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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.
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A generation ago, "cyberspace" was just a term from science fiction, used to describe the nascent network of computers linking a few university labs. Today, our entire modern way of life, from communication to commerce to conflict, fundamentally depends on the Internet. And the cybersecurity issues that result challenge literally everyone: politicians wrestling with everything from cybercrime to online freedom; generals protecting the nation from new forms of attack, while planning new cyberwars; business executives defending firms from once unimaginable threats, and looking to make money off of them; lawyers and ethicists building new frameworks for right and wrong. Most of all, cybersecurity issues affect us as individuals. We face new questions in everything from our rights and responsibilities as citizens of both the online and real world to simply how to protect ourselves and our families from a new type of danger. And, yet there is perhaps no issue that has grown so important, so quickly, and that touches so many, that remains so poorly understood.
In Cybersecurity and CyberWar: What Everyone Needs to Know, New York Times best-selling author P. W. Singer and noted cyber expert Allan Friedman team up to provide the kind of easy-to-read, yet deeply informative resource book that has been missing on this crucial issue of 21st century life. Written in a lively, accessible style, filled with engaging stories and illustrative anecdotes, the book is structured around the key question areas of cyberspace and its security: how it all works, why it all matters, and what can we do? Along the way, they take readers on a tour of the important (and entertaining) issues and characters of cybersecurity, from the "Anonymous" hacker group and the Stuxnet computer virus to the new cyber units of the Chinese and US militaries. Cybersecurity and CyberWar: What Everyone Needs to Know is the definitive account on the subject for us all, which comes not a moment too soon.