Sandworm
A chilling, globe-spanning detective story, tracking an elite group of Russian hackers and the future of global warfareIn 2014, the world witnessed the start of an escalating series of cyberattacks. Targeting American utility companies, NATO, and electric grids in Eastern Europe, the strikes became ever more brazen, eventually leading to the first-ever blackouts triggered by hackers. They culminated in the summer of 2017 when malware known as NotPetya was unleashed, compromising, disrupting, and paralyzing some of the world's largest companies. At the attack's epicenter in Ukraine, ATMs froze. The railway and postal systems shut down. NotPetya spread around the world, inflicting an unprecedented ten billions of dollars in damage--the largest, most penetrating cyberattack the world had ever seen.The hackers behind these attacks are quickly gaining a reputation as the most dangerous team of cyberwarriors in the internet's history: Sandworm. Believed to be working in the service of Russia's military intelligence agency, they represent a persistent, highly skilled, state-sponsored hacking force, one whose talents are matched by their willingness to launch broad, unrestrained attacks on the most critical infrastructure of their adversaries. They target government and private sector, military and civilians alike.From WIRED senior writer Andy Greenberg comes Sandworm, the true story of the desperate hunt to identify and track those attackers. It considers the danger this force poses to our national stability and security. And as the Kremlin's role in manipulating foreign governments and sparking chaos globally comes into greater focus, Sandworm reveals the realities not just of Russia's global digital offensive, but of an era where warfare ceases to be waged on the battlefield--where the line between digital and physical conflict begins to blur, with world-shaking implications.

Sandworm Details

TitleSandworm
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMay 7th, 2019
PublisherDoubleday
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Politics, History, Science, Technology, Mystery, Crime, Economics, Computer Science, Computers, War

Sandworm Review

  • Onceinabluemoon
    January 1, 1970
    I got this book for my husband, I had no intentions of reading it, but we were on a road trip and I put on the audio. I love books that expose me to new things that I turn out to be open to, this cyber world was shocking to me, I had no idea that such warfare was underway for such a long protracted time and the devastating consequences involved. There is no question in my mind our elections were interfered with upon after hearing the myriad of experiences in this dark world. To be honest, I I got this book for my husband, I had no intentions of reading it, but we were on a road trip and I put on the audio. I love books that expose me to new things that I turn out to be open to, this cyber world was shocking to me, I had no idea that such warfare was underway for such a long protracted time and the devastating consequences involved. There is no question in my mind our elections were interfered with upon after hearing the myriad of experiences in this dark world. To be honest, I found it terrifying, the harm we choose to inflict upon others is astounding, be at from a gun or cyberspace it’s all equally horrifying. Thought it was excellent and my ostrich head in the sand has been brutally awakened!
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  • Ryan Lackey
    January 1, 1970
    One of the best books about modern infosecurity threats -- a detailed investigation into the activities of GRU in attacking infrastructure around the world (primarily in Ukraine), their motivations, and where the threat is evolving.
  • Jessica Scott
    January 1, 1970
    If I could give this book more than 5 stars, I would. Absolutely outstanding reporting e,bedded in historical context about Russia’s hacking capabilities, what it’s doing in Ukraine and how it impacts all of us. It should be required reading for all cyber security, military, industry, and government officials. Everyone should read this book.
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  • Csimplot Simplot
    January 1, 1970
    Excellent book!!!
  • Renee
    January 1, 1970
    Fantastic read. This was like a history of hacking for me, and I was in awe of all the events I had never heard of because the news is so focused on the president’s latest tweets. I feel I have a foundational understanding finally of the politics of Ukraine and Russia and the major codenames for hackers and malware. It is written well and keeps your attention. I started taking notes halfway through because I know I will come back to them as this landscape develops. This is another book I really Fantastic read. This was like a history of hacking for me, and I was in awe of all the events I had never heard of because the news is so focused on the president’s latest tweets. I feel I have a foundational understanding finally of the politics of Ukraine and Russia and the major codenames for hackers and malware. It is written well and keeps your attention. I started taking notes halfway through because I know I will come back to them as this landscape develops. This is another book I really think should be required reading!
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  • Collin Lysford
    January 1, 1970
    It's a common statement in cybersecurity that you can almost never really attribute a given attack to a given actor. But Sandworm does its best to assemble the massive preponderance of what evidence we do have of who's behind some of the highest profile attacks of the decade. When you combine that with concrete evidence that cyberwar can hop effortlessly into the realm of the real, this is an extremely timely guide into what everyone really needs to know about the new age of digital threat It's a common statement in cybersecurity that you can almost never really attribute a given attack to a given actor. But Sandworm does its best to assemble the massive preponderance of what evidence we do have of who's behind some of the highest profile attacks of the decade. When you combine that with concrete evidence that cyberwar can hop effortlessly into the realm of the real, this is an extremely timely guide into what everyone really needs to know about the new age of digital threat that's upon us. I've been waiting for this book ever since the Wired article last year that included some preview material, and it didn't disappoint. However, I think it tries a little too hard for it's own good to be punchy and mix things up frequently. The chapters are all super short, and when everything is connected in such fundamental ways, I can't help but feel sometimes this is making it harder than it needs to be to keep the big picture in your head all at once. This is definitely one of the books that I think could have stood to focus less on the gonzo/personal aspects and lean more into scholarly rigor.Still, it's not a huge detraction, and this is definitely a 4 star on the cusp of 5. I think pretty much everyone should read this book and know the kind of things the future has in store for us.
