Breaking the Code on Bytes, Bombs, and Spies

April 24, 2019
George Moore

The following is an excerpted book review originally published in The Cipher Brief.

Bytes, Bombs, and Spies Full Book CoverBOOK REVIEW
Bytes, Bombs, and Spies:
The Strategic Dimensions of Offensive Cyber Operations

Edited by Herbert Lin and Amy Zegart
Brookings Institution Press

This collection published by the Brookings Institution Press is a very readable collection of papers which resulted from a workshop at Stanford’s Hoover Institution that was held in 2016.

With the rapid changes in virtually all aspects of the cyber domain, one might think that with this starting point, approaching three years old, the collection would be dated.

However, that is not the case at all. Bytes, Bombs, and Spies is current and up-to-date, with the 2016 workshop only representing a starting point as one of the first unclassified meetings of experts to consider the subject matter. The collection represents current thinking at the unclassified level. Moreover, in contrast to many collections representing the output of meetings, workshops, etc., this is a well-written, well edited, and very readable work. In the reviewer’s experience many collections, even from the best of conferences, workshops etc. are of uneven quality, with some decent chapters, some merely adequate chapters, and unfortunately many chapters that are either badly written or so narrowly focused as to be unreadable. Bytes, Bombs, and Spies is a refreshing deviation from what may be a norm. It’s 16 chapters are uniformly well written and topical.

Read the full book review at Cipher Brief.

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