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The Perfect Weapon : War, Sabotage, and Fear in the Cyber Age - David E. Sanger

The Perfect Weapon

War, Sabotage, and Fear in the Cyber Age

Paperback Published: 21st June 2018
ISBN: 9781911617723
Number Of Pages: 384

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From the premiere New York Times Washington correspondent, a stunning and incisive look into how cyber-warfare is influencing elections, threatening international security, and bringing us to the brink of global war.

Behind the Russian cyber-attacks that may have thrown the 2016 US 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 the riveting story of how, in less than a decade, cyber-warfare displaced terrorism and nuclear attacks as the greatest threat to international security.

Cheap to acquire, 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 equally urgent conflict: American companies like 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 cyber-attacks.

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 corporations.

About the Author

David E. Sanger is national security correspondent for The New York Times and the bestselling author of The Inheritance and Confront and Conceal. He has been a member of three teams that won the Pulitzer Prize, including in 2017 for international reporting. A regular contributor to CNN, he also teaches national security policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Industry Reviews

`This encyclopedic account by a Times correspondent traces the rapid rise of cyberwarfare capabilities and warns that ideas about how to control them are only beginning to emerge.'

* The New York Times Book Review (Editor's Choice) *

`[Sanger] writes with persuasiveness and authority.'

* The Telegraph *

`In a chilling new book, The Perfect Weapon, David Sanger details how more than 30 nations have developed effective cyber forces.'

* Financial Times *

`An encyclopedic account of policy-relevant happenings in the cyberworld ... the most comprehensive, readable source of information and insight about the policy quandaries that modern information technology and its destructive potential have spawned.'

-- Paul R. Pillar * The New York Times *

`[The Perfect Weapon is] an important - and deeply sobering - new book about cyberwarfare.'

-- Nicholas Kristof * The New York Times *

`A reader finishes this book fully understanding why cyberwar has moved rapidly to the top of America's official list of national security threats.'

-- David von Drehle * The Washington Post *

`In his new book, The Perfect Weapon, Sanger offers a panoramic view of the rapidly evolving world of cyber-conflict. He covers incidents from the covert U.S. cyber-campaign to sabotage Iran's nuclear program (a story we know about largely because of Sanger's diligent reporting) to Edward Snowden's epic heist of National Security Agency data. And yes, there's also plenty of background on Russia's active measures during the 2016 campaign. But there's also a wealth of gripping material on stories that have probably been missed by the broader public ... It all adds up to a persuasive argument for the truth of the book's title.'

-- Christian Caryl * The Washington Post *

`Anyone who doubts cyber's unintended consequences should read David Sanger's new book The Perfect Weapon. Sanger, a reporter for The New York Times, has been a dogged and diligent observer of cybersecurity issues for years. His book is a readable account of what went wrong.'

-- Robert Samuelson * The Washington Post *

`Computer and cyber warfare is a burgeoning mode of conflict that poses serious threats to the United States, Pulitzer-winning New York Times correspondent Sanger (Confront and Conceal) argues in this perhaps overly worried investigation. Sanger gives a lucid account of national programs for digital espionage and warfare, but it's not always clear that the various technologies described hold much danger; for example, he doesn't make a strong case that Russian spoofing of social media accounts really undermines American democracy. Readers could use a more thorough exploration of the limitations of supposedly perfect digital weapons.'

* Publishers Weekly *

`You may not have realised it but we are at war. A world war. And it's not clear who's winning or who will ultimately win, but the battleground is vast - cyberspace ... David E. Sanger sums up where we are and where we could be heading.'

-- Jon Wise * Weekend Sport *

`[A] sobering new book.'

-- John Naughton * The Guardian *

`The book's greatest strength is in how Sanger captures the complexities of cyber weapons and cyber operations to illustrate the internal dynamics of the Obama administration as it grappled with these emerging capabilities ... Where he falls a bit short is on the other side of the equation, where those principles fell somewhat short. Apple for all of its stances on privacy and protecting consumer information bent over backwards to accommodate the Chinese government ... It is well reported, well sourced, and his access provides insights into what many of the key players were thinking at the time and in the years since their tenure ended ... For lay readers, The Perfect Weapon is a great one-volume precis on recent cyber war.'

* Joshua Huminski, The Diplomatic Courier *

`The Perfect Weapon may be one of the most important, if chilling, books you'll read this year.'

* The Saturday Age *

`Sanger, The New York Times' security correspondent, has catalogued the recent history of cyber warfare, how it needs to be confronted and the intensely complex policy issues that arise. This is the last word in the modern world of cyber warfare - until artificial intelligence takes over.'

* Mercury *

`Sanger, The New York Times' security correspondent, has catalogued the recent history of how cyber warfare has developed, how it needs to be confronted, and the intensely complex policy issues that arise.'

* Courier Mail *

Praise for The Inheritance:
`[Sanger is] a shrewd and insightful strategic thinker.'

-- Gary J. Bass * The New York Times *

Preface
Prologue: From Russia, With Love
1. Original Sins
2. Pandora's Inbox
3. The Hundred-Dollar Takedown
4. Man in the Middle
5. The China Rules
6. The Kims Strike Back
7. Putin's Petri Dish
8. The Fumble
9. Warning from the Cotswolds
10. The Slow Awakening
11. Three Crises in the Valley
12. Left of Launch
Afterword
Acknowledgements
Notes

ISBN: 9781911617723
ISBN-10: 1911617729
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 384
Published: 21st June 2018
Publisher: Scribe Publications
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.8 x 15.6  x 2.9
Weight (kg): 0.51

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