Book Review: This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends by Nicole Perlroth

April 4, 2024

About:

This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends: The Cyberweapons Arms Race by Nicole Perlroth tells of the government-backed secretive market to get zero-day vulnerabilities. Ms. Perlroth is the New York Times cybersecurity reporter and a published author.

  • 528 pages
  • Publisher ‏ : Bloomsbury Publishing
  • Language ‏ : English
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1635576059

Book Review: This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends by Nicole Perlroth
My rat­ing for This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends 5
Buy This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends from Amazon.com*
More Books by Nicole Perlroth*

Thoughts:

This thrilling book is a cautionary tale of how weaponized computer vulnerabilities can change our lives, decide policy, and even start wars. Ms. Perlroth tells of secretive, underground markets where large amounts of money change hands, as well as the increasing support of nation-states to get their hands on those weapons.

This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends by Nicole Perlroth contains interviews with hackers, cyber arms dealers, infosec specialists, and even spies. Together comes a coherent story of a seedy underworlds where both criminals and nation-states compete for new computer exploits for their wars around the globe.

Even though most of the book concentrates on the United States, the author traveled to Europe and South America, conducting interviews about the technological arms race. In the process, she exposes the readers into different points of view where the US is not necessarily trusted, nor considered the obvious choice to responsibly administer and user zero-day hacks.

In the process we get an excellent primer on the history of cyber-attacks. From Russia turning off Ukrainian internet-connected infrastructure, to the weaponized Stuxnet which destroyed Iran’s nuclear capabilities.

Almost half of the books is dedicated to the National Security Agency (NSA) quest to collect information about America’s enemies. From the earliest digital listening devices (bugs) placed in Moscow’s American embassy, to the vulnerability discovery program.

The last part of the book describes America’s vulnerabilities. From reliance on the Internet of Things, to congressional bipartisanship which hinders American security.

The book is an easy read, you don’t have to be a techy to understand it. Ms. Perlroth smartly stays away from technical jargon. This makes the book difficult to put down, while informing and entertaining at the same time.

Buy This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends from Amazon.com*
More Books by Nicole Perlroth*

Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer: I bought this book.
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account, the money is usually spent on books

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

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

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