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Publisher's Summary

In 2015, Russian hackers tunneled deep into the computer systems of the Democratic National Committee, and the subsequent leaks of the emails they stole may have changed the course of American democracy. But to see the DNC hacks as Trump-centric is to miss the bigger, more important story: Within that same year, the Russians not only had broken into networks at the White House, the State Department, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff but had placed implants in American electrical and nuclear plants that could give them the power to switch off vast swaths of the country. This was the culmination of a decade of escalating digital sabotage among the world's powers, in which Americans became the collateral damage as China, Iran, North Korea, and Russia battled in cyberspace to undercut one another in daily just-short-of-war conflict.

The Perfect Weapon is the startling inside story of how the rise of cyberweapons transformed geopolitics like nothing since the invention of the atomic bomb. Cheap to acquire, easy to deny, and usable for a variety of malicious purposes - from crippling infrastructure to sowing discord and doubt - cyber is now the weapon of choice for democracies, dictators, and terrorists. Two presidents - Bush and Obama - drew first blood with Operation Olympic Games, which used malicious code to blow up Iran's nuclear centrifuges, and yet America proved remarkably unprepared when its own weapons were stolen from its arsenal and, during President Trump's first year, turned back on the US and its allies. The government was often paralyzed, unable to threaten the use of cyberweapons because America was so vulnerable to crippling attacks on its own networks of banks, utilities, and government agencies.

Moving from the White House Situation Room to the dens of Chinese government hackers to the boardrooms of Silicon Valley, New York Times national security correspondent David Sanger - who broke the story of Olympic Games in his previous book - reveals a world coming face-to-face with the perils of technological revolution. The Perfect Weapon is the dramatic story of how great and small powers alike slipped into a new era of constant sabotage, misinformation, and fear, in which everyone is a target.

©2018 David E. Sanger (P)2018 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"[Sanger's] description of the cyber portion of Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election is thorough and convincing. It ought to be required reading for anyone who doubts the extent and seriousness of the Russian effort... The great value of The Perfect Weapon is less in its specific policy prescriptions than in its being the most comprehensive, readable source of information and insight about the policy quandaries that modern information technology and its destructive potential have spawned." (The New York Times)

What members say

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  • aaron
  • los angeles, CA, United States
  • 07-09-18

BY FAR the best book to date on this topic!

I've listened to every (reputable) book on Audible on the topic of cyberwarfare/hacking released over the last five years. This is BY FAR the best.

Seriously, there isn't even a close second.

This book was clearly written by a professional journalist who knows how to keep a story moving and a reader interested. Sanger is a skilled craftsman at the top of his game, and it was an absolute joy to listen to this. The writing is so crisp and compelling that it could've been narrated by a cockatoo and still been enjoyable. Having said that, the narrator was good.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Chilling and thought provoking

well reached and comprehensive yet easy to grasp even by the non tech savvy. I wholeheartedly recommend this to anyone looking for information on the current cyber threat knocking on our door daily.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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A New Dimension to International Hostilities

Sanger’s book is brilliant. It is a deeply thoughtful, highly informed account of cyber weapons and their role in international power struggles. A must-read!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Oh my god

The reader has a voice and tonality that makes you feel safe while he tells you how very unsafe you actually are. This is not a story book but seams like a science fiction. I never thought about the subject matter here but it is presented as if we all should have realized it.
I listened to it in three sittings

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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The Perfect Weapon

War, Sabotage, and Fear in the Cyber Age is the subtitle. Have yet to listen to 12 hours
but enjoyed the sample. Bye for now Glen ;-)

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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gr8 book. detailed and insightful

the level of research and the St storytelling was impressive. even though it got a little slow in places the deliberation and the richness of true sources should be appreciated. great read for anyone who's interested in the cyber security

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Excellent!

A must read in this age of cyber conflict. The evolution of cyberspace, and all its related attributes makes it imperative that people understand historical context and future implications.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Amazing

Scary yet amazing book. Takes you to a drip into the history of cyber wars then makes you imagine how the future will look like.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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chilling

this is an absolutely chilling book on the quantity of information other countries are able to obtain about America. Plus the lack of a coordinated response in the government with multiple factions. It's very similar to the security issues that led up to 9/11

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Analysis on the Golden Age of Cyberspace<br />

strategic analysis and design in the complexity of cyberspace, cyber security and the art of cyber warfare in a digital age of uncertainty. The book is detailed, however simplified to understand the content and context of how the evolution of cyberspace in the digital age constitutes the number one threat to US National Security.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful