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Sandworm: A New Era of Cyberwar and the Hunt for the Kremlin's Most Dangerous Hackers

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  2,397 ratings  ·  290 reviews
A chilling, globe-spanning detective story, tracking an elite group of Russian hackers and the future of global warfare

In 2014, the world witnessed the start of an escalating series of cyberattacks. Targeting American utility companies, NATO, and electric grids in Eastern Europe, the strikes became ever more brazen, eventually leading to the first-ever blackouts triggered
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Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Published May 7th 2019 by Doubleday
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Max
Aug 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: current-events
Sandworm is the name given to a Russian military hacking group by a U. S. based cybersecurity firm. Sandworm has deployed sophisticated malware that has taken down and taken over computer systems, networks and attached infrastructure across the globe. Their viruses can lie in wait undetected until a targeted time. Some are tailored to take control of industrial control systems. These are the computer interfaces that turn digital instructions into physical ones for automated machines, which use p ...more
Onceinabluemoon
Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I got this book for my husband, I had no intentions of reading it, but we were on a road trip and I put on the audio. I love books that expose me to new things that I turn out to be open to, this cyber world was shocking to me, I had no idea that such warfare was underway for such a long protracted time and the devastating consequences involved. There is no question in my mind our elections were interfered with upon after hearing the myriad of experiences in this dark world. To be honest, I foun ...more
Ryan
One of the best books about modern infosecurity threats -- a detailed investigation into the activities of GRU in attacking infrastructure around the world (primarily in Ukraine), their motivations, and where the threat is evolving.
Jessica Scott
Nov 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If I could give this book more than 5 stars, I would. Absolutely outstanding reporting e,bedded in historical context about Russia’s hacking capabilities, what it’s doing in Ukraine and how it impacts all of us.

It should be required reading for all cyber security, military, industry, and government officials. Everyone should read this book.
Bouke
Jan 12, 2020 rated it liked it
Just listen to the Darknet diaries podcast episode NotPetya, it's better than the book.
Val
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was much more, and much better, than I expected, and I had high hopes when I started it. It tells the story of the elite Russian cyber attack team “Sandworm” as a central feature, but the book focuses even more on the first part of the title, “A New Era of Cyberwar,” giving a detailed but not overly-technical account of Cyberwar and the most devastating attacks made since network connected computing began. I have some training and experience in this field but I learned new things about ...more
Marks54
Feb 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
While reading “Sandworm”, One is tempted to recall the dialog of Slim Pickens in Kubrick’s movie Doctor Strangelove - “Nuclear Combat, toe to toe with the Russkies!” Or when he rides a bomb down to the end of the world.

Andy Greenberg’s new book is about cyber war and focuses on the Russian teams, linked to the GRU organization, that were behind the cyber attacks on Ukraine and other countries, including the US since 2016 (and before). The title comes with a reference to Frank Herbert’s Dune stor
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Mark Maddrey
Dec 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
It is a rare feat to write a non-fiction book that manages to be both factually informative and absolutely compelling to read. This book is one that does. It could not be more timely or important given the current need to mis-direct attention with spurious charges of meddling BY Ukrainian actors when the truth is ENTIRELY the opposite. They have been and will continue to be the targets of Russian interference. And, of course, so are we. I love the way Mr. Greenberg includes enough of the technic ...more
Renee
Nov 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: work, history
Fantastic read. This was like a history of hacking for me, and I was in awe of all the events I had never heard of because the news is so focused on the president’s latest tweets. I feel I have a foundational understanding finally of the politics of Ukraine and Russia and the major codenames for hackers and malware. It is written well and keeps your attention. I started taking notes halfway through because I know I will come back to them as this landscape develops. This is another book I really ...more
Kressel Housman
Too technical for me, but a very important topic. I hope I'll get back to it someday. It seems to me that if they want to reach a non-tech crowd like me, the Dune series discovery angle could be very interesting.
Wayne
Dec 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Well researched, well written look into some of the most high profile cyber attacks in the last 10 years. Most of these attacks have an underlying thread connecting them. Russia. They've been honing their cyberwar tactics in their wars with Georgia, Estonia, and Ukraine. Their attacks have been getting more brazen and reckless since the international community seems unwilling to draw a red line and hold Russia to account, even after NotPetya caused more than $10 billion dollars in damage to comp ...more
Snorre Lothar von Gohren Edwin
Feb 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audible
It was an interesting story on a specific hacker group with good stories around for context. It gives you an insight to Russia, Ukraine and all their troubles as well.

I got this tip from: https://darknetdiaries.com/ and the stories revolving NotPetya in that podcast, together with this book, gave alot of insight!
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Jen
Jun 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Cyber attacks seem to only exist in movies and fiction. However, our world is witnessing an escalating series of cyber attacks to civilian life. This book gave us the fascinating true stories of Sandworms, the world most reputable and dangerous cyber warriors from Russia.

A malware, NotPetya, triggered the first-ever blackout to Ukraine, disrupting the electric grid and then spreading to some of the largest companies in the world in 2017. Then, broad and unrestrained attacks on the infrastructur
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Ben
Jan 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, science
My expectations for this book were fairly low; Wired isn't a place I look to for quality writing. But I was pleasantly surprised. The story is quite interesting, and, not having followed big hacker news stories too closely, I learned a lot. Greenberg ties it all together nicely (if perhaps with more certainty in his attribution than he should have). Greenberg talks about Ukraine almost as much as computer hacking. Most of the perspective is fairly one-sided; he only interviews a few people and t ...more
Tony Miller
Nov 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Andy Greenberg found a great middle ground between technical and untechnical explanations in Sandworm. You could tell that he both understood the details and how to present them without putting the layperson to sleep. He impressively connects the many dots with thorough research and interviews without making you feel like a conspiracy theorist.
TJ Wilson
Mar 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book kind of blew my mind in terms of the world that I did not know. A new frontier is out there, and no one is sure if we are handling it in the right way.

