- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (March 28, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1476763267
- ISBN-13: 978-1476763262
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 150 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,330 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War Reprint Edition
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"A compelling history of cyberwarfare." (Evan Osnos The New Yorker)
“A consistently eye-opening history of our government’s efforts to effectively manage our national security in the face of the largely open global communications network established by the World Wide Web. . . . The great strengths of Dark Territory . . . are the depth of its reporting and the breadth of its ambition. . . . The result is not just a page-turner but consistently surprising. . . . One of the most important themes that emerges from Mr. Kaplan’s nuanced narrative is the extent to which defense and offense are very much two sides of the same coin. . . . The biggest surprise of Dark Territory is the identity of the most prominent domestic heroes and villains in the “secret history.” . . . Dark Territory is the rare tome that leaves the reader feeling generally good about their civilian and military leadership.” (The New York Times)
“A book that grips, informs and alarms, finely researched and lucidly related.” (John le Carré)
“Comprehensively reported history . . . The book’s central question is how should we think about war, retaliation, and defense when our technologically advanced reliance on computers is also our greatest vulnerability?” (The New Yorker)
“Dark Territory captures the troubling but engrossing narrative of America’s struggle to both exploit the opportunities and defend against the risks of a new era of global cyber-insecurity. Assiduously and industriously reported. . . . Kaplan recapitulates one hack after another, building a portrait of bewildering systemic insecurity in the cyber domain. . . . One of the deep insights of Dark Territory is the historical understanding by both theorists and practitioners that cybersecurity is a dynamic game of offense and defense, each function oscillating in perpetual competition.” (The Washington Post)
Dark Territory offers thrilling insights into high-level politics, eccentric computer hackers and information warfare. In 15 chapters—some of them named after classified codenames and official (and unofficial) hacking exercises—Kaplan has encapsulated the past, present and future of cyber war. (The Financial Express)
“An important, disturbing, and gripping history arguing convincingly that, as of 2015, no defense exists against a resourceful cyberattack.” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)
“Kaplan dives into a topic which could end up being just as transformational to national security affairs as the nuclear age was. The book opens fast and builds from there, providing insights from research that even professionals directly involved in cyber operations will not have gleaned. . . . You will love this book.” (Bob Gourley CTOvision.com)
“The best available history of the U.S. government’s secret use of both cyber spying, and efforts to use its computer prowess for more aggressive attacks. . . . Contains a number of fascinating, little-known stories about the National Security Agency and other secret units of the U.S. military and intelligence community. . . . An especially valuable addition to the debate.” (John Sipher Lawfare)
“Fascinating . . . To understand how deeply we have drifted into legally and politically uncharted waters, read Kaplan’s new book, Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War.” (George F. Will The Washington Post)
"Fred Kaplan’s Dark Territory may become a classic reference for scholars and students seeking to understand the complicated people who ushered the United States into the cyber-conflict era and the tough decisions they made." (Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, Director, Center for Cyber Conflict, US Naval War College Proceedings of the U.S. Naval Institute)
“Deeply sourced. Luckily, he’s not slavishly loyal to his sources.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
EDITORS' CHOICE (New York Times Book Review)
“Chilling . . . Kaplan is one of America’s leading writers on national security, and his accounts of cyberattacks are gripping . . . assiduously researched.” (Edward Lucas The Times (London))
“Peppered with many fascinating behind-the-scenes anecdotes . . . A readable and informative history.” (P.W. Singer The New York Times Book Review)
A “Hot Type” Book Pick for March 2016 (Vanity Fair)
A “Hot Tech Book of 2016” (Tech Republic)
“Worthy of any spy thriller. . . a strong narrative flow . . . impressivelydetailed . . . deeplyrelevant . . . vital.” (The National (UAE))
“Jarring . . . a rich, behind-the-headlines history of our government’s efforts to make policy for the jaw-dropping vulnerabilities of our ever-increasing dependence on computers. . . . Kaplan renders a vivid account of the long struggle waged by presidents, bureaucrats, generals, private-sector CEOs, and privacy advocates . . . Kaplan enjoys considerable credibility in defense circles, but he guides us through the dark territory of cyber conflict with an omniscient-narrator voice reminiscent of Bob Woodward’s behind-the-scenes books. . . . Today, Kaplan argues, it is precisely U.S. pre-eminence in the network connectivity that makes us the most vulnerable target in the world to cyber sabotage.” (Washington Independent Review of Books)
“Pulitzer-prizewinning journalist Fred Kaplan’s taut, urgent history traces the dual trajectory of digital surveillance and intervention, and high-level US policy from the 1980s on.” (NATURE)
