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Dark Territory Paperback

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Dark Territory probes the inner corridors of the National Security Agency, the beyond-top-secret cyber units in the Pentagon, the “information warfare” squads of the military services, and the national security debates inside the White House, to tell the untold story of the officers, policymakers, scientists, and spies who devised a new form of warfare — cyber war — and who have been planning (and, more often than people know, fighting) this kind of war for decades, from the 1991 Gulf War to conflicts in Haiti, Serbia, Syria, the former Soviet republics, Iraq, and Iran.

Based largely on interviews with more than 100 participants in the story — from cabinet secretaries, generals, and admirals (including six NSA directors) to mid-level officers, officials, and analysts, to technical experts in the heart of the national-security bureaucracy — Dark Territory chronicles, in detail, a little-known past that shines an unsettling light on our future.

Priase for Dark Territory:

"A book that grips, informs and alarms, finely researched and lucidly related" — John le Carré

“Eye-opening history, not just a page-turner but consistently surprising… The great strengths of Dark Territory are the depth of its reporting and the breadth of its ambition… The author never neglects to tie his compelling descriptions of the personalities and events to their overarching historical implications.” — Jonathan Knee, New York Times

“The best account to date of the history of cyber war…A human story: a history as revealed by the people involved in shaping it…Full of detail, including information that will be new even to insiders” — Tim Watson, The Times Literary Supplement

“Troubling but engrossing… assiduously and industriously reported.”
Gordon M. Goldstein, Washington Post

“Ominous and excellent.” — Boston Globe

“Kaplan is one of America’s leading writers on national security, and his accounts of cyberattacks are gripping…chilling… assiduously researched — Edward Lucas, Times of London

“Taut, urgent history.” — Nature

“The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Fred Kaplan treats us to a rich, behind-the-headlines history.” — Washington Independent Review of Books

“Comprehensively reported history… The book’s central question is how should we think about war, retaliation, and defense when our technologically advanced reliance on computers is also our greatest vulnerability?” — The New Yorker

Dark Territory should be read by anyone interested in national security, and studied by anyone interested in SIGINT or the National Security Agency, Cyber Command, and the development of offensive cyber weapons. — Journal of Strategic Studies

“To understand how deeply we have drifted into legally and politically uncharted waters, read Kaplan’s new book, ‘Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War’… Fascinating details.” — George F. Will, Washington Post

“A strong narrative flow…worthy of any spy thriller …impressively detailed…deeply relevant…vital.” — The National (UAE)

“It’s not easy to write an engaging book on cyberwar, and Kaplan, a national security columnist at Slate, has done an admirable job… A clear account of the United States’ evolution into a formidable cyberpower.” — Emily Parker, Foreign Affairs

"Dark Territory offers thrilling insights into high-level politics, eccentric computer hackers and information warfare. In 15 chapters—some of them named after classified codenames and official (and unofficial) hacking exercises—Kaplan has encapsulated the past, present and future of cyber war." — Financial Express (India)

"The best available history of the U.S. government’s secret use of both cyber spying, and efforts to use its computer prowess for more aggressive attacks.” — IT Security News

“Fred Kaplan’s Dark Territory may become a classic reference for scholars and students seeking to understand the complicated people who ushered the United States into the cyber-conflict era and the tough decisions they made." — Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, Director, Center for Cyber Conflict Studies, US Naval War College, Proceedings of the US Naval Institute

“Editors’ Choice” — New York Sunday Times Book Review

"A fascinating account of the people and organizations leading the way towards a cyber war future.” — Dorothy Denning, author, Information Warfare and Security, and First inductee, National Cyber Security Hall of Fame

Dark Territory is a remarkable piece of reporting. Fred Kaplan has illuminated not merely the profound vulnerabilities of our nation to cyber warfare, but why it has taken so long for our policy-makers to translate indifference into concern and concern into action. This is a vitally important book by a meticulous journalist.” — Ted Koppel, author, Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath

“Everyone has heard the term ‘cyber warfare.’ Very few people could explain exactly what it means and why it matters. Dark Territory solves that problem with an account that is both fascinating and authoritative. Fred Kaplan has put the people, the technologies, the dramatic turning points, and the strategic and economic stakes together in a way no author has done before.”
James Fallows, National correspondent, The Atlantic

“An eye-opening account of the dawn of cyber warfare… An important, disturbing, and gripping history arguing convincingly that, as of 2015, no defense exists against a resourceful cyberattack.” — Starred review, Kirkus Reviews

“The best available history of the U.S. government’s secret use of both cyber spying, and efforts to use its computer prowess for more aggressive attacks… Contains a number of fascinating, little-known stories about the National Security Agency and other secret units of the U.S. military and intelligence community… An especially valuable addition to the debate.”
John Sipher, Lawfare

"The book opens fast and builds from there, providing insights from research that even professionals directly involved in cyber operations will not have gleaned… You will love this book.” —

“Kaplan seems to have interviewed almost all of the major players and participants in this history, and he has an engaging story to tell… Who met with him, who was appointed to what position, or even (as in the case of [Michael] Hayden and [Keith] Alexander) who may have hated whom all turn out to be quite important in the ongoing development of this contested domain.”
Steve Aftergood, Secrecy News

“Number 3 cyber book of all time" — Cyber Defense magazine

A “Hot Tech Book of 2016” — Tech Republic

A “Fanfair—Hot Type” Book Pick for March 2016 — Vanity Fair