Cover: The Hacker and the State: Cyber Attacks and the New Normal of Geopolitics, from Harvard University PressCover: The Hacker and the State in HARDCOVER

The Hacker and the State

Cyber Attacks and the New Normal of Geopolitics

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Product Details


$27.95 • £22.95 • €25.00

ISBN 9780674987555

Publication Date: 02/25/2020


432 pages

5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches


Provides a reliable summary and deep analysis of a novel force bound to shape world affairs.—Walter Clemens, New York Journal of Books

With an academic’s eye, Buchanan compares and contrasts the emerging tactics [of digital competition] with the traditional ways of military conflict, nuclear competition, and espionage to make some sense of the new age. The book dissects how governments use cyberattacks to fundamentally ‘change the state of play.’—Patrick Howell O’Neill, MIT Technology Review

This is a must-read book. Factual and perceptive, it reveals important truths about cyberthreats and the role they play in international relations.—Vint Cerf, Internet pioneer

This is a great book and the best examination I have read of how increasingly dramatic developments in cyberspace are defining the ‘new normal’ of geopolitics in the digital age. No book I’ve read does a better job of describing what has transpired in recent years as state and non-state actors have developed ever more diabolically powerful and clever cyber capabilities. Ben Buchanan makes it clear that the future lies not just in Asia, but also in cyberspace, and he captures the dynamics of all of this truly brilliantly.—General David Petraeus, former Director of the CIA and Commander of Coalition Forces in Iraq and Afghanistan

The Hacker and the State is one of the finest books on information security published so far in this century—easily accessible, tightly argued, superbly well-sourced, intimidatingly perceptive.—Thomas Rid, author of Active Measures

This is a gripping book about today’s cyber threat landscape. Through riveting stories of move and counter-move among global adversaries, Buchanan explains why we are in a constant state of cyber conflict—where the stakes couldn’t be higher. From China’s attacks on our companies to Russia’s attacks on our elections, The Hacker and the State is indispensable reading for anyone who cares about our security, our prosperity, and our democracy.—Lisa Monaco, former White House Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Advisor and Deputy National Security Advisor

More than any other book, The Hacker and the State shows how and why governments hack one another. Having lived and worked in this shadowy world for many years, I came to appreciate its fascinating nuances, fierce competition, and strategic significance. If you read this book, you will, too. Buchanan shares digital spy stories and distills geopolitical insights that you just won’t find anywhere else. Remarkably, he has made his detailed insight accessible to a non-technical audience without any loss of fidelity in the underlying narrative.—Former senior intelligence officer, UK government

The Hacker and the State fundamentally changes the way we think about cyber operations from ‘war’ to something of significant import that is not war—what Buchanan refers to as ‘real geopolitical competition.’ He writes in a highly accessible manner, with in-depth stories that will engage the non-specialist.—Richard Harknett, former Scholar-in-Residence at United States Cyber Command

A great read, packed with insider information and great stories. But the book also makes an important argument about how cyberattacks are transforming the geopolitical playing field, changing our defense priorities and forcing us to rewrite our national security policies.—Bruce Schneier, author of Click Here to Kill Everybody: Security and Survival in a Hyper-connected World

Highly intelligent, important, and timely. Buchanan’s chronology of cases, from early espionage to devastating operations like NotPetya, makes for a great read.—Joseph Nye, author of Do Morals Matter?

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