Praise for @War
“@War is a remarkable achievement. Harris uses dogged shoe-leather reporting to take us deep inside the government’s surveillance and cyber operations to give an unsparing look at what the NSA and other agencies are really doing with all our data. In the age of abstract Snowden documents, @War actually introduces us to the people running America’s electronic spying machine, and offers invaluable insights into how their ambition and turf battles impact our financial security, our privacy, and our freedom.”
–James Risen, author of Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War
“A great overview of our new cyberfronts. Unlike most books about cyberwar, this one is enjoyably readable. At times it feels like a modern spy novel, but it is a guide to tomorrow’s headlines.”
–Thomas E. Ricks, author of Fiasco and The Generals
“@War is a tour de force of reporting on the past, present, and future of cyber-conflict. It will be required reading both in the Pentagon and among the army of Chinese cyber spies now assaulting American businesses. Hackers, policy makers, and others will find this book both intriguing and alarming; not to mention very well written.”
–Peter Bergen, author of Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for Bin Laden from 9/11 to Abbottabad
Cyber-espionage is the “single most productive means of gathering information about our country’s adversaries,” writes Harris (The Watchers: The Rise of America’s Surveillance State), senior writer for Foreign Policy, in this unnerving exposé. After 9/11, the National Security Administration (NSA), the nation’s global information-gathering agency, submitted a wish list to the Bush administration. It was approved and the “military-Internet complex was born.” According to Harris, electronic eavesdropping was fundamental to 2007’s Iraq surge and the NSA located Osama bin Laden through spyware planted in his operatives’ mobile phones. On the other hand, Chinese hackers have stolen important military and industrial secrets, revealing how adversaries could sabotage computer-dependent infrastructure. Warning that we remain staggeringly vulnerable, America’s cyberdefenders have persuaded an obliging Congress to provide an avalanche of money and to ease privacy laws. Readers will squirm as they learn how every communications enterprise (Google, AT&T, Verizon, Facebook) cooperates with the national security establishment. Harris delivers a convincing account of the terrible cyberdisasters that loom, and the intrusive nature of the fight to prevent them.
A surprising, page-turning account of how the wars of the future are already being fought today
The United States military currently views cyberspace as the “fifth domain” of warfare (alongside land, air, sea, and space), and the Department of Defense, the National Security Agency, and the CIA all field teams of hackers who can, and do, launch computer virus strikes against enemy targets. In fact, as @WAR shows, U.S. hackers were crucial to our victory in Iraq. Shane Harris delves into the frontlines of America’s new cyber war. As recent revelations have shown, government agencies are joining with tech giants like Google and Facebook to collect vast amounts of information. The military has also formed a new alliance with tech and finance companies to patrol cyberspace, and Harris offers a deeper glimpse into this partnership than we have ever seen before. Finally, Harris explains what the new cybersecurity regime means for all of us, who spend our daily lives bound to the Internet — and are vulnerable to its dangers.