web site hit counter Intercept: The Secret History of Computers and Spies - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

Intercept: The Secret History of Computers and Spies

Availability: Ready to download

Intercept is the previously untold - and highly classified - story of the melding of technology and espionage. Gordon Corera's compelling narrative takes us from the Second World War through the Cold War and the birth of the internet to the present era of hackers and surveillance. Rich with historical detail and characters, as well as astonishing revelations about espionag Intercept is the previously untold - and highly classified - story of the melding of technology and espionage. Gordon Corera's compelling narrative takes us from the Second World War through the Cold War and the birth of the internet to the present era of hackers and surveillance. Rich with historical detail and characters, as well as astonishing revelations about espionage carried out in recent times by the UK, US and China, this is the secret history of how spying drove the rise of the computer. Within the confines of Britain's Second World War code-breaking establishment at Bletchley Park, the work of men like Alan Turing led to the birth of electronic espionage and the first computer, Colossus. In the following decades, computers have transformed the business of espionage, from Cold War spy hunting to today's data-driven pursuit of terrorists and industrial-scale cyber-espionage against corporations. As computers become increasingly pervasive, the intertwining forces of computers and espionage are reshaping the entire world; what was once the preserve of a few intelligence agencies now affects us all. Using unique access to GCHQ, the NSA, Chinese officials and senior executives from some of the most powerful global technology companies, Gordon Corera has gathered compelling stories from heads of state, hackers and spies of all stripes. Intercept is a ground-breaking exploration of the new space in which the worlds of espionage, geopolitics, diplomacy, international business, science and technology collide.


Compare

Intercept is the previously untold - and highly classified - story of the melding of technology and espionage. Gordon Corera's compelling narrative takes us from the Second World War through the Cold War and the birth of the internet to the present era of hackers and surveillance. Rich with historical detail and characters, as well as astonishing revelations about espionag Intercept is the previously untold - and highly classified - story of the melding of technology and espionage. Gordon Corera's compelling narrative takes us from the Second World War through the Cold War and the birth of the internet to the present era of hackers and surveillance. Rich with historical detail and characters, as well as astonishing revelations about espionage carried out in recent times by the UK, US and China, this is the secret history of how spying drove the rise of the computer. Within the confines of Britain's Second World War code-breaking establishment at Bletchley Park, the work of men like Alan Turing led to the birth of electronic espionage and the first computer, Colossus. In the following decades, computers have transformed the business of espionage, from Cold War spy hunting to today's data-driven pursuit of terrorists and industrial-scale cyber-espionage against corporations. As computers become increasingly pervasive, the intertwining forces of computers and espionage are reshaping the entire world; what was once the preserve of a few intelligence agencies now affects us all. Using unique access to GCHQ, the NSA, Chinese officials and senior executives from some of the most powerful global technology companies, Gordon Corera has gathered compelling stories from heads of state, hackers and spies of all stripes. Intercept is a ground-breaking exploration of the new space in which the worlds of espionage, geopolitics, diplomacy, international business, science and technology collide.

30 review for Intercept: The Secret History of Computers and Spies

  1. 4 out of 5

    David

    This is a comprehensive history of spying in the age of technology. Without giving a clue about his political persuasion, and without giving a clue about his personal opinions, Corera objectively spells out the battles going on between spies, hackers, governments, citizens and corporations. While reading this book, I was never sure which portions of the book were revelatory, and which portions were simply summarizing facts that were already in the public domain. Nevertheless, Corera paints an am This is a comprehensive history of spying in the age of technology. Without giving a clue about his political persuasion, and without giving a clue about his personal opinions, Corera objectively spells out the battles going on between spies, hackers, governments, citizens and corporations. While reading this book, I was never sure which portions of the book were revelatory, and which portions were simply summarizing facts that were already in the public domain. Nevertheless, Corera paints an amazing picture of the forces behind spying in the digital world. The book gives a strong emphasis to the efforts of the British in cryptography. The amazing story behind the breaking of the Enigma code is well known. Not so well known are the other code-breaking activities that occurred before, during, and after World War II. One thing I had never given much thought to, is he dilemma between offense and defense. This is the problem that spy agencies want to break the secret codes of others, while simultaneously protecting their own secrets. The technical methods used to encrypt and decrypt texts seem to imply that you cannot have it both ways--you cannot make your own messages perfectly safe, if you want to guarantee access to decrypt the messages of your adversaries. The book covers not only the code-breaking activities of governments, but the hacking into corporate computers. Governments seem not to worry about this too much, but perhaps they should. A country's economy is built upon corporations, and if their data is not safe, then how safe can an economy be from malicious tampering?

