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This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends: The Cyberweapons Arms Race

This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends: The Cyberweapons Arms Race

by Nicole Perlroth
This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends: The Cyberweapons Arms Race

This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends: The Cyberweapons Arms Race

by Nicole Perlroth


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THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * Winner of the Financial Times & McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award * Bronze Medal, Arthur Ross Book Award (Council on Foreign Relations)

“Part John le Carré and more parts Michael Crichton . . . spellbinding.” The New Yorker

"Written in the hot, propulsive prose of a spy thriller" (The New York Times), the untold story of the cyberweapons market—the most secretive, government-backed market on earth—and a terrifying first look at a new kind of global warfare.

Zero day: a software bug that allows a hacker to break into your devices and move around undetected. One of the most coveted tools in a spy's arsenal, a zero day has the power to silently spy on your iPhone, dismantle the safety controls at a chemical plant, alter an election, and shut down the electric grid (just ask Ukraine).

For decades, under cover of classification levels and non-disclosure agreements, the United States government became the world’s dominant hoarder of zero days. U.S. government agents paid top dollar—first thousands, and later millions of dollars— to hackers willing to sell their lock-picking code and their silence.

Then the United States lost control of its hoard and the market.

Now those zero days are in the hands of hostile nations and mercenaries who do not care if your vote goes missing, your clean water is contaminated, or our nuclear plants melt down.

Filled with spies, hackers, arms dealers, and a few unsung heroes, written like a thriller and a reference, This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends is an astonishing feat of journalism. Based on years of reporting and hundreds of interviews, The New York Times reporter Nicole Perlroth lifts the curtain on a market in shadow, revealing the urgent threat faced by us all if we cannot bring the global cyber arms race to heel.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781635576054
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 02/09/2021
Pages: 528
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.90(d)

About the Author

Nicole Perlroth is an award-winning cybersecurity journalist for The New York Times, where her work has been optioned for both film and television. She is a regular lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a graduate of Princeton University and Stanford University. She lives with her family in the Bay Area, but increasingly prefers life off the grid in their cabin in the woods.

Table of Contents

Authors Note xiii

Prologue xv

Part I Mission Impossible

1 Closet of Secrets 3

2 The Fucking Salmon 13

Part II The Capitalists

3 The Cowboy 21

4 The First Broker 41

5 Zero-Day Charlie 53

Part III The Spies

6 Project Gunman 69

7 The Godfather 78

8 The Omnivore 102

9 The Rubicon 117

10 The Factory 132

Part IV The Mercenaries

11 The Kurd 149

12 Dirty Business 165

13 Guns for Hire 177

Part V The Resistance

14 Aurora 193

15 Bounty Hunters 214

16 Going Dark 233

Part VI The Twister

17 Cyber Gauchos 253

18 Perfect Storm 267

19 The Grid 283

Part VII Boomerang

20 The Russians Are Coming 301

21 The Shadow Brokers 320

22 The Attacks 333

23 The Backyard 346

Epilogue 387

Acknowledgments 407

Notes 411

Index 473

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