“Dark Territory is a remarkable piece of reporting. Fred Kaplan has illuminated not merely the profound vulnerabilities of our nation to cyber warfare, but why it has taken so long for our policy-makers to translate indifference into concern and concern into action. This is a vitally important book by a meticulous journalist.” (Ted Koppel, author of Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath)
“A fascinating account of the people and organizations leading the way towards a cyber war future.” (Dorothy E. Denning, author of Information Warfare and Security, 1st Inductee, National Cyber Security Hall of Fame)
“A very in-depth work... its content is enlightening and intelligent and the secrets it uncovers are astounding.” (The News Hub)
“Everyone has heard the term 'cyber warfare.' Very few people could explain exactly what it means and why it matters. Dark Territory solves that problem with an account that is both fascinating and authoritative. Fred Kaplan has put the people, the technologies, the dramatic turning points, and the strategic and economic stakes together in a way no author has done before.” (James Fallows, national correspondent, The Atlantic)
“Revealing. . . . On a vital current-events topic, the well-connected Kaplan’s well-sourced history gives readers much to ponder.” (Booklist)
“One of the very best books ever written about the American military in the era of small wars . . . Fred Kaplan brings a formidable talent for writing intellectual history.” (The New York Review of Books)
“Excellent . . . An intellectual thriller.” (Time)
“Excellent . . . Poignant and timely . . . A good read, rich in texture and never less than wise.” (Foreign Policy)
“The best account to date of the history of cyber war…a human story: a history as revealed by the people involved in shaping it…full of detail, including information that will be new even to insiders.” (The Times Literary Supplement)
"It’s not easy to write an engaging book on cyberwar, and Kaplan, a national security columnist at Slate, has done an admirable job. He presents a clear account of the United States’ evolution into a formidable cyberpower, guiding the reader through a thicket of technical details and government acronyms." (Foreign Affairs)
About the Author
Fred Kaplan is the national-security columnist for Slate and the author of five books, including Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War; The Wizards of Armageddon; 1959; Daydream Believers; and The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War, which was a New York Times bestseller and Pulitzer Prize finalist. A former Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter for The Boston Globe, he graduated from Oberlin College, earned a PhD from MIT, and lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Brooke Gladstone.
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I say this simply so I can emphasize the following: I wish that we had had Fred Kaplan's "Dark Territory" when we began work on our film.
The use of cyber attack by the military is a topic cloaked in secrecy, a topic that many at the very highest levels of government remain fearful to speak about even in scant outlines. It was only through years of painstaking journalistic work by a team of investigators that we could piece together the understanding of the cyber world that allowed us to make our film, including the crucial awareness of the deep history that led to operations like Olympic Games and Nitro Zeus. Kaplan has performed a tremendous service by making that history plain to the public here in this book.
For those interested in the history of the subject, the books that are worth reading are few. Jay Healey's "A Fierce Domain" and Shane Harris's "@War" are excellent complements to Kaplan. I expect Thomas Rid's upcoming book will join that list.
But start with Kaplan. He has details you won't find elsewhere, and tells the story with characteristic skill. Knowing how heavy that cloak of secrecy weighs on the people who have worked behind it, I am impressed by what Kaplan has achieved here, and I highly recommend the book.
One would think that great strides have been made in recent years. Perhaps some progress has come, but read “Dark Territory.” It is most enlightening if not frightening.
From the 1980’s to the present, this book chronicles the plight of the United States industrial, military, intelligence and Internet complex to formulate a workable strategy to detect and defend against both rogue and State sponsored Black Hat hackers. The story begins when the Reagan administration became aware that the United State’s critical infrastructure was “highly susceptible to interception, unauthorized electronic access, and related forms of technical exploitation.” It was a surprising revelation. Remember, this was when the Internet was at its earliest stage of development, and generally thought of as a dark mystery. From then onto the present it was all about gathering information, assessing the danger and bringing all the players together to confront the problem, both government and private industry, including the CIA, NSA, the military and private industry. It wasn’t easy considering the pervasive level of ignorance and diverse interests. However, the author did an excellent job of discussing the myriad of problems and shows how persistence, leadership, cooperation and teamwork can move mountains. From those early days of mischievous hacking to the present state of global cyberwarfare, the effort has paid off. Although our current system isn’t perfect, we have one of the most technologically advanced cyber capabilities in the world. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in computers, the Internet and the history of cyberwarfare.