This book presents a data-driven message that exposes the cyberwar media campaign being directed by the Pentagon and its patronage networks. By demonstrating that the American public is being coerced by a threat that has been blown out of proportion—much like the run-up to the Gulf War or the global war on terror—this book discusses how the notion of cyberwar instills a crisis mentality that discourages formal risk assessment, making the public anxious and hence susceptible to ill-conceived solutions. With content that challenges conventional notions regarding cyber security, Behold a Pale Farce covers topics—including cybercrime; modern espionage; mass-surveillance systems; and the threats facing infrastructure targets such as the Federal Reserve, the stock exchange, and telecommunications—in a way that provides objective analysis rather than advocacy. This book is a must-read for anyone concerned with the recent emergence of Orwellian tools of mass interception that have developed under the guise of national security.
Dependence on computers has had a transformative effect on human society. Cybernetics is now woven into the core functions of virtually every basic institution, including our oldest ones. War is one such institution, and the digital revolution's impact on it has been profound. The American military, which has no peer, is almost completely reliant on high-tech computer systems. Given the Internet's potential for full-spectrum surveillance and information disruption, the marshaling of computer networks represents the next stage of cyberwar. Indeed, it is upon us already. The recent Stuxnet episode, in which Israel fed a malignant computer virus into Iran's nuclear facilities, is one such example. Penetration into US government computer systems by Chinese hackers-presumably sponsored by the Chinese government-is another. Together, they point to a new era in the evolution of human conflict.
In Cybersecurity: What Everyone Needs to Know, noted experts Peter W. Singer and Allan Friedman lay out how the revolution in military cybernetics occurred and explain where it is headed. They begin with an explanation of what cyberspace is before moving on to discussions of how it can be exploited and why it is so hard to defend. Throughout, they discuss the latest developments in military and security technology. Singer and Friedman close with a discussion of how people and governments can protect themselves. In sum, Cybersecurity is the definitive account on the subject for the educated layman who wants to know more about the nature of war, conflict, and security in the twenty first century.