Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War
“A consistently eye-opening history...not just a page-turner but consistently surprising.” —The New York Times
“A book that grips, informs, and alarms, finely researched and lucidly related.” —John le Carré
As cyber-attacks dominate front-page news, as hackers join terrorists on the list of global threats, and as top generals warn of a coming cyber war, few books are more timely and enlightening than Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War, by Slate columnist and Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Fred Kaplan.
Kaplan probes the inner corridors of the National Security Agency, the beyond-top-secret cyber units in the Pentagon, the "information warfare" squads of the military services, and the national security debates in the White House, to tell this never-before-told story of the officers, policymakers, scientists, and spies who devised this new form of warfare and who have been planning—and (more often than people know) fighting—these wars for decades.
From the 1991 Gulf War to conflicts in Haiti, Serbia, Syria, the former Soviet republics, Iraq, and Iran, where cyber warfare played a significant role, Dark Territory chronicles, in fascinating detail, a little-known past that shines an unsettling light on our future.
A. Clarke and Robert K. Knake, Cyber War (New York: HarperCollins, 2010), passim, esp. 44ff. Stone was no admirer of Snowden: “Is Edward Snowden a Hero? A Debate with Journalist Chris Hedges and Law Scholar Geoffrey Stone,” Democracy Now, June 12, 2013, http://www.democracynow.org/2013/6/12/is_edward_snowden_a_hero_a.; and interviews. Moreover, if the metadata revealed: The figure of twenty-two NSA officials comes from the White House, Liberty and Security in a Changing World: Report and
campaign to shut down Milosevic’s propaganda machine. A European satellite company was carrying the broadcasts of some pro-Milosevic stations. A senior officer in U.S. European Command visited the company’s chairman and told him that 80 percent of his board members were from NATO nations. When the chairman told him how much the Serbian stations were paying him, the American officer offered to pay a half million dollars more if he shut them down. He complied. Meanwhile, U.S. intelligence agencies
Project was necessary, only the purchase of computers and the training of hackers—and their effects were lightning fast. There had been similar, if less dramatic, demonstrations of these effects in the past. In 2000, a disgruntled former worker at an Australian water-treatment center hacked into its central computers and sent commands that disabled the pumps, allowing raw sewage to flow into the water. The following year, hackers broke into the servers of a California company that transmitted
AT&T in the early days, to Sprint and Verizon in the “Baby Bells” era, to Microsoft, Google, and the other pioneers of the Internet age—had long enjoyed mutually beneficial arrangements with the NSA and FBI. This section of the bill would loom large, and incite enormous controversy, six years later, when Edward Snowden’s leaks revealed the vast extent of those arrangements. Except for the requirement to consult with the FISA Court and the select congressional committees, both of which met in
ambiguities about the telephone metadata program, he stated, PRISM had demonstrably saved lives. Did Americans’ calls and email get caught up in the sweep? Yes, but that was an unavoidable by-product of the technology. The NSA briefers explained to the Review Group what Mike McConnell had explained, back in 2007, to anyone who’d listen: that digital communications traveled in packets, flowing along the most efficient path; and, because most of the world’s bandwidth was concentrated in the United