The untold stories hiding in the shadows of the information security landscape fill the pages of Nicole Perlroth’s new book, This is How They Tell Me the World Ends: The Cyberweapons Arms Race. Perlroth is an award-winning New York Times journalist who has conducted hundreds of interviews with hackers, spies and everyone in-between to uncover urgent issues in the digital domain.
The book reads like a John Le Carre thriller novel; part mystery, part commentary, part psychological analyses. The author puts herself in the mind of hackers. What must it feel like to sell a zero day vulnerability? Who’s really buying these exploits? Why exactly would an organization or an individual covet them?
As Perlroth weaves the story together, she describes the sensitive nature of journalistic research in relation to cyber space; at one point, she found herself enclosed in a windowless closet because of concerns about super spies who could intercept conversations with lasers.
Discoveries about international digital incursions drive the piece forward. Descriptions are detailed and sources are authentic. “It is the story of our vast digital vulnerability, of how and why it exists…”, says Perlroth.
At the end of the day, This is How They Tell Me the World Ends represents a fresh call to action when it comes to staying alert and securing information. It also brings cyber security policy needs into new focus. We are more connected than ever before, and we may be more vulnerable to security threats than at any other moment in history.
For more on This is How they Tell Me the World Ends, visit The New York Times.