley and Daniel Golden take you deep inside the hidden universe of ransomware hackers and heroes—and some who may or may not be both. It’s a breathtaking true tale that’s astonishing and disturbing—and irresistibly readable." —Joanne Lipman, bestselling author of That's What She Said and former editor in chief of USA Today

"Dudley and Golden take us behind the firewall and into the fire—Ransomware—that's about to engulf everyone who owns a computer. They put flesh and bones on the 1s and 0s by decrypting the human stories of the cyber attackers, their victims, and, most of all, the civilian sleuths around the world who've become unexpected superheroes of the cyber realm. Whether you're a layman or a lawman, this is a must read." —Frank Figliuzzi, former assistant director for counterintelligence at the FBI and author of The FBI Way

About the Creators

The Ransomware Hunting Team

The Ransomware Hunting Team