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Cybersecurity and Cyberwar: What Everyone Needs to Know(r)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  1,072 ratings  ·  104 reviews
A generation ago, "cyberspace" was just a term from science fiction, used to describe the nascent network of computers linking a few university labs. Today, our entire modern way of life, from communication to commerce to conflict, fundamentally depends on the Internet. And the cybersecurity issues that result challenge literally everyone: politicians wrestling with everyt ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published January 3rd 2014 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published January 1st 2013)
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Average rating 3.85  · 
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Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Singer and Friedman argue that cyber knowledge needs to be a requirement in schools. All the kids are now in cyberspace yet there is little formal education about the insecurity of simple passwords, the importance of OS updates, and problems inherent in social networking as a mechanism to reveal personal information. Most common password="password" and the 2nd most common is "123456". Common words are easily hack-able. One high level executive told his IT people he only wanted a one letter passw ...more
Mario the lone bookwolf
WWI: War of the Chemists. WW2: War of physicists. WW3: War of the Mathematicians

Please note that I put the original German text at the end of this review. Just if you might be interested.

For the layman, and if one has never heard of passive and active IT security, state, private or even military computer networks appear bombproof, competently maintained and unassailable. At least it would be taken for granted in institutions that are essential for the functioning of economic cycles, infrastruct
Oct 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
I came across this book in a magazine from a professional organization I'm a member of. At first, I thought it would be "textbook priced" (that is, $120 or more), but the Kindle version was about $9, so I bought it.

The authors are members of the Brookings Institute, and have some kind of "all access pass" to Cybercom, the NSA, DHS, DoD, and other government agencies and contractors. They've come across many "cybersecurity professionals" who don't know what an ISP is, so they wrote this book.

Singer and Friedman have spent way to much time dealing with politicians and corporate leaders who didn't understand the basics of computers and the internet. They wrote this primer to introduce basic foundations and to frame future conversations.

Why I started this book: I really liked Singer's Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century and was looking for more of that style.

Why I finished it: This book is written in the question and answer format, which makes it eas
I read this for class.

I think this book raises a good points of cyber security and cyberwar from political/public policy point of view. I like it because it discusses cyber security issue with a more neutral/objective tone - at least to me. Another plus point is that the book does give a preliminary explanation about the internet, the history of the internet, and other techie stuff so the non-techie readers wouldn't be so confused when reading it. In general, it is an easy read although sometim
I listened to the audio version of this book, which was well narrated by Sean Pratt.

I'm not sure "everyone needs to know" what's in this book, but it is a great introduction to the topics of cyber-security and cyber-warfare. The emphasis is on government and business polices and the basic issues facing the world, and not so much on what individuals should do to protect themselves online, although general online precautions are discussed briefly.
Jun 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Caveat: I work in the field and have been in computer security for two decades. I read the book to see if I would use it as a textbook for a class on cyberterrorism and cyberwarfare.

The book is a primer for non-technical policy makers. It is broken into three parts, each laid out in a FAQ type format. The first part sets a foundation of knowledge in the history of computers, networking, and the Internet and how the Internet works at a high level. It then goes into some basic concepts of informa
James Griffes
Jan 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Cybersecurity and Cyberwar gives a great run down of important points of cyber-security. It is a read for anyone interested in information sharing and politics. The book did not go in-depth on any particular history or political issue but it was a great introduction Internet history, security policy, and cyber international relations.

I found the book very intriguing and relevant. I would recommend it to any interested party, I would go so far as to buy a copy for my book shelf.
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
Don't listen to this when you passed your CISSP exam.
Very global and high level. Explains password mishaps, for instance.
Probably a good read for people with no background in IT or security.
Kyle Anderson
Mar 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
At the time of this reading, this book feels somewhat out of date, having been written in 2014. However, it is a good foundational book about cyberspace and cybersecurity. It discusses the evolution and transformation of the internet as well as the parallel history of protocols and organizations, that allowed an internet to exist such as url name management in DNS, standardized communication protocols in HTTP, and other important features. The book goes over important terms such as ISP (internet ...more
May 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The book has a general understanding of the concepts and it is an informative overview of cybersecurity topics. It has three parts by the question and answer format and it is answering these questions: How does it all work?, Why does it matter?, What we can do?
I think anyone can read this book because you don’t need any prior knowledge of cybersecurity, and you have a general understanding of the concepts by the time they are done reading it.
The book starts with the explanation of the internet
May 13, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
But it could easily have been two stars. The authors start off by indicating that the eight of the nine US Supreme Court Justices who do not use email may be some kind of Luddite oddity. Before long they would have you sympathizing with them - who needs all the danger and drama of the networked world, right? There are fairly straightforward steps given one can take to be protected to a degree - not bad stuff.

