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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars AND NOW, MR BOND...
"And now, Mr. Bond, let me explain my diabolical plan to bring your puny civilization to its knees. First, I am going to immobilize the absurdly net centric US military machine. Next, and this is ridiculously simple, I will shut down your entire power grid, telecommunications services and air traffic control. Next I will erase all financial records in your banking system...
Published on 23 Aug 2010 by Diacha

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gentle introduction to IT Security
Richard Clarke has a good understanding of the politics involved in technology and why the implementation of defensive security measures has been slow within the western world, especially within the private sector of the critical infrastructure.

I found Cyber War a very well written book that was easy to read and understand. I am giving it 3 stars because it is...
Published on 17 Jan 2011 by M. SMITH


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gentle introduction to IT Security, 17 Jan 2011
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M. SMITH - See all my reviews
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Richard Clarke has a good understanding of the politics involved in technology and why the implementation of defensive security measures has been slow within the western world, especially within the private sector of the critical infrastructure.

I found Cyber War a very well written book that was easy to read and understand. I am giving it 3 stars because it is more aimed at a political person than a technical one. Even so I would highly recommend it to anyone getting into the computer security or IT business.

The book does not use technical language and explains terms used in the text and in a glossary at the end. It is aimed at the non technical but could be required reading for anyone in the IT industry. There is good insight into the state sponsored attacks which are going on today. The threats faced by every organisation from advanced attackers need to be taken seriously. While this book does not claim to provide the solutions it should help to get the information to the real decision makers and budget holders within Government and large organisations.

The book begins with background on previous cyber attacks like the DDOS of Estonia and talks about how America wants to control cyber space. The end of chapter two narrates a (in my opinion) far fetched scenario in which the critical infrastructure of the USA is taken down. I think this is drawn form his previous experience in writing novels!

The authors broad background and view of international affairs allows him to draw comparisons to nuclear war planning which while I admit were similar were to 'out there' for anyone on the ground to influence. By halfway through the book I started to get pretty bored of the power grid and financial sector. I found that the recommendations given while reasonable were again to broad for anyone on the ground to implement.

In summary this quick read provides overview on the state of cyber space today and what may be done to start changing it for the better. Highly recommended.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars AND NOW, MR BOND..., 23 Aug 2010
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"And now, Mr. Bond, let me explain my diabolical plan to bring your puny civilization to its knees. First, I am going to immobilize the absurdly net centric US military machine. Next, and this is ridiculously simple, I will shut down your entire power grid, telecommunications services and air traffic control. Next I will erase all financial records in your banking system and stock exchanges wiping out the net worth of millions of people. Finally, and this is my favorite part, I will close down Wal-Mart's entire supply chain management system. Ha, ha, ha etc."

As Richard Clarke, former U.S. National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection and Counter-Terrorism, and Robert Knake, a scholar in the field of security matters - two authors who clearly know what they are talking about - point out in "Cyber War," this Bond villain fantasy is not so far fetched. Some thirty nations have advanced cyber warfare capabilities, and portions are within plausible reach of criminal and terrorist organizations.

There have already been incidences: Chinese logic bombs have been discovered throughout the US grid; Israel immobilized Syria's advanced, Russian supplied, air defenses in order to clear the way for its surprisingly ill-publicized bombing raid on that country's North Korean sponsored nuclear facility; the US infiltrated sabotaged chips into technology stolen by Russia, resulting in a massive pipeline explosion; Russia, or per the Russian government's version, groups of civilian patriots, shut down Estonia's and later Georgia's internet systems at times of tension between their countries; someone closed down part of Brazil's power system; China (again) paralyzed several large US web players through a "denial of service" bombardment following the accidental US bombing of its Belgrade embassy in 1999; even North Korea has had a respectable stab at it. Numerous reports and tests have highlighted the west's acute vulnerability to cyber attack.

"Cyber War" is exceptionally well informed. It is intelligently written but still an accessible read, leavened by wry insider's sense of humor. The authors' goal is to highlight western vulnerability and inspire the powers that be to do something about it.

