[Summary The Perfect Weapon How the Cyber Arms Race Set the World Afire] Epub ☆ David E. Sanger

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Apple and Cisco must claim allegiance to no government in the name of selling secure products around the globe yet the US intelligence agencies want the help of such companies in defending against future cyberattacks Reported and written with unprecedented access by New York Times chief Washington correspondent and bestselling author David Sanger The Perfect Weapon takes readers inside war rooms and boardrooms into the secret cyberdens of American and Chinese military to give the deep background story of the increasingly pitched battle between nations their governments their cyberwarriors and their corporatio TLDR Must Read Very scary We re screwed Kill your social media accounts Abandon technology Start a homestead Cynics are on to somethingFull Review The threat of Nuclear Weapons and rise of Global Warming have occupied the top spot in the list of humanity s gravest concerns for as long as I can remember and rightly so We have arrived at the point in our times where just a few players controlling history s deadliest arsenal can hit the reset button and send us all back to an age when sticks and rocks were considered very high tech And it would all happen very fast Similarly the slow decline of our planet s condition due to pollution over harvesting of natural resources and snail paced adoption of sustainable practices have brought us closer to the teetering edge of a major global crisis Fortunately the political and social visibility of these issues respectively have ensured a healthy if not insufficient amount of discourse After all it s easy to see rockets on parade massive landfills and melting glaciers But what about invisible bits of code yeah I used bit there in the double sense I m so cleverr freely crawling through cyberspace waiting for the right moment to bring our mighty technological empires all crashing downIn The Perfect Weapon David Sanger makes a very compelling case for the imperative to start a conversation regarding the use of Cyber Weapons by nation states Their full implications are slowly starting to be revealed and it s high time we start treating them with the same import as those previously discussed Scariest by far is our inability to properly gauge the reach of their damage and to understand the full extent to which they are eroding our political and social institutions Sure when hackers bring down an exchange or stop you from accessing your bank account we can count the millions in lost revenue down to the minute But when the target is a power grid serving millions of households and hundreds of hospitals the currency we count with is in lives These weapons are asymmetrical cheap easy to deploy delivered at digital speed and are not deterred by borders or physical boundaries Cyberweapons are entirely different from nuclear arms and their effects have so far remained relatively modest But to assume that will continue to be true is to assume we understand the destructive power of the technology we have unleashed and that we can manage it History suggests that is a risky bet And let s not forget the disruption brought about by those social media platforms that not too long ago were celebrated for their ability to bring democracy and free speech to remote parts of the world under totalitarian rule The are now part and parcel of a new breed of attack on the same institutions they once sought to protect On Russia s capabilities to use these attacks Sanger writes The Internet Research Agency could actually degrade social media s organizational power through weaponizing it The ease with which its news writers impersonated real Americans or real Europeans or anyone else meant that over time people would lose trust in the entire platform For Putin who looked at social media s role in fomenting rebellion in the Middle East and organizing opposition to Russia in Ukraine the notion of calling into uestion just who was on the other end of a Tweet or Facebook post of making revolutionaries think twice before reaching for their smartphones to organize would be a delightful by product It gave him two ways to undermine his adversaries for the price of one If Sanger is correct and it s hard to argue against his point we have all become part of the weapon system and what is worse we are just cluelessly strolling around this new battlefield too Posts shares tweets and likes could prove just as noxious to society as ignorance prejudice apathy and complacency Taking pride in participating in the democratic process every election cycle is no longer sufficient it seems We must make an effort to become savvier in the ways in which what we choose to use share and engage with is used to distabilize an ever increasing technological dependent interconnected world We could all be responsible in this respect awareness leads to discussionAfter reading Sanger s excellently written and thorough examination of the role of Cyber Weapons in the 21st century I m convinced they pose the most immediate threat to our times and way of life Please do yourself a favor and at least skim its pages and see for yourself Start there If you have read Factfulness by Hans Rosling you d be inclined to dispute this point but my biggest issue with the book is that it took the long term effects of this prosperity far too lightly See my review