  2. 4 out of 5

    James

    A highly revelatory work, Gordon Corera’s Intercept has a lot to say. Ostensibly a book about the use of computers by the espionage agencies (while he touches on other nations, primarily this book looks at those of the US and UK) it also has much to add on debates concerning the balance of power between the state and the individual, personal privacy, and economics. An exhaustive history of the dawn of the computer age through the lens of the development of modern espionage, Intercept takes us fro A highly revelatory work, Gordon Corera’s Intercept has a lot to say. Ostensibly a book about the use of computers by the espionage agencies (while he touches on other nations, primarily this book looks at those of the US and UK) it also has much to add on debates concerning the balance of power between the state and the individual, personal privacy, and economics. An exhaustive history of the dawn of the computer age through the lens of the development of modern espionage, Intercept takes us from the censors tapping telegraph cables during the First World War, through the Enigma years of the Second, the dawn of cyber spying during the Cold War, and onto the age of hackers, zero day exploits, Wikileaks and Edward Snowden. Throughout revelations come thick and fast. We learn that during World War 1, Britain severed the telegraph cables into Germany; effectively isolating the enemy from the world and thus instigating the first ever act of sabotage against a nation’s communications infrastructure. Later we learn that most of the world’s telecommunications still travel via undersea cables, with most of the UK’s traffic landing in Cornwall. This has allowed GCHQ to simply sit on the wires collecting metadata on most of the transnational communications coming into the UK. Or how about the facility in London whose sole purpose is to reverse engineer all the components Hauwei plans to install in the UK’s telecommunications infrastructure? The Chinese telecommunications giant won the contract to modernise the system and such is the extent of the West’s paranoia concerning Chinese cyber spying and/or sabotage, every single circuit board has to be checked and double-checked. Each revelation is more startling than the last, but there are hidden depths to Corera’s book. For example, we learn how the development of computers was pushed and even funded in part by the espionage agencies interests in them as tools. Would IBM have grown as large or as quickly if it weren’t for contracts from the NSA? We’ll never know for certain but the author outlines a strong case. In effect he argues what others have more explicitly elsewhere, namely that the idea of a completely free market is a myth. Rather than develop in a vacuum from the state, or worse, the state act as a hindrance, it is often state subsidies in the form of research grants, favoured status over competitors, intelligence passed on to aid in the winning of contracts, that has allowed industries and companies to flourish. There is certainly enough evidence here to demonstrate that the birth of the computer age was at least hastened by the largess of the defence and espionage agencies. But perhaps the book’s greatest strength is when discussing the issues surrounding the power of the state versus that of the citizen and issues around personal privacy. I don’t know what Gordon Corera’s personal views on all this; he’s careful to remain neutral. For all I know he might be mortified to learn that for me his book acted as a reassurance. The Edward Snowdens of the world would have you believe that the mass collection of data by the NSA and GCHQ are the thin end of the wedge and that our civil liberties are at stake. But within the pages of Corera’s book is a strong explanation of why this material is needed. A strong argument is made that the agencies concerned have no interest in the average person’s data, but merely need to scan the data passing through the wires as a whole in order to look for the patterns criminals and terrorists leave behind. Should the agencies be stymied in this, we might all be more at risk. An analogy is made that in order for the security services to find the needle in the haystack (the needle being paedophiles, organised criminals, terrorists) they need to be able to gather and see the whole haystack. All in all this is a great read and one that left me far more informed about the world we live in and the risks facing us as individuals and citizens in the digital age.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Emil

    I really wanted to give this book a higher rating, but I just can't. The subject is interesting, but Gordon drags on... a lot. And there's a bunch of stuff being repeated as well. He explains one thing on one page and then two pages later he explains the same thing again. I can really only recommend this to anyone who's really, really into spying and hacking throughout history. I really wanted to give this book a higher rating, but I just can't. The subject is interesting, but Gordon drags on... a lot. And there's a bunch of stuff being repeated as well. He explains one thing on one page and then two pages later he explains the same thing again. I can really only recommend this to anyone who's really, really into spying and hacking throughout history.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Ciarvella

