Chris Tarbell: The Real Story Behind the “Silk Road” Movie

Chris Tarbell

If you’re looking to get audiences excited with an incredible, hair-raising true story, consider FBI special agent Chris Tarbell. He is one of the most successful cyber security law enforcement officials of all time – so successful, in fact, that books and movies are being made about his legendary career.

The Movie & Best-Selling Story

The highly anticipated “Silk Road” movie (based on the NYT best-seller) hitting theaters and screens details the story of the notorious dark web drug trafficking site. Played by Jimmi Simpson,Tarbells’s instrumental role in taking down “the most sophisticated extensive criminal marketplace on the Internet,” is also highlighted.

Tarbell took down Dread Pirate Roberts (named Ross William Ulbricht), the operator of Silk Road, which generated more than $1.2 billion in drug, firearm, and counterfeit documents and currency sales since launching in 2011. According to court documents, some users even hired hit men through the site. In connection with the case, Tarbell seized more than $150 million in Bitcoins, the largest such seizure in history. Technology author Nick Bilton wrote a New York Times best-selling book based on the Silk Road case, American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road, which was inspiration for the movie.

But for a real, unfiltered look at what actually happened, plus insider insights on the cyber threats modern businesses face today, Chris Tarbell is a top choice.

Adrenaline-Pumping Speaker

Dubbed “the Eliot Ness of online crime” by Newsweek, Tarbell is also a gifted speaker. A charismatic and hilarious storyteller, he shares the adrenaline-pumping tales of how he infiltrated and took down two of the most notorious cyber criminals – in the Silk Road, as well as the Anonymous hacker group – while outlining our nation’s growing cyber threats and the challenges businesses have in protecting themselves.

Believing that there are two types of companies out there—those who have been hacked and those who don’t know they’ve been hacked – Tarbell offers practical tips like “Don’t be the low-hanging fruit” and “Be aware of insider threats” and helps audiences understand which threats they should focus on when allocating their resources.

With 17 years in law enforcement and extremely rare insight into the mindset of the hacker community, his is the preeminent voice on cyber security in the nation, and his captivating, real-life stories prove that just because you cannot see your adversary, or even know his real name, it doesn’t mean you can’t protect yourself.


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