This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends
The Cyberweapons Arms Race
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)
"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 nondisclosure 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, Nicole Perlroth lifts the curtain on a market in shadow, revealing the urgent threat faced by us all if we cannot bring the global cyberarms race to heel.
About this Author
Nicole Perlroth spent a decade as the lead cybersecurity, digital espionage and sabotage reporter for The New York Times. Her work has received widespread praise from The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, The Economist, and The New York Times, including mentions in Wired, PBS, NPR, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post, among others. She has been featured as a guest on Fresh Air, The Rachel Maddow Show, CNN, the New York Times podcasts The Daily and Sway, VOX's Pivot podcast, and many more. She lectures at Stanford University and regularly delivers keynote addresses and speeches. She is currently serving as an advisor to the Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). She also joined the Council on Foreign Relations' Cybersecurity Task Force. She lives with her family in the Bay Area.
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