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The Perfect Weapon How the Cyber Arms Race Set the World Afire

From the premiere New York Times Washington correspondent a stunning and incisive look into how cyberwarfare is influencing elections threatening national security and bringing us to the brink of global warBehind the Russian cyberattacks that may have thrown the 2016 election; behind the Sony hack; behind mysterious power outages around the world and the disappearance of thousands of personnel records from poorly guarded government servers are the traces of a new and powerful weapon one that has the potential to remake global conflict like nothing since the invention of the atomic bomb The Perfect Weapon is t This book consists largely of the retelling of cyber attack incidents that have previously been in the news over the past ten years However the retelling in this book at this time has the advantage of hindsight which provides the enabling perspective regarding background motive and attribution that were largely uncertain when the stories were first reported Additionally encompassing all these stories into one book at this time allows the pondering of their ramifications on privacy crime and international relationsSome of the better known incidents elaborated by this book include 1 Russian interference during the 2016 presidential election 2 AmericanIsraeli computer worm Stuxnet that blew up Iran s nuclear centrifuges 3 Russian cyberattacks on Estonia and Ukraine 4 the 2014 North Korean cyberattacks on Sony Pictures and 5 the 2017 worldwide cyberattack by the WannaCry ransomware cryptoworm Of course part of the story also includes the Edward Snowden and WikiLeaks affairs and the ripple effects they had on subseuent relations between tech companies and nation states The author covered these stories as an investigative reporter for the New York Times at the time when they were first in the news Thus he is able to retell these stories by freuently switching into first person voice while recounting interviews with the individuals affected by the incident As indicated by the book s title and subtitle the cyber world provides a new way of exerting power committing crime andor waging war Cyber arms are a great eualizer They re low cost and largely asymmetrical They allow a degree of anonymity and stealth in their use while at the same time holding large swaths of nation state infrastructure and private sector infrastructure at risk Additionally rogue nations such as North Korea have been able to use cyber tools to make money by illegally hacking into electronic bank transfers eg Bangladesh Bank cyber heistCyber conflict has the additional complication for governments and businesses because of their unwillingness to admit victimhood or participation in such action Cyber damage not only hurts reputations going public can reveal techniues and tools that are best kept secret Another complication is that even though national interests are involved many of the tools and technologies involved are controlled by private companies who are marketing their products worldwide and thus prefer to appear independent of their home countryBelow are some excerpts from the book involving stories that I found interesting The first excerpt is an example of how antiuated technology can be advantageous The second excerpt is an example of the gullibility of AmericansEXCERPT 1The following is a description of the findings of an American team sent to the Ukraine to determine if the Russians could shut down the American electrical grid the same way they had done in the UkraineThe instructions they carried were simple go figure out what happened and whether the United States is vulnerable to the same kind of attack The team came back with a mixed answer While the Ukrainians did not have defenses as sophisticated as many American utility com panies a uaint oddity in Ukrainian systems ultimately saved them from an even greater disaster lt turned out that their electric grid built by the Soviets was so antiuated that it wasn t entirely dependent on computers They still had the big old metal switches that ran the power grid back in the pre computer age Ozment explained as if admiring the simplicity of an original Ford Model A engine The investigators reported that Ukrainian engineers got into their trucks and went scrambling from one substation to another looking for switches that they could throw to route around the computers and turn the lights back onScore one for a creaking antiuated system particularly since it would take months for the Ukrainians to rebuild their damaged computer based network controls But Ukraine s resilience was not much comfort to the Americans who read the reports and thought about their own vulnerabilities Few American systems still had these rusting old switches they were eliminated long ago And even if the American utilities had hung on to the old systems the engineers who knew how they worked had long since retired p167EXCERPT 2The following describes some of the early Russian cyber meddling in American political discourse and their surprise at their own effectiveness and American gullibilityTexas seemed particularly ripe for meddling Few of the trolls and bot malters had been there but they had read about it online and seen it in the movies It didn t take much of a leap of imagination to form a Heart of Texas group that appeared to be based in Houston but was actually operating near Red Suare They promoted a rally called Stop Islamization of Texas as if there were much Islamization to worry about Then in a masterful stroke the Russians created an opposing group United Muslims of America which scheduled a counter rally under the banner of Save Islamic Knowledge The idea was to motivate actual Americans who had joined each of the Facebook groups to face off against each other and prompt a lot of name calling and perhaps some violenceIt was a testament to how easy it is to mislead some subgroups of American citizens on the web with a few cheap bots and someone imitating a local resident But no one was amazed than the young Russians in Saint Petersburg who their own emails later showed could not believe their targets were so gulliblep202