    "Cyberspies" is exhaustive, but in the way that climbing a mountain is exhaustive, where the reward is worth the effort. It's comprehensive, leaving you with the sense of no stone having been left unturned. Most importantly, however, it is neutral. By the end of the book, I couldn't suss out author Gordon Corera's allegiances on the privacy vs. security debate. Does he think Snowden is a traitor or a hero? Are groups like the NSA doing necessary work or have they become the latest incarnation of "Cyberspies" is exhaustive, but in the way that climbing a mountain is exhaustive, where the reward is worth the effort. It's comprehensive, leaving you with the sense of no stone having been left unturned. Most importantly, however, it is neutral. By the end of the book, I couldn't suss out author Gordon Corera's allegiances on the privacy vs. security debate. Does he think Snowden is a traitor or a hero? Are groups like the NSA doing necessary work or have they become the latest incarnation of the Stasi? Based on the book alone, it's impossible to say. And for an issue as contentious as cyber-security, surveillance, spying, and information, it's a rare treasure to not have politics get in the way of the presentation of the facts. Corera's work offers up the information in a careful, thoughtful way, and invites us to draw our own conclusions. What does digital privacy mean to our lives? What are we willing to trade for it? Another interesting aspect of Corera's work is that we get a British perspective on things, which is a refreshing change of pace. If you read about the history of computers for long enough, eventually you start to the see the patterns and the same names over and over. And while Americans did, indeed, create the internet as we know it today, the history of computers and cyber-security isn't an American-only topic. Corera's perspective, both informed and directed by his identity as a Brit, means that this isn't the same old story. Even as he maintains authorial neutrality, he makes observations that don't seem to occur to American authors in quite the same way. "Americans trust their corporations and mistrust their government," he notes, "while for Brits, it's the other way around." If you're interested in the topic of cyber-security, espionage, or information privacy, this book is a strong recommendation. It might not be my first foray into the subject if you're a novice; Corera assumes his readers have a baseline proficiency with computers even if he takes care not to overwhelm them with technical jargon. But if you're just now starting to think about topics like cryptography and digital privacy, this might not be the best starting place. Add it to your list of books to come back to once you're comfortable with the topic. Regardless, Corera feels like an author to watch. His style is direct and pleasantly journalistic, which feels increasingly rare in an era that seems to treat information and entertainment as synonyms. That doesn't mean that this is a boring book in the slightest, but it feels pleasantly old-fashioned in its aims, rather like the Cold War-era spies that Corera writes about. And like those old time-y methods like invisible ink and typewriters, this writing style might just be exactly what we need in today's world.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Elli Williams

    From now on I won't complain about my husband's 50 letter random passwords... Very well written book. It wasn't " end of the world" but gave real examples, spoke with NSA, FBI, CIA as well as MI5 and MI6 directors. Not too technical either. From now on I won't complain about my husband's 50 letter random passwords... Very well written book. It wasn't " end of the world" but gave real examples, spoke with NSA, FBI, CIA as well as MI5 and MI6 directors. Not too technical either.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sotiris Makrygiannis

    A very good book that explains with layman terms what is a cyberspy.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jay

    “Cyberspies” is a number of stories about security and encryption, computers and spies, and hacking. While the book could have drilled down to technical descriptions, these are kept quite understandable throughout. The chapters were topical stories, mostly chronological. Some are relatively well known to readers of Wired and the like, but I found new aspects of the stories brought to light throughout. For example, Clifford Stoll’s story of tracking down a KGB hacker at a government lab is retold “Cyberspies” is a number of stories about security and encryption, computers and spies, and hacking. While the book could have drilled down to technical descriptions, these are kept quite understandable throughout. The chapters were topical stories, mostly chronological. Some are relatively well known to readers of Wired and the like, but I found new aspects of the stories brought to light throughout. For example, Clifford Stoll’s story of tracking down a KGB hacker at a government lab is retold through one chapter, summarizing Stoll’s “The Cuckoo’s Egg”. Another chapter focused on Stuxnet. I appreciated the way the author divided stories up, at times focusing on corporate responses, the technology, the hackers, the hunters, the scientists, the politicians, the military – this kept my interest level high throughout the book. There is quite a lot about different countries, the hackers and the hackees. And there’s an overabundance of history about British espionage and anti-espionage agencies, which is understandable given the author’s previous work on a history of MI6. At times, when discussing the great efforts to hack or to deny or trace hackers, it sounds a bit like a James Bond movie. I listened to the audio version of this book, narrated by Gildart Jackson. His British accent worked very well with this content.

