Read this book – Shane Harris’s “@War” is an informative read that will give you some keen insights into hacking and cyber warfare and the evolving stance of the US government and the agencies engaged in the struggle for power and funding in this arena. Though by its nature this book is destined to become an accounting of history, it is current enough to explain much of what is going on right now. Such as:
Why the NSA doesn’t do more to help protect the hacking of business interests? Has it even tried? And just what are “hackbacks” and are they really illegal?
Why is the FBI (instead of the NSA or US Cyber Command) making proclamations about North Korean culpability? One answer, the FBI’s DITU (Data Intercept Technology Unit) acquires the international “data” from domestic sources, that is passed to the NSA. (The FBI, traditionally tasked with domestic crime, now has more staff involved in collection and analysis of digital information than in “traditional” domestic crime investigations.)
Who stands to benefit from an increased fear of Internet crime, hacking, and warfare? Welcome to the new frontier—same as the old frontier—agencies, companies, and contractors vying for billions of dollars in taxpayer funds. Just watch as President Obama and congress find lots of reasons to put more and more resources into “Cyber Warfare”. (Why we have to be threatened with some kind of “war” to make our data more secure is another question. Haven’t all the hacks of banks and corporations and thefts of personal data given us some personal priorities of what really needs to be protected? Apparently not…)
Depending on how much you already pay attention to this topic you may be shocked, surprised, or affirmed by the level at which our Internet is already watched and controlled, and how much more control these players would like to have. This is not just a regurgitation of Edward Snowden’s whistleblowing. Without judging or indulging in politics of the left or right, it’s investigative journalism, with many cited sources, notes, and a thorough index. Best of all, it reads well.