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  • Filip Olšovský
    January 1, 1970
    Although the beginning is often unreasonably epic and the ending is just 20-30 pages too long, all the stuff in between is just brilliant. Probably the best book on this topic and a clear example of how reporting should look like.
  • Val
    January 1, 1970
    This book was much more, and much better, than I expected, and I had high hopes when I started it. It tells the story of the elite Russian cyber attack team “Sandworm” as a central feature, but the book focuses even more on the first part of the title, “A New Era of Cyberwar,” giving a detailed but not overly-technical account of Cyberwar and the most devastating attacks made since network connected computing began. I have some training and experience in this field but I learned new things about This book was much more, and much better, than I expected, and I had high hopes when I started it. It tells the story of the elite Russian cyber attack team “Sandworm” as a central feature, but the book focuses even more on the first part of the title, “A New Era of Cyberwar,” giving a detailed but not overly-technical account of Cyberwar and the most devastating attacks made since network connected computing began. I have some training and experience in this field but I learned new things about old attacks, and new things about more recent attacks. Once the genie was out of the bottle (destroying centrifuges in Iran’s Natanz nuclear plant through computer code commands), it was only a matter of time before other experts around the world learned how to reverse-engineer the breakthrough and spread the know-how far and wide. Once such tools were used on another nation and observable in the wild, cyberwar was ready to cause physical world mayhem in other machines on other continents.To-date, this is the best book I’ve read about cyberwar and the nations that wage it, with Russia being front-and-center as the most aggressive, damaging, and dangerous. Its teams have sledgehammered pillars of the international economy, such as power grids, transportation systems, and shipping yards, leaving government and corporate officials around the world scrambling to rebuild entire computer infrastructures or go bankrupt. Such teams crashed the Korea Olympics, caused chaos on the systems cleaning up the Chernobyl accident site, shut off the power for millions of people in Ukraine, and of course, caused the American people to lose confidence in our national election voter information and ballot systems. The author uses some stunning examples or real-world effects to make the point that cyber attacks have very real physical world consequences. The attack on the shipping giant Maersk, with its ubiquitous containers and cranes in nearly every major port on the planet, will give any reader a jolt of reality as to the economic crises a few lines of code can ignite.This was a terrific read from start to finish, and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about the havoc state-sponsored hacker teams can wreak on the digital and physical worlds we operate in daily. To call them “hackers” is a misnomer from a past we no longer live in. The sophisticated cyber attacks such teams have carried out are not merely a bunch of hackers testing to see what they can penetrate, testing the limits of their skills or the security of their targets. Teams such as “Sandworm” are the cyber version of military Special Forces teams like SEALS or Green Berets. They never stop training, they are relentless, and they can be lethal when the mission requires it. This book will be eye-opening for those who still believe the USA is better-protected or more immune from crippling cyber attacks than the unfortunate nations teams like Sandworm have targeted repeatedly. America has always had an isolationist streak, believing itself safe from enemies because it is protected east and west by large oceans so we see our enemies coming to attack our homeland. However, in the cyber world, no such isolation or protection exists. One quote stood out to me, that perfectly states the threat we face with nearly everything we do taking place on the Internet in some way: “Every barbarian is already at every gate.” In warfare, the goal is to win, and some governments are willing to be more ruthless and provocative than others, clearly viewIng dominance in the cyber domain as a critical part of winning future wars. With the tools and proven ability to knock out power grids, crash trade and financial systems, take company servers hostage, and make physical machines stop working or break down or work too well for safety, there is almost no limit to what major nation-states can do to each other in an actual all-out war, and civilians who rely on electricity and water and computers to live normal ife will be the collateral damage. Just ask the Ukrainian cyber expert who could not use his credit card, his ATM card, buy groceries, heat his house, pay his bills online, or do anything we all take for granted, because entire regions of that country have been repeatedly hit by cyber warfare attacks from Russia. Russia’s actions in Crimea here preceded by cyber attacks that shut down pro-Ukraine government communications, websites, and established a misinformation campaign. Ukraine experts paint a bleak future picture for us all if an all-out cyberwar erupts with Russia at some point. Some attacks are meant to show capability, as a deterrent to similar attacks on oneself, but the pace and severity of cyberwar attacks are rising, as are the chances for retaliatory strikes and escalation from capable victims.If you can shut down shipping container cargo manifests and cripple loading cranes, you can keep your enemy from receiving food, tools, parts, supplies, the very lifeblood of a nation’s ability to wage war. If it cannot feed its population, or maintain its machines, or communicate with the populace, war morale plummets. Do it in winter when losing the power grid means also losing heating systems for homes and businesses, so pipes, and people, freeze. When we start to think about how many networked devices we have running things in our homes, we can move forward to imagining what happens when those devices stop working. SmartHomes are amazing, and are an open invitation for cyberwar to be the “barbarian already at every gate.”A fascinating 5-star book that is enlightening, entertaining, frightening, and unquestionably necessary for waking us all up to what lies ahead. You will never think of a “glitch” on your favorite devices the same again.
