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Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It Paperback – April 10, 2012
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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. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Knake from the cyber generation—ponder the irony that although the U.S. pioneered the technology behind cyber warfare, outdated thinking, policies, and strategies make us vulnerable to losing any cyber contest with a hostile nation.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 --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top customer reviews
In fact, it's quite possibly one of the best books I've ever read. It's just that good. The subject matter is presented with candor and thought provoking insight rarely found in books on war. It's left an impression on me which only the greatest books have been able to do, an impression which will likely remain through the rest of my life.
The premise for "Cyber War" is simple enough: every sector of the United States is under constant threat of a devastating cyber attack. These sectors include our military, governmental and civilian infrastructures. According to the author, we currently do not have adequate defenses to protect our critical resources from cyber attacks. This is because our strategy up to this point has been strictly offensive. After all, the United States created the Internet and it is the most technologically advanced country on Earth. Why do we need a strong cyber defense? If someone attacks us, why can't we just strike back and blow them to kingdom come? It's worked in the past. In fact, the author goes all the way back to World War-II to show examples. Our best defense has always been a good offense. According to Clarke, however, now it's different. In cyber war, the best offense is a good defense.
The author disagrees with the strict "offense" scenario that was employed during World war-II up through and including Vietnam, the Cold War and our wars in the Middle East. Such tactics, he claims, won't make the grade in a cyber war. He supports his position by presenting several "cyber attack" scenarios, and then provides his own proposals and analysis to be considered by our government. Will international treaties work? Will regulations governing our networks work? Will shock and awe using kinetic weapons hold up against cyber warfare? What about a combination of kinetic and cyber weapons in a sort of one-two punch? First, launch a targeted cyber attack to prepare the battlefield, then followup with strategic kinetic weapons. Will that work? Mr. Clarke points out the strengths and weakness of a variety of scenarios. And he doesn't just cry wolf, he offers real world solutions. I will say this, he does make you think about the problem, however, I do believe a good understanding of the global Internet as well as computer networks, plus a review of international cyber law as found in "Inside Cyber Warfare: Mapping the Cyber Underworld" by Jeffrey Carr, would be a great help in understanding the material in this book. I found "Cyber War" to be interesting, enjoyable and enlightening. I give it five stars.
If Einstein had read Richard Clarke's book "Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It" he would have known what weapons would be used in World War III.
Clarke explains that while the US may be ahead in cyber war offensive capabilities, our non-military infrastructure is mostly wide open to attack (unlike our enemies). In this frightening book, he takes on presidential administrations, congress, Washington and the private sector for leaving our country defenseless.
His example of what could happen to the USA in a cyber attack is one of the scariest scenarios I have read in a non-fiction book.
I wish everyone would read this and send a copy to their congressman with a demand to fix it before we make Einstein's forecast come true.
--As Soldiers Really Live It
by: Sebastian Junger
My hope is that when people read my book, they'll understand that emotional territory better.
So when a soldier is in some kind of distress back home, I think it would be very helpful for his wife to realize that not only was he traumatized by his service, but is also being traumatized by being taken away from it, by being taken out of a world of incredible intensity and very obvious meaning into a civilian world that is less intense and where the meaning of life is more diffuse and less obvious.
The more that civilians -- wives, fathers, mothers, children -- understand the really complex emotional territory of combat, the better our society will be able to re-incorporate these young men and give them a useful and productive role back home.
Selected Quotes from the Book:
"It was some of the most beautiful and rugged terrain in Afghanistan and for centuries had served as a center of resistance against invaders. Alexander's armies ground to a halt in nearby Nurdistan and stayed so long that the blond and red-haired locals are said to be descendants of his men.
"Its only on rear bases that you hear any belligerent talk about patriotism or religion...."
"The problem with fear, though, is that isn't any one thing. Fear has a whole taxonomy - anxiety, dread, panic, foreboding- and you could be braced for one form and completely fall apart facing another."
"Combat jams so much adrenaline through your system that fear was rarely an issue; far more indicative of real courage was how you felt before the big operations,..."
"...war-fighting simply consists of carrying heavy loads uphill."
"...exhaustion is partly a state of mind..."
"Giving into fear or exhaustion were the ways in which a soldier could fail his platoon..."
"Everything in war is simple, but the simplest thing is difficult," the military theorists Carl von Clausewitz wrote in 1820s. "The difficulties accumulate and end by producing a kind offriction".
"We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night
to visit violence on those who would do us harm." --Winston Churchill
"...Combat is a series of quick decisions and rather precise actions carried out in concert with ten or twelve other men."
"As soon as our wheels crossed the wire the gunner racks his weapon and we grind slowly through Jalalabad and then head north on the new black pavement that ribbons smoothly along the river. There are rice paddies along the floodplain and, here and there, clusters of jagged slate gravestones shoved into the ground like spades. Green prayer flags toil around them in the wind. The winter sun glances off the wide braidings of the river and make the water look dull and heavy as mercury, and beyond that, rank after rank of mountains fall off towards the east: Pakistan. An old man stands in a field of stones watching us go by."
"The coward's fear of death stems in large part from his incapacity to love anything but his own body. The inability to participate in other's lives stands in the way of his developing any inner resources sufficient to overcome the terror of death."
J. Glenn Gary, The Warriors
"(why appeal to God when you can call in Apaches?}"
"As a soldier, the thing you were most scared of was failing your brothers when they needed you. And compared to that dying was easy. Dying was over with. Cowardice lingered forever."
"Civilians understand soldiers to have a kind of baseline duty, and that everything above that is considered `bravery'. Soldiers see it the other way around: either you are doing your duty or you are a coward."
"The side effects of Mefloquinine includes severe depression, paranoia, aggression, nightmares and insomnia. Those happen to be the side effects of combat as well."
"The men take a perverse pride in this, cultivate a certain disdain for anyone who has it better, which is basically everyone. Combat infantry carry the most, eat the worst, die the fastest, sleep the least, and have the most to fear. But they're the real soldiers, the only ones conducting what can be considered war in the most classical sense, and everyone knows it."
"The fight lasts ten or fifteen minutes and then the A-10s show up and tilt into their dives. Ninety rounds a second the size of beer cans unzipping the mountainsides with a sound like the sky ripping."
"A tired, cold, muddy rifleman goes forward with the bitter dryness of fear in his mouth into the mortar bursts and machine gun fire of a determined enemy,..."
Stouffer: The American Soldier
"The men know Pakistan is the root of the entire war,..."
"You didn't have to be in the army to notice that Pakistan was effectively waging war against America, but the administration back home was refusing to even acknowledge it, much less take any action."
"Dawn comes crawling up out of the east with the moon still hung over the valley like a dinner plate and the men wrapped in their ponchos and curled up shivering."
Most recent customer reviews
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