  8. 4 out of 5

    William

    Excellent book which doesn't take a significant political position. The research was top notch. I enjoyed the format and writing style as it was easy to read without excessive technical language. It was balanced and fair exploring many sides of the questions of espionage, privacy and the use of data and computers. Enjoyed his book immensely and recommend it to anyone with an interest in the topic of computers, "spying" and so many other inter-related topics and issues. Excellent book which doesn't take a significant political position. The research was top notch. I enjoyed the format and writing style as it was easy to read without excessive technical language. It was balanced and fair exploring many sides of the questions of espionage, privacy and the use of data and computers. Enjoyed his book immensely and recommend it to anyone with an interest in the topic of computers, "spying" and so many other inter-related topics and issues.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    Decent book - not a lot of stuff I didn't already know, but author tied it all together well. Decent book - not a lot of stuff I didn't already know, but author tied it all together well.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Florin Pitea

    Enjoyable and very informative. Highly recommended.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Paul moved to LibraryThing

    A good (very) high level look at the problem of spying and warfare blurring together with the coming of the Internet (and computerisation in general). Contains zero technical content (like all BBC reporting) which really lets the book down. I'm sure the intent was to make the book accessible but other books manage this by explaining technical issues, not by completely ignoring them. It also suffers from time compression of the past as the author quickly catches up to modern times making this les A good (very) high level look at the problem of spying and warfare blurring together with the coming of the Internet (and computerisation in general). Contains zero technical content (like all BBC reporting) which really lets the book down. I'm sure the intent was to make the book accessible but other books manage this by explaining technical issues, not by completely ignoring them. It also suffers from time compression of the past as the author quickly catches up to modern times making this less of a history book and more a contemporary report. If you compare it to Code Warriors by Stephen Budiansky this comes up really thin and light on the historical and technical content. If you were to pick one go for that instead.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Patrick Pilz

    From Bletchley Park to the suburbs of Washington DC, from Alan Turing to Edward Snowden: a book about cyber espionage from its inception during world war 2 to todays balancing act of privacy concerns and counter terrorism desires. The book as a very global and balanced view and does not politicize the facts. It presents itself in a very neutral but still very British world view. Nonetheless, an interesting read for anyone concerned or interested in the topic. At times a little lengthy, but that From Bletchley Park to the suburbs of Washington DC, from Alan Turing to Edward Snowden: a book about cyber espionage from its inception during world war 2 to todays balancing act of privacy concerns and counter terrorism desires. The book as a very global and balanced view and does not politicize the facts. It presents itself in a very neutral but still very British world view. Nonetheless, an interesting read for anyone concerned or interested in the topic. At times a little lengthy, but that may be British as well.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Robert Davidson

    The Computer is one of the truly great inventions of modern life and the Author takes us through the early days up to the present with a vast array of very interesting information. Nation States while observing the niceties of Diplomacy are spending lots of time and money spying on each other using the ever evolving Computer technology and Human nature being what it is this will go on. Great read.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    This was mostly a balanced look at espionage in the digital age, though I personally think it doesn't do enough to dispel some of the ridiculous nonsense that intelligence agencies are peddling about terrorism, encryption and surveillance. For one thing, I think no discussion of terrorism should be complete without at least mentioning that it's an issue that (directly) affects very few people, and the massive investment we've poured into "stopping" it is a HUGE waste of money. This was mostly a balanced look at espionage in the digital age, though I personally think it doesn't do enough to dispel some of the ridiculous nonsense that intelligence agencies are peddling about terrorism, encryption and surveillance. For one thing, I think no discussion of terrorism should be complete without at least mentioning that it's an issue that (directly) affects very few people, and the massive investment we've poured into "stopping" it is a HUGE waste of money.

