The Plot to Hack America: How Putin’s Cyberspies and WikiLeaks Tried to Steal the 2016 Election by Malcolm Nance
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The biggest weakness this book has is that the author was in a hurry to get it out before the elections were over because he assumed Americans make decisions based on being informed instead of based on emotions. If he’d waited a bit, not only would the book contain the outcome, but also some more recent revelations, like the Facebook and Twitter stuff.
Beyond that, the book is a good little romp through the activities of some hacker groups that CloudStrike (or one of the other security groups) have named with the suffix Bears. (EG: CozyBear) The author talks about the hacks in Estonia and Ukraine to set up their working patterns. Then shows how it matches the patterns going on in the US in 2016.
I got this book as part of a Humble Bundle and it’s not the reason I bought the bundle, but since I spent the money, I listened to it. The narrator does a good job, especially as he often has to read IP addresses and expand acronyms.
Whether you like the book is going to depend on a number of factors: are you into spy stuff? are you into computer security? would your sense of group affiliation be threatened by the suggestion that everything wasn’t on the up and up during the 2016 election? Do you feel schadenfreude in the face of the CIA attempts to affect elections during the cold war?
I found it to be a well-research book that just added to my feelings of sadness that the great information potential of the Internet has been so thoroughly corrupted. (Although the fact that I’m a history nut tempers that a bit – every information tech has been like this – eg most presses in the Gutenberg and Post-Gutenberg time period made their money printing pamphlets of opposing groups accusing their opponents of all kinds of stuff)
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