Inside Cyber Warfare

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(Notice: I was given this book for free with the condition of reviewing it on my blog.)

This book is disappointing and I do not recommend it. It seems an uncomprehensive recollection of examples with no real insights. His approach is shallow and naive (perhaps intentionally so). Yet, it provides interesting pointers to research elsewhere. The Wikipedia entry on Cyberwarfare is far more relevant and updated.

There are many typos, the density of content is very low, and the style seems more appropriate for a blog, not an O-Reilly book. At times it resembles an speculative conspiracy plot. This book is not technical, neither I would qualify it as a good policy brief. For a good policy overview for the USA I would recommend the (free) NAS report on Deterring Cyberattacks.

Cyberwarfare moves in the forefront of technology. As technologies mainstream and reach exponentially larger audiences, the leading edge gets very advanced and diverse. I chose this title looking for a technical overview of the topic, some historical examples and an evaluation of where the topic is evolving into.

The author, Jeffrey Carr, is the CEO of Taia Global, “a cyber intelligence expert and consultant”.

It does have a few interesting description of events, policy implications and issues that make very good pointers to discuss, learn or research upon (outside this book). Interestingly I would recommend this book exactly as that, a conversation starter for the Issues and facts, not for the conclusions or narrative.

Looking at the Index I hope to make the point that the book does cover appropriate topics, but it fails to provide a structure or sense of comprehension.

  1. Assessing the Problem
  2. The Rise of the Nonstate Hacker
  3. The Legal Status of Cyber Warfare
  4. Responding to International Cyber Attacks as Acts of War
  5. The Intelligence Component to Cyber Warfare
  6. Nonstate Hackers and the Social Web
  7. Follow the Money
  8. Organized Crime in Cyberspace
  9. Investigating Attribution
  10. Weaponizing Malware
  11. The Role of Cyber in Military Doctrine
  12. A Cyber Early Warning Model
  13. Advice for Policymakers from the Field
  14. Conducting Operations in the Cyber-Space-Time Continuum
  15. The Russian Federation: Information Warfare Framework
  16. Cyber Warfare Capabilities by Nation-State
  17. US Department of Defense Cyber Command and Organizational Structure
  18. Active Defense for Cyber: A Legal Framework for Covert Countermeasures

Disclaimer: this blog post is part of O’Reilly’s Blogger Review Program where you can get a free ebook or video to review in your blog or website. This doesn’t mean I’ll be less impartial on the content of the review.

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