They did lose me in the area of cyber-terrorism. The claim is made that no lives have b
Ted Tyler
Jul 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
I found this to be a nice primer on the fundamental theories and philosophical concepts that relate to cybersecurity and cyberwar. This quick read enhanced my own knowledge of the complexity and intricacies that exist within the cyber realm. Best parts of the book were the descriptions and analyses of the various stakeholders within this dimension of warfare: international institutions, state actors, non-state actors, private companies, and individuals. The authors were also spot-on about the im ...more
Brian Thorson
May 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
While as soon as any book covering the IT or cyber world is somewhat dated by the time it hits the press, Singer and Friedman do a good job presenting the fundamentals required to understand cyber security and cyber war. This book was easy to understand and remained engaging throughout.

Topics spanned pertinent history, fundamentals, case studies, military application, corporate application, and personal application among others.

Will this book make you a cyber expert? Definitely not. You will,
May 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Raises some interesting points

It's not the most exciting topic but I think Peter did a nice job of shedding light into dark corners to help raise awareness of our collective government lack in understanding, or more specifically, misunderstanding.

I think his frame of mind for how we should approach cyber is of value, and certaintly better than how we were going about cyber at the time of this publication (although the same mindsets seem to still exist today).

A good bus or train read for anyone i
Millie Clinton
Jan 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
An excellent starting point for anybody with an interest in Cybersecurity. It gives you a succinct overview of many cybersecurity ‘subheadings’, going into enough detail so as to be informative and entertaining, but still so you can cherry pick what to do further reading on.

A criticism, however, would be that the authors repeat themselves a lot. Combined with a handful of typos littered in the text, makes it a slow and clunky read of an otherwise enjoyable book.
Trey Bushee
May 24, 2021 rated it really liked it
I was surprised, because it had quite a few leadership lessons applicable outside of this somewhat niche sector. Of note for me: "A key to resilience is accepting the inevitability of threats and even limited failure. It's about remaining operational." "No such thing as absolute security

Your key concerns and tendencies

Silent failures was a huge one I'll be stealing, and the same goes for organizational slack
Oct 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
An essential read for anyone that is interested in or could be effected by cyber warfare. The book is written so that anyone can pick it up, without any prior knowledge of cyber security, and have a general understanding of the concepts by the time they are done reading it. The only thing I did not like was the question and answer format, which made it feel more like reading a text book.
Apr 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: on-scribd
I really found this book interesting and gained some insight from it. I am studying cyber security and found a lot of the cyberwar information useful. Admittedly, this was written in 2013 and so relatively older, the concepts and real world elements, including the governmental involvement, are still relevant.

Yohannes Fassika
The book is one of Oxford University's 'What everyone needs to know' series. It is in question and answer format and covers a lot of fundamental questions on cyber. It is very much informative. I found the concluding chapter instructive on what factors will have major effect on the cyber realm in the years to come. ...more
Nick Quenga
May 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
Excellent starting point for those curious about cyber. The three sections answer sequential questions and walk through "where to go next" by the end. The most curious thing is how little has changed since publication: the authors were concerned about no regulation for 10 years and this was almost 10 years ago. ...more
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a clear and thorough overview of the cybersecurity environment from the early days through publication. I would recommend to anyone who wants to gain a base level understanding of the technologies, actors, and multi-faceted issues that face all technology users today and in the future.
Apr 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
As someone who is an avid news reader and works in tech, I feel this book is for people who have no idea at all about cybersecurity and cyberwar is. Didnt really gain anything new/dive as deep as i hoped it would.
Anthony O'Connor
Not bad

A lot of detailed information but all a bit too scattered and anecdotal. Not a serious study of the problem. Does raise some serious and important issues though. On the Internet everyone really is out to get you.
Sep 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, computers
Required reading for technology and computer policy makers.
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An interesting book.. IT related people has to read it...
Bernie M
Dec 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic and informative! Singer lays the groundwork for understanding why cyberwar is a national security threat and what might be coming.
Mar 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent resource. Great beginner’s look at an issue for which the general public still seems vastly uneducated about. I took extensive notes while reading this book, and I never do that lol.
Jun 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Slow read. Fascinating how outdated some of the predictions are just 4 years later.
Fred Byus
Jul 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent Summary

Good introduction to a vexing topic. Provides high level solutions and options. Excellent read. I will be using as a reference for future managers.
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Peter Warren Singer is Strategist and Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation. He previously was Director of the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence at the Brookings Institution and the youngest scholar named Senior Fellow in Brookings's 101-year history. Described in the Wall Street Journal as “the premier futurist in the national- security environment," has been named by the Sm ...more

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“In 2010, McAfee thought it impressive that it was discovering a new specimen of malware every fifteen minutes. In 2013, it was discovering one every single second!” 2 likes
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