The Hacker and the State: Cyber Attacks and the New Normal of Geopolitics

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Product Details

Harvard University Press
Publish Date
5.9 X 8.3 X 1.5 inches | 1.3 pounds

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About the Author

Ben Buchanan teaches at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, where he is a Senior Faculty Fellow at the Center for Security and Emerging Technology. He is the author of The Cybersecurity Dilemma and a regular contributor to the websites Lawfare and War on the Rocks. He was previously a fellow at Harvard University's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.


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
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
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?
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
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
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.'-- (01/02/2020)
Provides a reliable summary and deep analysis of a novel force bound to shape world affairs.--Walter Clemens"New York Journal of Books" (03/18/2020)