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  • Don Lundman
    January 1, 1970
    The counterpart to malware is what some people, mainly techies, call “scareware”—articles written in the popular press about threats to our digital way of life. This book is certainly an example. Nonetheless, it is very sobering. You should read it. The hazards it describes are real and must be addressed before we go too much farther down the path toward connecting our doorbells and refrigerators and driverless cars to the Internet of Things. Not to mention connecting our ATMs and grocery stores The counterpart to malware is what some people, mainly techies, call “scareware”—articles written in the popular press about threats to our digital way of life. This book is certainly an example. Nonetheless, it is very sobering. You should read it. The hazards it describes are real and must be addressed before we go too much farther down the path toward connecting our doorbells and refrigerators and driverless cars to the Internet of Things. Not to mention connecting our ATMs and grocery stores and traffic signals and medical records and electric power grids. What sets this book apart is that it isn’t just another true-hacker-crime story. In his reporting on cyberattacks against infrastructure in Ukraine, Greenberg gives a glimpse into the rapidly evolving nature of modern asymmetric warfare and, perhaps, into the dawn of a new arms race. For that reason alone, you should read this book.
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  • Chris Hansen
    January 1, 1970
    Hacking industrial systems with Ukraine as Ground Zero A factual accounting, told line a novel, of the hacking group “Sandworm” and its Associates in Russian State-Sponsored cyber warfare. Interesting the investigation of events and the “warriors” on defense. You don’t need to be technical to understand the flow. I recommend for anyone interested in IoT and how being globally linked makes us more vulnerable, not less. The meek really will inherit the earth - because they will be in an analog age Hacking industrial systems with Ukraine as Ground Zero A factual accounting, told line a novel, of the hacking group “Sandworm” and its Associates in Russian State-Sponsored cyber warfare. Interesting the investigation of events and the “warriors” on defense. You don’t need to be technical to understand the flow. I recommend for anyone interested in IoT and how being globally linked makes us more vulnerable, not less. The meek really will inherit the earth - because they will be in an analog age while those in the digital age scramble for the basics of life in their complex world.
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  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    Loved it! I have a love of the tech world and hacking is at the top of my interests. It's so fascinating what you can do with a computer and how much of an impact you can make with it. This includes hacking. The book reads like a thriller and it kept me engaged to the point where I couldn't put it down. One thing I pulled from it though is DON'T USE WINDOWS! Seriously though, Windows OS is junk and it's the core reason hackers penetrated literally everything. Macs aren't immune but it's a hell Loved it! I have a love of the tech world and hacking is at the top of my interests. It's so fascinating what you can do with a computer and how much of an impact you can make with it. This includes hacking. The book reads like a thriller and it kept me engaged to the point where I couldn't put it down. One thing I pulled from it though is DON'T USE WINDOWS! Seriously though, Windows OS is junk and it's the core reason hackers penetrated literally everything. Macs aren't immune but it's a hell of a lot better than using a Windows PC.
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  • Goldman
    January 1, 1970
    I think the entire internet ought to be destroyed and rebuild. Same goes for all secret intelligence agencies worldwide, and all political structures. It is clear none of it works and that combined they pose an imminent threat to the survival of the human race: environmentally, socially, and psychologically. The problems are too deep-rooted to be 'patched', this is becoming abundantly more clear as the future is closing in faster and faster on the oblivious present.
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  • Ietrio
    January 1, 1970
    Their evil wizards are killing our cows. And our god is good, is all powerful, is all merciful. So we have wronged our god and he allows them to kill our cows. And the solution is easy: sacrifice some of them to our god as repentance so our god will forgive them and start protecting us mindless servants.
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  • Will Crocker
    January 1, 1970
    Fascinating view on the present and future of WarfareIncredibly well written and enjoyable read. The scope of what Andy uncovers in Sandworm is both thrilling and terrifying. I'll definitely think about this during the next NYC blackout. Best read of the year for me by far.
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  • James Sesnak
    January 1, 1970
    A real eye opener. Completely dispels the political myth of who really interfered in the 2016 US elections. Also, consider a backup generator for your home.
  • James
    January 1, 1970
    Loved it but probably have to read it again to understand the finer points.
  • Reed Galen
    January 1, 1970
    Everyone should read this book.
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