- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Ecco; First Edition edition (April 20, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0061962236
- ISBN-13: 978-0061962233
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 259 customer reviews
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- #510 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > Elections & Political Process > General
- #580 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > International & World Politics > Security
- #722 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > Specific Topics > Intelligence & Espionage
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Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It Hardcover – April 20, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
On today's battlefields computers play a major role, controlling targeting systems, relaying critical intelligence information, and managing logistics. And, like their civilian counter-parts, defense computers are susceptible to hacking. In September 2007, Israeli cyber warriors "blinded" Syrian anti-aircraft installations, allowing Israeli planes to bomb a suspected nuclear weapons manufacturing facility (Syrian computers were hacked and reprogrammed to display an empty sky). One of the first known cyber attacks against an independent nation was a Russian DDOS (Deliberate Denial of Service) on Estonia. Since it can rarely be traced directly back to the source, the DDOS has become a common form of attack, with Russia, China, North Korea, the U.S., and virtually every other country in possession of a formidable military having launched low-level DDOS assaults. Analysts across the globe are well aware that any future large-scale conflict will include cyber warfare as part of a combined arms effort. Clarke and Knake argue that today's leaders, though more computer savvy than ever, may still be ignorant of the cyber threats facing their national security.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
International security experts—Clarke from the nuclear generation and Knake from the cyber generation—ponder the irony that although the U.S. pioneered the technology behind cyber warfare, outdated thinking, policies, and strategies make us vulnerable to losing any cyber contest with a hostile nation. Cyber war refers to hostile attempts by one nation to penetrate another’s computers or networks. Among recent examples: suspicion that in 2007 Israel executed a cyber assault on a Syrian nuclear weapons plant being built by North Korea, the 2008 cyber attack on Georgia by Russia to knock out its government computers before an actual attack on that nation, and North Korea’s actions in 2009 after a nuclear missile test to launch botnets to disrupt government computer systems in the U.S. and South Korea. Cyber warriors often use programs to crash Web sites and computers to cover other, more aggressive actions in the real world. In this chilling and eye-opening book, Clarke and Knake provide a highly detailed yet accessible look at how cyber warfare is being waged and the need to rethink our national security to face this new threat. --Vanessa Bush
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Things I liked about the book:
The authors don't try to overload the reader with a lot of technical jargon trying to justify their position at the micro level of cyber security. Throughout the book, the authors use anecdotes and personal experiences to bring home THEIR point of view on the cyber threat to the US. I like this style of writing as I can relate to someone walking through their opinion forming process much easier than I can digest a litany of statistics and facts on a topic. Although, a healthy amount of that is critical to forming a valid, sound opinion (see my criticisms of this book). I did appreciate that the authors were trying to convey how they came to their current world view on the topic and what the Nation's leaders are facing in dealing with these challenges.
Things I didn't like about the book:
My criticisms of this book lie mostly in how little citation of recent examples (recent up to when the book was written, not 2015) was used in the book as support of the position of the authors. Much of the referenced facts and information provided in the book was pretty old, dating back to the late 80s and 90s, and the challenges that were faced back then (also included early 2000s). So much more has happened in this space since then, even up to when the book was written, that I felt that more discussion on recent findings would have been more warranted, as well as addressing some of the dissenting viewpoints out there to even further solidify their positions.
Also, citations of any facts are practically non-existent in this book. Much of the facts presented are in the form of, "I had a discussion with Mr. X one day" or "It was found at the XYZ conference that...", which wouldn't really hold much water in an academic setting (why I was reading the book in the first place). Still, setting that aside, you can take the book for what it is, accept their statements as their perspective on the topic and cross-check it with other sources that may or may not corroborate their findings. This book is entertaining to read, informational and definitely makes you think about the cyber challenges we face in not just the U.S., but the world as a whole.
He is, without doubt, a recognized expert in the field having worked as a counter-terrorism expert for many years - so his warnings should not be marginalized. In fact, he describes some of the early, low level DDOS (deliberate denial of service) attacks perpetrated by Russia and other rogue nations. Just as the advent of tanks and airplanes changed the waging of wars one hundred years ago, so too is the technology revolution impacting the way in which wars will be fought in the future.
One could put this down to the musings of a technocrat theorizing about what could happen; however recent events (Sony email hack, Democratic party email hack) have put a harsh spotlight on how anonymous nation states can wreak havoc on an enemy. The threat has emerged and it will grow. The next war will be fought in the data center!
The book attempts to walk a delicate path between being a readable text for the everyman, who needs to become more aware of the threats that cyber warfare can pose; and a technical treatise on its history and the policy prescriptions that must be addressed if we are to prevent some future tragedy. It’s a hard balance to find - I think the authors erred on the side of the everyman. Not necessarily a bad thing, but the reader should be mindful of the authors’ objectives. I suspect this will not be the last book to hit our shelves on this subject.
Most recent customer reviews
Yes. No disappointment ..