• Dawn of the Code War

  • America's Battle Against Russia, China, and the Rising Global Cyber Threat
  • By: John P. Carlin, Garrett M. Graff
  • Narrated by: Kevin Stillwell
  • Length: 16 hrs and 59 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (498 ratings)

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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)

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What listeners say about Dawn of the Code War

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    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.

24 people found this helpful

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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.

9 people found this helpful

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Not a lot of "americanism"

The one-star reviews that said this book promoted too much americanism almost made me not read it. There is the usual "we are the good guys" rethoric but it's not that bad, and you couldn't expect otherwise from the author's bio.

It's a very interesting account of some of the backstage behind what's going on in cyber warfare, with some of the reasoning behind key geopolitical moves by the U.S. government. In many areas, feels like what a realistic episode of the show "24" would look like.

The reading is excellent, respectful to foreign names, and manageable to be listened at 1.75x with no loss of comprehension.

This is my first audible audiobook and I am completely hooked; much better than spending time listening to podcasts. Thanks a lot to all the people involved in producing this material, superb work.

8 people found this helpful

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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.

8 people found this helpful

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awful. avoid

The narrator is extremely annoying, and the book itself is very poorly structured. It goes from discussing foiled terror attacks to Chinese industrial espionage in the span of two sentences with no effort to make any relationship.

5 people found this helpful

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There was a forced bias.

While I understand why the focus is given to the foreign actor. There will be no mention of our own agencies practicing many of the tactics discussed here.

Such as the extensive highlight given to the Russian influence in the 2016 elections, there is no mention of Cambridge Analytica's feat of targeted advertisements of false promises or even own own agencies involvement to social engineer political opinion.

4 people found this helpful

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Interesting history, lite on code war...

Several hours into the book, most of the time has been spent giving the history of computers, computer networks, origination of hackers, going back to the 50s. I like historical analyses, but that's not what I signed up for with this book.

Making matters worse is the incessant droning of the narrator. It's almost like listening George Costanza narrate...

4 people found this helpful

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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 people found this helpful

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Not Technical Enough

Not very technical. It is mainly a statement of facts and historic events pertaining to cyber nation attacks against the United States.

2 people found this helpful

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over rated

leaves out 50% of story, some people mention present day integrity being questioned fired for security violations law breaking under investigations, politically one sided, take notes see for self. narrator ok

2 people found this helpful

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  • LondonBubble
  • 04-22-19

A very poor biased book

If you are an Obama supporter who thinks Hilary lost the election because of Russia hackers you going to love it
All other thinking human beings will be gravely disappointed

3 people found this helpful

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  • 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.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Rob
  • 02-10-19

Excellent Book

Fantastic book from John Carlin. Really fascinating insight into the history of the threat America has faced from Cyber Adversaries and the steps taken to combat it. Thoroughly enjoyed listening to this and highly recommended.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-28-20

US point of view but not overly American

Fascinating history of foreign cyber crime in the US. Does a great job pointing out how poorly the US is coping with it. would have liked to see more on how US crime fits in. Author succeed in makinge scarred

.