I found the writing a bit awkward at times, but the reporting is very solid. So much groundwork here.
Ahmad hosseini
Oct 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: general, web
Financial damage: more than $10 billion
Human casualties: Unknown
Impacted countries: France, Germany, Italy, Poland, the United Kingdom, and the United States
Weapon: NotPetya #malware
Manufacturer: Sandworm #hacking group within (the GRU Russian military intelligence organization)
In the past, the failure of power plants, water treatment plants, refineries, etc. by #hackers occurred only in movies, but the 2016 #cyber_attack on Ukrainian infrastructure brought these attacks to the real world.
The bo
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Ahsan Khan
Apr 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Cyberwar is now.
Filip Olšovský
Nov 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Although the beginning is often unreasonably epic and the ending is just 20-30 pages too long, all the stuff in between is just brilliant. Probably the best book on this topic and a clear example of how reporting should look like.
Jonathan
Dec 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sandworm tells the story of the Kremlin hackers behind the worst computer crimes ever, from the *NotPetya* worm (which took many different corporations offline, including Maersk and many US hospitals) to the South Korean Olympics to our own 2016 elections. Greenberg traces it all back to *Sandworm*, one of the original worms.

Ukraine is used as a test bed for Russian cyber aggression and the lessons we should learn (although I don't think we have) if (when?) they attack us. It is pretty crazy how
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Scott Martin
Jan 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
(Audiobook) As we become more and more dependent on computers and all other aspects of cyber, the dangers from hacking groups and cyber warriors will only increase. Additionally, future wars and conflicts will be fought in the cyber realm as much as on land, sea, air and space. This work, written by a writer who focuses on cyber/computer issues, covers the exploits and actions of one the more infamous group of hackers. Originating in Russia, Sandworm evolved over time from crime to a geo-politic ...more
Prasanna
Aug 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I had been looking forward to reading the book. I had followed the news cycle about the various attacks and corresponding talks, podcasts, etc and thought I was going to find a narrative form of Sandworm leading up to NotPetya, but this book was much deeper than that, and linked a lot of these attacks that I had only seen in isolation. This book does a great job of painting a cohesive story from the various researchers and professionals on the frontlines of the cyberwar brought at their doorstep ...more
Rick Howard
I recommend “Sandworm" to the Cybersecurity Canon Hall of fame. It completes a triad of recent must-read Cybersecurity Canon Hall of Fame books that not only tells the history of the relatively new development of continuous low level cyber conflict between nation states from about 2010 until present but also attempts to explain the current thinking of some of the key power cyber players like Russia, China, the United States, Iran, and North Korea. David Sanger’s “Perfect Weapon” covers the histo ...more
Csimplot Simplot
Excellent book!!!
Emily
Jun 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
HooOOLLy shit, this book was GOOD. It’s like a Bourne-meets-Matrix-meets-Muller, blow-by-hacker-blow account of a few decades worth of cyber warfare and espionage. Captivating. Horrifying. [insert ‘watching a trainwreck’ comment here] It’s also, coincidentally, a great follow-up to reading Edward Snowden’s “Permanent Record,” which I finished the day before starting “Sandworm.”

I found myself often wanting to speak with others about the book, and I’ve already recommended it to many. What I like p
...more
Marty
Nov 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Wilson
This was a good book that seems to have filled a good deal of knowledge gaps that the news only periodically touches on.

If one can suspend the author’s light jabs at the Trump administration (and for the most part be dismissive of “red line” failures of previous administrations), then one can see the diligence at pulling the thread on where clues led the author.

I particularly enjoyed how the author stuck with the data forensic evidence of the evolution of Sandworm throughout the years, and also
...more
Jan
Apr 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
A history book describing the most dangerous Russian hackers to date.
They utilized zero day vulnerabilities of Windows/Linux/Unix systems and programmed viruses such as ransomware and wanna cry. Penetrated Ukrainian power grids, manipulated votes of French and US elections, brought down Pyeong Chang Olympic networks. The reasons for those actions were unknown.
We have no idea how dangerous the world is out there. Our lives would descend into chaos if it were not for the cyber security heroes who
...more
Rob
Oct 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Executive Summary: 3.5 stars. A bit slow in places, but a pretty fascinating and scary read.

Full Review
I've had a subscription to wired.com for the last year or so, and I tend to click on/read most of Mr. Greenberg's articles. He tends to focus on cybersecurity and computer crime.

This book focuses on the increasingly scarier world of state-sponsored hackers and cyber warfare. I've read a few other books on this now and I found it pretty well researched and written. I didn't know much of the
...more
Jane Cordingley
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Facinating, and what a time to read it - right as they are talking that a response from Iran might be cyber. Recommend for anyone interested in what future reactions to attacks on a government might entail - or even internal hacker attacks.
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Andy Greenberg is an award-winning senior writer for WIRED, covering security, privacy, information freedom, and hacker culture. He's the author of the forthcoming book SANDWORM: A New Era of Cyberwar and the Hunt for the Kremlin's Most Dangerous Hackers. Greenberg's reporting for WIRED on Ukraine's cyberwar (including an excerpt from SANDWORM) have won a Gerald Loeb Award for International Report ...more

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