The Perfect Weapon by David E. Sanger

The Perfect Weapon

From the premiere New York Times Washington correspondent, a stunning and incisive look into how cyberwarfare is influencing elections, threatening national security, and bringing us to the brink of global war.Behind the Russian cyberattacks that may have thrown the 2016 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 ar...

Details The Perfect Weapon

TitleThe Perfect Weapon
Release DateJun 19th, 2018
GenreNonfiction, Politics, Science, Technology, History

Reviews The Perfect Weapon

  • Clif Hostetler
    This book consists largely of the retelling of cyber attack incidents that have previously been in the news over the past ten years. However, the retelling in this book at this time has the advantage of hindsight which provides the enabling perspective regarding background, motive and attribution that were largely uncertain when the stories were first reported. Additionally, encompassing all these stories into one book at this time allows the pon...
  • Brandon Forsyth
    David Sanger is simply the best writer alive working on issues of global and American security, and his latest book proves how far ahead he is of everyone else in his field. His meticulous reporting and cogent analysis of where cyber warfare is headed makes an urgent argument for international standards (a "digital Geneva Convention" is mentioned) to be discussed and adopted with haste. From the Iranian centrifuge sabotage to Russian hacking of U...
  • Kent
    Philip Graham is credited with calling journalism "the first rough draft of history." The author of The Perfect Weapon, David E Sanger, one of the highly respected journalists for the New York Times, called his book "current history." I am going with a 'polished second draft of history.'As a daily reader of The Times I already had some familiarity with the topics covered in Mr. Sanger's book. However, that reading did not prepare me for what I le...
  • Mehrsa
    This is an excellent and terrifying read. The Russians and Chinese and North Koreans are in the house and it seems that this administration is not at all aware of the magnitude of the threat. Sanger has a lot of access and a depth of knowledge on the issues and this history. He's also an excellent writer. I do have some critiques--he seems to think that the olympic games project where the US and Israel hacked into the Iranian computer networks wa...
  • Radiantflux
    66th book for 2018.Nice summary of current situation around cyberwar from an American perspective. This is a scary world where large state players (China and Russia, but also North Korea and Iran) are increasingly intruding (attacking?) US targets. The US is largely unprotected from a cyberattack, which could take down power, water etc. relatively easily. Having read this it's really unclear how secure US voting systems are from an attack during ...
  • RC1140
    This was a great review of the political and cyber landscape over the past decade or so. Not much new information if you have been following along , but really well condensed into a single source which gives things broader context.
  • John
    How to the laws of war apply to cyber? That is the question. Why not just manipulate North Korea's missile launches software prior to launch and thereby plunging them into the sea shortly after takeoff? Well, that would amount to preemptive war in violation of international law. So when Sanger seeks information about those failures at the Pentagon, he's met with stony silence. Yet cyber manipulation has happened before, namely when the U.S. and I...
  • Walter
    TL/DR: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Must Read. Very scary. We're screwed. Kill your social media accounts. Abandon technology. Start a homestead. Cynics are on to something.Full Review: The threat of Nuclear Weapons and rise of Global Warming have occupied the top spot in the list of humanity's gravest concerns for as long as I can remember, and rightly so. We have arrived at the point in our times where just a few players controlling history's deadliest arse...
  • Mal Warwick
    Russia and China have penetrated so deeply into the electronic systems that sustain the American economy that either country might be able to set us back two or three decades using cyber weapons. North Korea and Iran appear to be not far behind. What seems to be stopping them all is the equal or greater ability of the United States to do the same or worse to them—not to mention the chance we might reduce their countries to cinders with nuclear ...
  • Rick Presley
    If any book deserves the sobriquet, "If you're not outraged, then you're not paying attention," this one does. It is the compilation of fairly recent news items on the subject of cyber warfare. What was reported at the time it happened as nearly random, but intentional acts of computer sabotage have proven to be part of a grand strategy on the world stage of state actors to engage in warfare that puts everyone at risk. In essence, there is little...
  • Victoria
    In The Perfect Weapon: War, Sabotage, and Fear in the Cyber Age, New York Times national security correspondent David Sanger talks about nations’ pervasive and growing uses of spyware and malware to achieve their ends. According to Paul Pillar’s review in the Times, Sanger’s book is “an encyclopedic account of policy-relevant happenings in the cyberworld (that) stays firmly grounded in real events.”It’s not a question of keeping the s...
  • Book
    The Perfect Weapon: War, Sabotage, and Fear in the Cyber Age by David E. Sanger“The Perfect Weapon” is an interesting look at the political implications of cyberwarfare. National security correspondent for the New York Times, David E. Sanger takes the public on a historical ride into the world of cyberweapons and how it has transformed geopolitics. This enlightening 354-page book includes the following twelve chapters: 1. Original Sins, 2. Pa...
  • Brahm
