Book cover
Fancy Bear Goes Phishing
The Dark History of the Information Age, in Five Extraordinary Hacks
Scott J Shapiro

So much better than I expected. Fancy Bear Goes Phishing certainly is an interesting breakdown of some big and important hacks, and a clearly written primer on “cyber” security. But it is also by far the most level-headed, convincingly argued, thoughtful take on digital security policy I’ve ever seen.

I’m not a security expert. But I regularly take the advice of people who are, and I’ve been building software systems on the open internet for almost 30 years, so I have a pretty solid grounding in the fundamentals here. In Fancy Bear, Shapiro reshaped my thinking on policy topics. And he did it through five stories of hacking, by weaving much more fundamental ideas into the narrative so convincingly that the conclusions feel inevitable. An extraordinary read.

(Aside: I wish I had read this one in print. Alas, the audiobook performance has more little inflection errors than I can forgive. And listening to someone who doesn’t know programming read short code snippets aloud is a little grating.)