Fancy Bear Goes Phishing: The Dark History of the Information Age, in Five Extraordinary Hacks (Paperback)
  • Fancy Bear Goes Phishing: The Dark History of the Information Age, in Five Extraordinary Hacks (Paperback)
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Fancy Bear Goes Phishing: The Dark History of the Information Age, in Five Extraordinary Hacks (Paperback)

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Paperback 432 Pages
Published: 02/05/2024
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Waterstones Says

Through five landmark hacks from the Great Worm to the Russian military intelligence unit that may have swung the 2016 US Presidential Election, Shapiro tells the story of the internet and its shocking security breaches in page-turning, human-centred prose.

'Fancy Bear was hungry. Looking for embarrassing information about Hillary Clinton, the elite hacking unit within Russian military intelligence broke into the Democratic National Committee network, grabbed what it could, and may have contributed to the election of Donald Trump.'

Robert Morris was curious. Experimenting one night, the graduate student from Cornell University released "the Great Worm" and became the first person to crash the internet.

Dark Avenger was in love. To impress his crush, the Bulgarian hacker invented the first mutating computer virus-engine and nearly destroyed the anti-virus industry.

Why is the internet so insecure? How do hackers exploit its vulnerabilities? Fancy Bear Goes Phishing tells the stories of five great hacks, their origins, motivations and consequences.

As well as Fancy Bear, Robert Morris and Dark Avenger, we meet Cameron Lacroix, a sixteen-year-old from South Boston, who hacked Paris Hilton's cell phone because he wanted to be famous and Paras Jha, a Rutgers undergraduate, who built a giant botnet designed to get him out of his calculus exam and disrupt the online game Minecraft, but which almost destroyed the internet in the process.

Scott Shapiro's five stories demonstrate that computer hacking is not just a tale of technology, but of human beings. Yet as Shapiro shows, hackers do not just abuse computer code - they exploit the philosophical principles of computation: the very features that make computers possible also make hacking possible. He explains how our information society works, the ways our data is stored and manipulated, and why it is so subject to exploitation. Both intellectual romp and dramatic true-crime narrative, Fancy Bear Goes Phishing exposes the secrets of the digital age.

Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
ISBN: 9780141993843
Number of pages: 432
Weight: 319 g
Dimensions: 197 x 129 x 24 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

When does cyber-espionage tip into cybercrime or even cyber-warfare? ... Scott Shapiro is well-placed to tackle these quandaries ... masterful ... His narrative zips between technical explanations, legal reasoning and the ideas of thinkers including René Descartes and Alan Turing ... making the subject intelligible to non-specialist readers - Economist

His impish humour and freewheeling erudition suit a world saturated in pop culture - The Guardian

an impressive achievement ... an absorbing tour of cyberspaces's netherworld ... illuminating - Observer

Full of such surprising human stories and colour ... you might assume that hacking is the art of tricking a computer into letting you in. The reality, as Shapiro sets out, is more often about tricking humans ... a lucid, grounded explanation of hacks, the mentality of the hackers behind them, and what it means for us. - James Ball, The Spectator

Fancy Bear Goes Phishing is an essential book about high-tech crime: lively, sometimes funny, readable, and accessible. Shapiro highlights the human side of hacking and computer crime, and the deep relevance of software to our lives. - Bruce Schneier, author of A Hacker's Mind: How the Powerful Bend Society's Rules and How to Bend them Back

Shapiro's snappy prose manages the extraordinary feat of describing hackers' intricate coding tactics and the flaws they exploit in a way that is accessible and captivating even to readers who don't know Python from JavaScript. The result is a fascinating look at the anarchic side of cyberspace. - Publishers Weekly

This scintillating book manages to hack the reader ... it is a profound work on the idea of technology, the philosophical underpinning of it, the moral sensitivity we need to deal with fundamental problems and the jurisprudence relevant to it. If you think that books involving discussions of law must be boring, then Shapiro is a good antidote since he is a very humanist and humane writer ... Ask yourself: did you have an email address or a mobile phone back in the way-back? ... psychologically astute ... erudite, witty and arch. I am now unplugging my computer - Stuart Kelly, Scotsman

Scott Shapiro's Fancy Bear Goes Phishing fills a critical hole in cybersecurity history, providing an engaging read that explains just why the internet is as vulnerable as it is. Accessible for regular readers, yet still fun for experts, this delightful book expertly traces the challenge of securing our digital lives and how the optimism of the internet's early pioneers has resulted in an online world today threatened by spies, criminals, and over-eager teen hackers. - Garrett Graff, co-author of The Dawn of the Code War

The question of trust is increasingly central to computing, and in turn to our world at large. Fancy Bear Goes Phishing offers a whirlwind history of cybersecurity and its many open problems that makes for unsettling, absolutely riveting, and-for better or worse-necessary reading. - Brian Christian, author of Algorithms to Live By and The Alignment Problem

This is an engrossing read ... An authoritative, disturbing examination of hacking, cybercrime and techno-espionage - Kirkus

gripping, entertaining, yet intellectually rigorous - Prospect Magazine

a clever mix of the technical and the human side of what's going on - Popular Science

We have a deep fascination with the threats that computer hackers pose to society - and a profound misunderstanding of how they work. Seeking to address this Scott Shapiro ... explains in surprising detail how the internet works - and why it isn't safer - Sunday Times

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“Witty, insightful and incredibly important.”

In Fancy Bear Goes Phishing Scott Shapiro recounts the history of cyber security using five of the most influential hacks of the modern information age. Covering over 60 years of computer history readers will meet a... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 16

“An eye-opening read”

A great introduction to cyber security using five of the most extraordinary and influential hacks to shine a light on the dark history of the information age. Scott Shapiro is a witty and engaging writer who plunges... More

Hardback edition
6 similar books recommended
Helpful? Upvote 14
Richard Hayden in Rye

“Bear Necessities”

The film and TV industry has tended to fool us into believing that computer hacking is a daring and exciting activity that takes place on the fringes of spycraft, typically with the safety of the world at stake. Scott... More

Hardback edition
3 similar books recommended
Helpful? Upvote 7

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