  15. 4 out of 5

    John Levon

    Not a great fan of the constant use of "cyber" here, but this is a fascinating deep dive, mostly focusing on the current state of play from Stuxnet on (though the book isn't quite recent enough to have any IoT coverage). The technical side seemed well researched and the author clearly knows his military players. Not a great fan of the constant use of "cyber" here, but this is a fascinating deep dive, mostly focusing on the current state of play from Stuxnet on (though the book isn't quite recent enough to have any IoT coverage). The technical side seemed well researched and the author clearly knows his military players.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Otto Benz

    This is the secret history of technological interception of communications, spying, country-espionage, terrorism and counter-terrorism. Interesting - particularly the more recent bits, although a bit repetitive and rambling

  17. 5 out of 5

    Drew Jaehnig

    A must read for anyone who does not understand what is going in the cyber-security world with a rich description of how we got here.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Keith

    I received this book as a gift and it is a nice one. The book covers spying and how the computer age has provided a treasure trove of information, good and bad, that is available to bad actors who can use it to hurt us financially, politically and personally. Thanks to database accumulation of personal data and all kinds of data that is collected by so many different entities, including ourselves, and the internet which is basically an open book of information, bad actors (spies) can use this in I received this book as a gift and it is a nice one. The book covers spying and how the computer age has provided a treasure trove of information, good and bad, that is available to bad actors who can use it to hurt us financially, politically and personally. Thanks to database accumulation of personal data and all kinds of data that is collected by so many different entities, including ourselves, and the internet which is basically an open book of information, bad actors (spies) can use this information to hurt us. The book goes into details on the history of how the computer information became a target and why. It is a bit complicated, as some interest in computers, phones, and databases is required to appreciate the topic. I enjoy all of this stuff, so for me the book was interesting. It really didn't tell me anything that I didn't know since I do have a pretty good knowledge of what is happening. But to read it all in one place is very terrifying because the bottom line is that we truly have no privacy anymore, and we are basically unprotected if someone truly wants to attack us individually, through companies or through the state. There is hope that ignorance is bliss, that we can hide in our obscurity as part of the masses, but unfortunately we do fall into many different filters of data, regardless of who we are, where we are, or what we do. Unless someone is a hermit not using a phone, banking or any other electronic tools of the modern society, that someone is subject to being hacked. The book talks about company security and national security. He points to Russia and China as using data to harm us and to advance their societies by stealing trademark info, etc. But the bottom line is that we, the United States, probably have the most information to use against the world and the ability to use it. Now do we use it as 'white' hats, or are we in the 'black' hat mode also? The book focuses more on the British state point of view, but while we may be ahead of Britian, we both share many trade secrets between us. While we do get hacked often, the book doesn't really get into what we do with all the info at the national level. I doubt the NSA is any other countries' friend, but we do like to think that we are the good guys. Bottom line, this is an interesting book if you care about the topic. It is a bit scary in that for every system that blocks a hacker, another hacker will figure a way around it. We can have full security if we are willing to have a closed internet, but we prefer the openness that the internet provides. Therefore, we will always be subject to a lack of personal and national privacy.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lanre Dahunsi

    Book #17: Cyberspies: The Secret History of Surveillance, Hacking, and Digital Espionage by Gordon Corera | Finished March 20th 2017 #100BooksChallenge Favourite Take Aways The computer was born to spy. The first computer was created in secret to aid intelligence work, but all computers (and especially networked computers) are uniquely useful for – and vulnerable to – espionage. The speed and ingenuity of technological innovation has often blinded us to understanding this historical truth and its Book #17: Cyberspies: The Secret History of Surveillance, Hacking, and Digital Espionage by Gordon Corera | Finished March 20th 2017 #100BooksChallenge Favourite Take Aways The computer was born to spy. The first computer was created in secret to aid intelligence work, but all computers (and especially networked computers) are uniquely useful for – and vulnerable to – espionage. The speed and ingenuity of technological innovation has often blinded us to understanding this historical truth and its implications. It is now easier than ever for information to be stolen and leaked. An ever-increasing dependence on inherently insecure technology will only accelerate this trend as cars, watches, fridges and an array of everyday items start to get hacked by a range of malicious actors. All the twenty-first-century talk of ‘cyber security’ is far from new – it is merely the modern reworking of much older fears over the vulnerability of computers, vulnerabilities that spies would come to exploit. Cyberspies is a ground-breaking exploration of the new space in which the worlds of espionage, diplomacy, international business, science, and technology collide What is spying? At its simplest it is finding out secrets. Since time immemorial, that has involved establishing the intentions of another state, such as its plans and capabilities for waging war. Those secrets may also be the identities of people – such as those who want to remain hidden, like enemy spies operating in your country – or terrorists planning to attack. This takes spying into the trickier domestic domain, where it can also be used to root out dissent or as a form of social control, in the way the Stasi deployed surveillance in East Germany during the Cold War. The more connected a computer becomes, the more powerful it may prove to be for the user, but also the more vulnerable. Connections with other computers immediately introduce an element of risk. This was clear from the start, but became increasingly clear as computers and communications merged over the coming decades.

