Summary of The Hacked World Order

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  • Eye Opening
  • Overview
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World powers increasingly use computer espionage to spy on their rivals, spread propaganda and even sabotage nuclear weapons programs. Technology expert Adam Segal’s engaging study persuasively presents cyberspace as the new front line in geopolitical combat. International superpowers, outlier nations and cold-blooded terrorists alike have leapt into cyberwar, portending an unpredictable future for Internet security and diplomatic relations. getAbstract recommends this clearheaded, informative overview to technologists, policy makers, investors and NGOs seeking insight into a new era of international relations and threats.

About the Author

Adam Segal is the Maurice R. Greenberg Senior Fellow for China Studies and director of the Program on Digital and Cyberspace Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations.



Bomb-Free Attack

The new era of cyberwar became public knowledge in 2012, when US intelligence officials leaked details of the Stuxnet attack to The New York Times. Stuxnet, which took place a few years before the leak, was a brilliant piece of malicious software that American and Israeli forces developed and unleashed to sabotage Iran’s nuclear weapons development. Stuxnet caused Iranian centrifuges to speed up, slow down and eventually fail – while providing Iranian monitors with “false feedback” showing that the equipment was running flawlessly. No one can say if Stuxnet slowed Iran’s nuclear ambitions; Iran never revealed the extent of Stuxnet’s effects.

Because centrifuges aren’t online, the Stuxnet worm – a piece of precise, effective malware – infiltrated Iran’s nuclear program through thumb drives and laptops. Once inside Iranian computers, Stuxnet sought a specific line of logic in their Siemens software. Stuxnet was harmless otherwise. The virus infected some 300,000 computers, but it became active only in a fraction of them. Unlike the assassinations of Iranian scientists, which Israeli forces – probably its intelligence agency, the Mossad – performed...

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    S. T. 2 years ago
    Has a number of factual errors and suffers from lazy analysis
  • Avatar
    J. P. 4 years ago
    Apropos in light of the FBI vs Apple case and of course the inevitable InternetOfThings (including self driving cars). Not sure what the author suggests next though? (Hints at post hack public disclosure requirements? A Geneva convention for hacking?)
  • Avatar
    A. M. 4 years ago