review The Perfect Weapon How the Cyber Arms Race Set the World Afire

He riveting story of how in less than a decade cyberwarfare displaced terrorism and nuclear attacks as the greatest threat to American national security Cheap to acuire difficult to defend against and designed to shield their user's identities so as to complicate retaliation these weapons are capable of an unprecedented range of offensive tactics; they can take us just short of war allowing for everything from disruption to theft to the cause of widespread damage of essential infrastructure systems And the vulnerability of those systems has created a related but eually urgent conflict American companies like 66th book for 2018Nice summary of current situation around cyberwar from an American perspective This is a scary world where large state players China and Russia but also North Korea and Iran are increasingly intruding attacking US targets The US is largely unprotected from a cyberattack which could take down power water etc relatively easily Having read this it s really unclear how secure US voting systems are from an attack during 2018 election cycle Well worth a read A nice complement to Russian Roulette which covers some of the same material as it relates to Russia s hacking of the 2016 US Elections 4 stars


10 thoughts on “The Perfect Weapon How the Cyber Arms Race Set the World Afire

  1. says:

    This book consists largely of the retelling of cyber attack incidents that have previously been in the news over the past ten years However the retelling in this book at this time has the advantage of hindsight which provides the ena

  2. says:

    David Sanger is simply the best writer alive working on issues of global and American security and his latest book proves how far ahead he is of everyone else in his field His meticulous reporting and cogent analysis of where cyber warfare is headed makes an urgent argument for international standards a digital Geneva Convention is mentioned to be discussed and adopted with haste From the Iranian centrifuge sabotage to

  3. says:

    Philip Graham is credited with calling journalism the first rough draft of history The author of The Perfect Weapon David E Sanger one of the highly respected journalists for the New York Times called his book current history I am going with a 'polished second draft of history'As a daily reader of The Times I already had some familiarity with the topics covered in Mr Sanger's book However that reading did no

  4. says:

    66th book for 2018Nice summary of current situation around cyberwar from an American perspective This is a scary world where large state players China and Russia but also North Korea and Iran are increasingly intruding attacking US targets The US is largely unprotected from a cyberattack which could take down power water etc relatively easil

  5. says:

    This is an excellent and terrifying read The Russians and Chinese and North Koreans are in the house and it seems that this administration is not at all aware of the magnitude of the threat Sanger has a lot of access and a depth of knowledge on the issues and this history He's also an excellent writer I do have some criti

  6. says:

    • r e v i e w •“As we put autonomous cars on the road connect Alexas to our homes put ill protected Internet connected videos cameras and conduct our financial lives over our cell phones our vulnerabilities expand exp

  7. says:

    This was a great review of the political and cyber landscape over the past decade or so Not much new information if you have been following along but really well condensed into a single source which gives things broader context

  8. says:

    TLDR ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Must Read Very scary We're screwed Kill your social media accounts Abandon technology Start a homestead Cynics are on to somethingFull Review The threat of Nuclear Weapons and rise of Global Warming have occupied the top spot in the list of humanity's gravest concerns for as long as I can remember and rightly so

  9. says:

    Russia and China have penetrated so deeply into the electronic systems that sustain the American economy that either coun

  10. says:

    How to the laws of war apply to cyber That is the uestion Why not just manipulate North Korea's missile launches software prior to l

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