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Publisher's Summary

The inside story of how America's enemies launched a cyberwar against us - and how we've learned to fight back.

With each passing year, the Internet-linked attacks on America's interests have grown in both frequency and severity. Overmatched by our military, countries like North Korea, China, Iran, and Russia have found us vulnerable in cyberspace. The "Code War" is upon us. 

In this dramatic audiobook, former assistant attorney general John P. Carlin takes listeners to the front lines of a global but little-understood fight as the Justice Department and the FBI chases down hackers, online terrorist recruiters, and spies. Today, as our entire economy goes digital, from banking to manufacturing to transportation, the potential targets for our enemies multiply. 

This firsthand account is both a remarkable untold story and a warning of dangers yet to come.

©2018 John P. Carlin and Garrett M. Graff (P)2018 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"This book is thrilling, important, and deeply fascinating. Cybersecurity is key to modern life: an imperative for us as a nation and each of us personally. It's about protecting our personal data, our businesses, and our democracy. John Carlin has been on the front lines, defending us against attacks from China, North Korea, Russia, Syria, and criminal gangs. The riveting stories of these secret battles for our digital safety teach us much about what America can - and must - do to protect itself." (Walter Isaacson, New York Times best-selling author of Leonardo Da Vinci)

"John Carlin has written a crucial book - for practitioners and laymen alike - about the evolution, impacts, and implications of the abuses we've all witnessed, and many have personally experienced, in the cyber domain. Cyber is yet another example of the dual-edged nature of technology: huge benefit to mankind on one hand, and the potential for great harm on the other. And, unique to this book, is the historical description of how we have tried to respond to the harmful activities that occur all too frequently in the cyber domain. An interesting read, with vivid detail. John represents a superb amalgam of legal insight and great writing skill. A must read in my view." (James Clapper, New York Times best-selling author and former director of national intelligence)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    49
  • 4 Stars
    18
  • 3 Stars
    8
  • 2 Stars
    2
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Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    43
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    19
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    6
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Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    42
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    18
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Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Master class

Incredibly comprehensive account of the past present and future of cyber security. Well written and understandable to the lay person. This is a seminal work and should be the primary textbook for a required course for decades to come. The topic sounds technical but this transcends cyberspace and affects every one of us. Revelatory and freaking frightening.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Good Cyber War History Lesson

Good history lesson on cyber warfare and major events. The author seems very knowledgeable and seems like he was a good soldier in the legal battle for justice in a very strange and complex criminal underworld. The previous leadership of the intelligence community and the administration, who were quoted often in this book, failed the American people. Knowing and not taking action is sometimes the worst corruption of all. Using the people’s intelligence for political purposes instead of true justice was described perfectly in this book. Hopefully, the truth of this whole team will be revealed in due time.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Cyber war, hackers, and the future of the internet

John P Carlin is a US civil servant he was the Assistant Attorney General (DOJ). He was also chief of staff for FBI Director Robert S. Mueller. It is therefore expected that his narrative is biased to what some might consider American exceptionalism.

Regardless, his experience at the front line of economic, and geopolitical cyber warfare is as good as they come. It is incredible that such little investment has gone into cyber security when the risks are as large as they seem. I am writing this review just as news of a hack on Largest Hotel Group compromised over 500 million customers personal details in a span of 4 years. As with the Sony hack, this is an all too common occurrence lately, even affecting Facebook, Google and many others.

The internets backbone was not built with security in mind, but ease of use. We are finding out the costs of such a free and open network where criminals are always ahead, and the policing and regulation is inherently playing catch-up, and reacting to more and more sophisticated attacks. The realm of what used to be a hacker society is now being used by governments to disrupt rival nations, where no one's hands are clean, and proof is hard to come by.

Whether its a pre-emptive attack on military installations, an economic attack to steal technology, or just vandals and blackhats disrupting the system, we are in the age of technical vulnerability and its up to the individual entities to secure themselves, without much help from government who are lagging behind in the know-how as well as financial support.

This book is extremely informative about the governments role in the cyber realm, where they are and where they should be. It is highly recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

very good info with just a little political bias

overall very good book, eye opening information about China and the amount of technology theft that has gone on over the past couple decades.
great insight into government policy and the attempts to deal with Internet security gets a bit partisan at the end kind of a FBI director Comey fanboy. the author criticizes Trump for using a cell phone but does not mention Hillary Clinton's use of private servers. however most of the book is unbiased and worth the credit.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

must read/listen

the book does a great job at explaining the challenges of cyber security. a must read for everyone.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Law Enforcement + Tech + James Bond

I bought this book in the middle of the author’s interview with Preet on Stay Tuned with Preet. Tore through it in less than a week. One of the most pressing problems of our time... and no one outside of the tech sector understands it. Until now!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Exhausting

This book started with the potential for providing an extensive study of the current “Code War.”  For about twenty-percent of the book it did provide some good information and the foundations for fighting the cyber confrontation.  But the book went into an exhausting review of the author's career and the me-me babble along with a not needed review of computer and hacking history that has been touched thousands of times.  If you can do a fast skim to the good parts, or fast forward to it, you can get a little beneficial information.  If you are an above average cyber professional than skip this and get your next certification.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Worth the Read/Listen.