    A couple things I liked about this book: getting a better understanding of where cybersecurity/defence/offence fits into the world of geopolitics, understanding how cyber fits into the "stack" of modern warfare, how fast the cyber arms race is moving, and how particularly vulnerable (North) America is as we focus on innovation and leave security as an afterthought. The geopolitics are so complicated: if a nation-state cyber-attacks you, are you j...
  • Peter
    This is a well-written book on a very specific topic from a one-sided point of view with an unfortunate audiobook narrator. That summary above is the response I'd give if anyone asked me what I think of the book. The two-star rating might seem a bit harsh, but I couldn't really justify anything higher from my perspective since I already knew the broad strokes of all the events the book covered. The details of those events were somewhat interestin...
  • Alexander
    4.5 stars, rounding up. Sanger is one of the country's finest journalists on all issues cyber, and this book is frequently gripping and fascinating. It provides an in-depth look at a number of cyber incidents (including Olympic Games, which destroyed a number of the Iranian nuclear program's centrifuges). But perhaps more importantly, Sanger pushes us hard to grapple with the need for an emerging framework of norms and laws around the use of cybe...
  • Bruce Katz
    a serious and comprehensive look at cyber-warfare and the weaponization of social media: how they evolved, who the key actors are, the complicated legal and strategic questions surrounding them, the disputes among agencies, and much more. eye-opening, sobering, and even-handed in apportioning responsibility and, yes, blame. it deserves a wide readership... and a far more thoughtful review than i am capable of giving.
  • Mary
    I ordered this book from the library after hearing the author speak at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Sanger draws on his reporting on national security for the New York Times to describe the ways cyber has already been used as well as to warn of the grave future damage this potentially devastating weaponry could inflict on citizens worldwide.
  • Rachel Brown
    I thought a book about cybersecurity and cyberattacks would be dull and hard to follow, but luckily I was wrong. This is a fascinating, compelling, terrifying look at the world we live in. Very well written
  • Gamespacenl
    Very well written, timely, informative, no-frills account of cyber weaponry and warfare from a decidedly US perspective.
  • Chris
    A fascinating portrait of the rise of hybrid warfare against the United States that devastatingly illustrates how American national security leaders' obsessive secrecy and paralyzing caution ultimately enabled a gallery of rogue nations to outmaneuver them, culminating in the inept response to the Russian hacks of the 2016 election.
  • Jacques Bezuidenhout
    Decent content and exciting (albeit scary) topic.The narration on the audiobook however killed me from the inside a little. It was really a drag to listen to facts delivered in such a monotonous way.I've done several other political books in the forms of The Dictator's Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics and Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man's Fight for Justice. So the ways the governments operate...
  • Francesca
    Whoa!!!! I knew I was going to read a good book...not a scary one. Having followed Sanger via Twitter, NYT & as part of DSR; this was a no brainer & must read. As technology continues to expand into every aspect of our lives, so does our nation's cyber vulnerability and the race of who can hack better and faster. Sanger's writing and ability to explain such a complicated, technological issue makes this book easy to follow and raise your awareness...
  • Charles Fried
    It is chilling to read this clear and understandable account of recent cyber-hostilities that have clearly influenced major events such as our elections or Iranian and North Korean nuclear programs and it is obvious that there is more to come.
  • Michal Baranowski
    A must read for those who aim to uderstand both the facts and strategy behind cyber weapons.
  • Ietrio
    This book reeks of old white journalist who has a hard time keeping his high standard of living. Sanger has a good self image, which makes the context even more pompous than it is. The guy has a problem grasping the computers, but who cares as he is well steeped into the Red Scare. The chapter titles are cute, and the lame puns are the best part: Pandora's Inbox, The Kims Strike Back. I get a feeling from his shallow understanding of the Russian ...
  • Peter
    In 1945 it was the atomic bomb, that radical new weapon that reshaped the morals and geopolitics of war, bringing into fashion the notion of Mutual Assured Destruction and changing the prospects of WWIII for at least 70 years. Now, says David Sanger in The Perfect Weapon (2018), the reality of cyberwar is reshaping military defense strategy. At the forefront are questions like "What is a 'proportional response' to a cyber-attack?" and "When, if e...
  • Andrew Morris
    Worth reading. Not much new information for people who live in this industry but a nice concise account of the past decade of cyber conflict and it how it relates to geopolitics.
  • Ben Rothke
    The most authoritative books are often those that rely on primary sources. While there’s nothing wrong with secondary, or even tertiary sources, the nature of a primary source makes for a much better reference. In The Perfect Weapon: War, Sabotage, and Fear in the Cyber Age, author David E. Sanger, national security correspondent for the New York Times, is also the primary source in many of the stories. In story after story, he details how he s...
  • Luke
    The Perfect Weapon is an account of how cyberspace is quickly becoming a new arena of global competition. Written by a career journalist, the book covers many different topics related to cyberweapons and cyberwarfare, including the Stuxnet virus, WannaCry, North Korea’s missile program, Russian interference into the 2016 US election, and Chinese efforts at competing in cyberspace. His reporting is varied and extensive, covering nearly all aspec...