  20. 4 out of 5

    James

    When you think you understand a topic and some of it's history only to find a resource that completely expands every nuance with details you had not even thought of or considered around the history of computers and cyber spying, this would be the resource. From the first couple of chapters through the history of code breaking machines to the earliest computers and their uses, I found this book fascinating in what new avenues it was exploring. The Enigma machines and their uses along the wars, ho When you think you understand a topic and some of it's history only to find a resource that completely expands every nuance with details you had not even thought of or considered around the history of computers and cyber spying, this would be the resource. From the first couple of chapters through the history of code breaking machines to the earliest computers and their uses, I found this book fascinating in what new avenues it was exploring. The Enigma machines and their uses along the wars, how they tried to code break and intercept messages, to certain countries developing systems that others could not break. One may think about cyber spying today and how pretty much everything is hackable to how some countries developed low tech methods that were not hackable, not on the internet and how cracking those codes created spy agencies. Fast forward to today and signals intelligence interception over fiber, devices intercepting, servers configured to intercept and everything thing else going on around us and you wonder if anything is truly secure. Almost makes one not want to communicate anything over the internet but honestly that's not realistic nor will it ever be in our future digital world. This would be however one point in life where everything that you may have that is digital is accessible to someone whether you want them to have that information or not. Some other sections of the book that I want to give mention too as well were the section of the secured email and the 4 character font provided upon government orders and the section on the earliest malware and viruses. The having a system of computers for DNS attacks and other attacks countries have completed and are still performing today, it's a tale of being cautious, having air gaps when needed and just taking a moment to see how others are exploiting computers and information around the world.

  21. 5 out of 5

    John Sterling

    Frightening: again, this is not light reading. My highlighter pen and notebook had work aplenty. Everything I will ever need to know about how vulnerable states, organisations and individuals are and how that is so unlikely to change. I was telling my mother of the ‘intercept towers’ at the airports – when you leave the plane, walk to the terminal and turn your cell phone on, you are connected to a tower operated by the states intelligence/security service. That tower, after a short delay, redirec Frightening: again, this is not light reading. My highlighter pen and notebook had work aplenty. Everything I will ever need to know about how vulnerable states, organisations and individuals are and how that is so unlikely to change. I was telling my mother of the ‘intercept towers’ at the airports – when you leave the plane, walk to the terminal and turn your cell phone on, you are connected to a tower operated by the states intelligence/security service. That tower, after a short delay, redirects you to the public service tower. But your phone and all that is within is now being read by ‘state security.’ “What?” she says. “Never?” “Who cares?” You might say. “I’m an innocent civilian. I’m no foreign agent.” Correct. If you were a ‘person of interest’ the algorithms used by these agencies would place you on the ‘Immediate – Track and Follow’ list. But you’re not, so, you get dropped into the ‘Data to be stored’ bin. But then, you spent twenty years of your life building a business, that you’ve just sold for close on a million. Kids are at university. The wife says, “Let’s go walk along the ‘Great Wall’.” Off you go. While you’re treading the ancient stones, a hacker, untraceable, but later investigation points to the probability of the hack originating in China, pilfers your new wealth from the three bank accounts you have. Because your bank details along with everything else the hacker needs is on your phone. Far-fetched? Maybe. This book is hung off the ‘spy world’. And attracts the attention of people like me. I’d suggest everyone should read this. I’m even happier to have read it. Like me, the author, on page 103, draws parallels with Star Wars. Whilst the pandemic remains, I’m steering clear of the ‘air-boat’. When I next venture off to foreign parts. I won’t be turning my phone on. To summarise this book, I would say, “Beware the Chinese.” I mentioned that somewhere else. I think it was, ‘Democracy for Sale: Dark Money and Dirty Politics’.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Watermarked Pages