To be sure, The USA is generally believed to possess the world's most advanced cyber warfare capability. But, the authors convincingly argue, this is not enough. Other nations - notably China and Russia - have much stronger defensive capability. Furthermore, there is an asymmetry of vulnerability since the US economy, society and military are much more web dependent than those of potential enemies and thus conventional theories of deterrence may not apply. And, if an attack happens, it may be difficult to attribute responsibility, as the laying of false trails is an integral part of this form of warfare.

The authors examine the many obstacles to resolving this: constitutional, political, legal, bureaucratic and special interest as well as technological. Nonetheless, they prescribe a series of actions, both domestic and international, which should be taken urgently to reduce the risks that a cyber war could break out and lead to either untold damage or a dramatic escalation of "kinetic" or real war. It is a message that should be taken seriously. This is a clear and present danger.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!, 27 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It (Paperback)
Absolutely amazing book! It is really easy to read and follow, and at the same time, it provides you with tonnes of useful information and references on cyberwar. I used it as a preliminary research for my postgraduate dissertation- it worked really well!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enthralling and endangering in equal measure, 31 Oct 2011
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We live in a largely protected world, insulated from the reality of war and the struggles of many nations. What we see is through the filter of a news channel or the opinion of a blogger - rarely do we get a truly accomplished veteran sharing their knowledge of the situation and what we can expect.

Clarke writes well and gets to the point. We are at dire threat from a cyber attack at any given time of day or night. This attack might appear to draw on unimaginable sophistry but, since all code is created by humans, the blame will lie at inelegant effort and greedy corporations.

Why would Microsoft allow the Chinese to have the Windows code? So they could sell it there, of course. Ergo, the Chinese government has the infrastructure of more computers in the world than any other platform. But we have AV software, I hear you say. Is it impossible that the attackers could have coded their 'bombs' to be undiscovered? Because it's happened more than once.

The printer in the office, the electricity switch at the wall, the airplane taking you on holiday - all incredibly vulnerable to the most constricting and lifestyle preventing attack that you could conceive.

Afghanistan and Iraq have kept the gung-ho generals in eye watering budgets for years. Naturally they fight the last war in terms of strategies and tactics - these take blood to revise. They are resistant to cyber units who might protect us against severely debilitating attacks.

Why sacrifice your own men and women when you can press a button and activate devastation with little recourse to your nation? Such could be the dilemma the Chinese are struggling with...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Title undersells a well thought out book, 10 April 2014
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CYBER WAR screams the title, in bold. The book itself is far more nuanced. Yes, Clarke and his co-author are writing about cyber war. But really the point they are trying to make is that America (and you can extend that easily to the UK and other developed, networked, Western societies) need to spend less time getting excited developing whizzy cyber weapons and more time protecting the critical national infrastructure at home, particularly the power grid. And they make this point repeatedly and well.

So, despite the populist title and cover, it's worth reading by interested amateurs, computer scientists and students of International Relations alike.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, so I'm told, 5 April 2014
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This review is from: Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It (Paperback)
This was a gift, but the recipient soon dived straight into it and found it interesting reading. Though of course you do have to be into the subject matter because I believe it can get a little technical and heavy at times.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction to the concept of cyber war., 3 Mar 2014
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An easy to read book that explains what cyber war is at a fairly high level. The subject is very much warfare as opposed to security, so much of the book is concerned with cyber issues at Nation State level, it also focuses mainly on the USA. Although lacking technical detail for those more interested in the internals of security, this is a good starting point for finding out what the cyber war threat encompasses.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good starting point, 15 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It (Paperback)
Great way to introduce the subject of cyber security with case studies and political effects and consequences. Hard to put down!
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4.0 out of 5 stars How the next war will begin, 4 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It (Paperback)
This book details not only what could happen in the near future in the field of technical warfare but also reveals what has happened recently especially in Syria that the public have no knowledge of. If you thought the internet was safe then read this book and worry about the security of your gas, water, electricity, banking systems and maybe even the military.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Cyber War, 26 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It (Paperback)
This is an interesting subject which most of us no little about - frightening prospect for our way of life
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