Every honest internet user should read this book, used double security, strong passwords and BE SUSPICIOUS of received emails!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • shaked
  • maiter, Israel
  • 01-04-19

interesting if you have patience

this book is a bit hard to start but pretty good when you get past the first few chapters

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

cyber war has begun

I have heard all these stories before but not in one book, if you want an insight into cyber you might want to give this nugget a listen.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Charlie Wilson
  • 01-14-19

A mediocre book made worse by obvious bias.


The book has a couple of interesting insights but is consistently let down by the author's one sided attempts to explain two sided issues. Unfortunately the author is also completely unable to state facts without inserting a blatant political bias and glosses over a number of vital facts which might negatively impact on his personal opinions.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Robert ONeill
  • 10-20-18

Master class

Incredibly comprehensive account of the past present and future of cyber security. Well written and understandable to the lay person. This is a seminal work and should be the primary textbook for a required course for decades to come. The topic sounds technical but this transcends cyberspace and affects every one of us. Revelatory and freaking frightening.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • James Kennedy
  • 11-22-18

Good Cyber War History Lesson

Good history lesson on cyber warfare and major events. The author seems very knowledgeable and seems like he was a good soldier in the legal battle for justice in a very strange and complex criminal underworld. The previous leadership of the intelligence community and the administration, who were quoted often in this book, failed the American people. Knowing and not taking action is sometimes the worst corruption of all. Using the people’s intelligence for political purposes instead of true justice was described perfectly in this book. Hopefully, the truth of this whole team will be revealed in due time.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Philomath
  • 12-02-18

Cyber war, hackers, and the future of the internet

John P Carlin is a US civil servant he was the Assistant Attorney General (DOJ). He was also chief of staff for FBI Director Robert S. Mueller. It is therefore expected that his narrative is biased to what some might consider American exceptionalism.

Regardless, his experience at the front line of economic, and geopolitical cyber warfare is as good as they come. It is incredible that such little investment has gone into cyber security when the risks are as large as they seem. I am writing this review just as news of a hack on Largest Hotel Group compromised over 500 million customers personal details in a span of 4 years. As with the Sony hack, this is an all too common occurrence lately, even affecting Facebook, Google and many others.

The internets backbone was not built with security in mind, but ease of use. We are finding out the costs of such a free and open network where criminals are always ahead, and the policing and regulation is inherently playing catch-up, and reacting to more and more sophisticated attacks. The realm of what used to be a hacker society is now being used by governments to disrupt rival nations, where no one's hands are clean, and proof is hard to come by.

Whether its a pre-emptive attack on military installations, an economic attack to steal technology, or just vandals and blackhats disrupting the system, we are in the age of technical vulnerability and its up to the individual entities to secure themselves, without much help from government who are lagging behind in the know-how as well as financial support.

This book is extremely informative about the governments role in the cyber realm, where they are and where they should be. It is highly recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Todd
  • 11-14-18

very good info with just a little political bias

overall very good book, eye opening information about China and the amount of technology theft that has gone on over the past couple decades.
great insight into government policy and the attempts to deal with Internet security gets a bit partisan at the end kind of a FBI director Comey fanboy. the author criticizes Trump for using a cell phone but does not mention Hillary Clinton's use of private servers. however most of the book is unbiased and worth the credit.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • One of the Monkies
  • California, USA
  • 01-13-19

must read/listen

the book does a great job at explaining the challenges of cyber security. a must read for everyone.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • amazonian1212
  • 01-11-19

Law Enforcement + Tech + James Bond

I bought this book in the middle of the author’s interview with Preet on Stay Tuned with Preet. Tore through it in less than a week. One of the most pressing problems of our time... and no one outside of the tech sector understands it. Until now!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Michael W. Travis
  • 01-08-19

Exhausting

This book started with the potential for providing an extensive study of the current “Code War.”  For about twenty-percent of the book it did provide some good information and the foundations for fighting the cyber confrontation.  But the book went into an exhausting review of the author's career and the me-me babble along with a not needed review of computer and hacking history that has been touched thousands of times.  If you can do a fast skim to the good parts, or fast forward to it, you can get a little beneficial information.  If you are an above average cyber professional than skip this and get your next certification.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-07-19

Worth the Read/Listen.

Every honest internet user should read this book, used double security, strong passwords and BE SUSPICIOUS of received emails!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • shaked
  • maiter, Israel
  • 01-04-19

interesting if you have patience

this book is a bit hard to start but pretty good when you get past the first few chapters

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sharon Cazier
  • 12-29-18

cyber war has begun

I have heard all these stories before but not in one book, if you want an insight into cyber you might want to give this nugget a listen.