    This was just so interesting. From WWII code breakers at Bletchley Park to Edward Snowden, a look at technology, privacy, and the power of data. I don’t enjoy math, coding, or engineering, but I’m fascinated by how technology impacts the world. Corera does a good job not taking sides in the balance between the right of privacy and the need for espionage. You want law enforcement to have the ability to track down pedophiles and terrorists online, but what if that means giving your government the This was just so interesting. From WWII code breakers at Bletchley Park to Edward Snowden, a look at technology, privacy, and the power of data. I don’t enjoy math, coding, or engineering, but I’m fascinated by how technology impacts the world. Corera does a good job not taking sides in the balance between the right of privacy and the need for espionage. You want law enforcement to have the ability to track down pedophiles and terrorists online, but what if that means giving your government the ability to become tyrants? I was pretty astounded by all the examples that show that powerful governments worldwide have (and use) the ability to track pretty much everything we do that uses data—from computers to phones, email to social media, banking to blog posts, public and private files. And not just for high value targets, but for the public at large. The examples of corporate and military data theft were mind boggling. Imagine spending billions developing a fighter jet and then having another country hack in and steal all the specs. Huge ramifications. The ways data has changed espionage were fun to think about. Spying has largely gone from the stereotype of James Bond to the stereotype of a blue haired geek sitting in a windowless room drinking coke and breaking into military systems. Who would have predicted that?

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ivan

    The book starts very interesting and I was expecting the same level of details and background on various cases. Unfortunately the second half is less detailed and I found myself skimming through the pages. I was disappointed to learn so little about ECHELON, for instance. Also - although there is a whole chapter dedicated to him - the revelations of Snowden are commented instead of analyzed. Xkeyscore is not mentioned at all despite it being a fantastic spy tool. Tempora is also downplayed (in j The book starts very interesting and I was expecting the same level of details and background on various cases. Unfortunately the second half is less detailed and I found myself skimming through the pages. I was disappointed to learn so little about ECHELON, for instance. Also - although there is a whole chapter dedicated to him - the revelations of Snowden are commented instead of analyzed. Xkeyscore is not mentioned at all despite it being a fantastic spy tool. Tempora is also downplayed (in just a couple of paragraphs). The intervention of the NSA in establishing crypto standards and protocols is reduced to weakening of RNGs (the duel Elliptic curve algorithm) while it is known the agency also payed $10 million RSA to use weakend crypto in its products. Actually there is a long list of very intriguing NSA programs, some of which should have been at least mentioned. Also Flame and Stuxnet are discussed (in insufficient depth IMHO) but there is no word of the most puzzling malware ever created (known to public, of course), Gauss. Well, I am intrigued enough and will read the other books of Gordon Corega.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Elmwoodblues

    Many technological advances throughout the ages have been driven by, or at least co-supported by, our species' penchant for organized violence against one another. The axe a carpenter used to hone wood, in order to build a meeting hall where a constitution might be drafted, may have gained a valued spot initially for its ability to cleave the head of a rival; woven blankets kept settlers warm, but also served as virus-delivery devices. It can be difficult to see the alternate, more militant use Many technological advances throughout the ages have been driven by, or at least co-supported by, our species' penchant for organized violence against one another. The axe a carpenter used to hone wood, in order to build a meeting hall where a constitution might be drafted, may have gained a valued spot initially for its ability to cleave the head of a rival; woven blankets kept settlers warm, but also served as virus-delivery devices. It can be difficult to see the alternate, more militant use inherent in the DNA of many ancient and modern inventions, once the peaceful utilities become the norm. Corera does a good job of making the point that the original impetus of computing was in secretive and high-stakes code breaking, and how that birthmark has remained into our digital present. It may not be our craniums or our immune systems that we worry about in the digital realm; but the idea that stealing a rival's secrets and his privacy gave rise to computing is to put in perspective those things that are most vulnerable when faced with what is now a help, but was once a weapon.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sheila

    Edward Snowden, Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning and others like them ripped down the curtain of secrecy surrounding government and corporate surveillance. This book gives a mind-boggling picture of how many people and how much money, time and lives are consumed by this vast world. Of course, you always have to keep in mind that the author's sources are, in large part, spies. . The term "white hats" is often used about US Americans, but ask the people of Venezuela what they think about the hac Edward Snowden, Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning and others like them ripped down the curtain of secrecy surrounding government and corporate surveillance. This book gives a mind-boggling picture of how many people and how much money, time and lives are consumed by this vast world. Of course, you always have to keep in mind that the author's sources are, in large part, spies. . The term "white hats" is often used about US Americans, but ask the people of Venezuela what they think about the hackers (most likely, CIA inspired) who crippled the power grid in Caracas. The "white hats" who create havoc that threatens the lives of thousands of people, and who work to destabilize a democratically elected government, are not good guys. Cyberspying, whether political or business related, is an incalculable waste of money and mind power. It's the inevitable, "necessary evil" of a wholly unnecessary system, capitalism. Read this book, but read Snowden first, and Glen Greenwald, for a more honest picture of the danger we're in.

  26. 4 out of 5

    John Wood

    Corera covers all aspects of cyber espionage and the insecurity and lack of privacy which has developed with the development of our modern electronic world. This book is from the perspective of the UK also with much about the US viewpoint, especially the dominance of the US in the development of cybersecurity and all the ramifications of the total intrusion and inclusion of computers on our lives. The book even goes back to the pre-computer and pre-internet age of intelligence and code cracking Corera covers all aspects of cyber espionage and the insecurity and lack of privacy which has developed with the development of our modern electronic world. This book is from the perspective of the UK also with much about the US viewpoint, especially the dominance of the US in the development of cybersecurity and all the ramifications of the total intrusion and inclusion of computers on our lives. The book even goes back to the pre-computer and pre-internet age of intelligence and code cracking during WWII including the amazing Enigma Machine. At times the narrative seems a bit too comprehensive and hard to follow, but overall it is a very interesting story. Reading this makes you even more aware and wary of the pitfalls of cyberspace. It reinforces my conclusion that, though we need to take precautions to protect our info, with the ubiquitous presence of cell phones and security cameras there is very little privacy anymore.

  27. 5 out of 5

    A.J.

    It covers a pretty big span from the dawn of computers built for codebreaking through Snowden's leaks. It does offer many good quotes about the intelligence agencies and provides great insight into Britain's agency. Where the book excelled is detailing the rising threat of China as it relates to owning the pipes and manufacturing systems. It also does well at highlighting the different cracker techniques of our near peers. It could go deeper into details including technical aspects of machines a It covers a pretty big span from the dawn of computers built for codebreaking through Snowden's leaks. It does offer many good quotes about the intelligence agencies and provides great insight into Britain's agency. Where the book excelled is detailing the rising threat of China as it relates to owning the pipes and manufacturing systems. It also does well at highlighting the different cracker techniques of our near peers. It could go deeper into details including technical aspects of machines and cover more about the Cold War, but I don't think that was the purpose of this book. It serves its purpose.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jade

    Well organized and thought provoking book, with interesting revelations about the world of modern spies. There are many repetitive parts, either to reinforce a point, or written with the assumption that the readers have a short memory and hence necessitates repeating, which could be tightened so the book can pack a more forceful and concise punch. In the post-Snowden computer age, this book offers a wonderful window into the shadowy worlds of the organizations who were entrusted the job of keeping Well organized and thought provoking book, with interesting revelations about the world of modern spies. There are many repetitive parts, either to reinforce a point, or written with the assumption that the readers have a short memory and hence necessitates repeating, which could be tightened so the book can pack a more forceful and concise punch. In the post-Snowden computer age, this book offers a wonderful window into the shadowy worlds of the organizations who were entrusted the job of keeping their states safe and intact from external threats.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Dave Shields

    This is a fantastic book for someone in the cyber security field. I have been in IT Security for over 10 years and there are still many things in this book that I didn’t know about. It’s also nice to hear about this topic by a voice outside of the USA (the UK in this case). The material is kept interesting despite being very detailed and somewhat technical. The writing style is nice in that it often starts a story thread very far in the past and walks you through to the current state, often conn This is a fantastic book for someone in the cyber security field. I have been in IT Security for over 10 years and there are still many things in this book that I didn’t know about. It’s also nice to hear about this topic by a voice outside of the USA (the UK in this case). The material is kept interesting despite being very detailed and somewhat technical. The writing style is nice in that it often starts a story thread very far in the past and walks you through to the current state, often connecting multiple threads into a unified story. Well worth the read!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Yasser Mohammad

    An engaging history of the relation between the rise of computers and signals intelligence with many real world stories covering the time from the first world war till today. One recurrent theme of the book is the importance that intelligence gathering plays on propelling technology (specially computer technology) forward. Corera does not shy from mentioning names from Chinese tech-spying to USA's involvement with the Iranian warm scandal. An engaging history of the relation between the rise of computers and signals intelligence with many real world stories covering the time from the first world war till today. One recurrent theme of the book is the importance that intelligence gathering plays on propelling technology (specially computer technology) forward. Corera does not shy from mentioning names from Chinese tech-spying to USA's involvement with the Iranian warm scandal.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.