A credible, breathless account of the discovery and defeat (perhaps) of major Russian computer cyberattacks.

Cyberwar Armageddon hasn’t happened yet, but it’s coming, according to this disturbing but convincing journalistic chronicle.

Wired senior writer Greenberg (This Machine Kills Secrets: How WikiLeakers, Cypherpunks, and Hacktivists Aim To Free the World's Information, 2012) begins in 2014, when an analyst at a small, private intelligence firm learned of a security flaw in Microsoft Office, “one of the world’s most ubiquitous pieces of software,” and Russian malware designed to take advantage of it. Reverse engineering soon revealed that this malicious software, Sandworm, was not the usual effort to spread disinformation or steal data but was instead meant to cause physical damage. The analyst, Greenberg writes, considered this a whole new ball game: “Like many others in the cybersecurity industry, and particularly those with a military background, he’d been expecting cyberwar’s arrival: a new era that would finally apply hackers’ digital abilities to the older, more familiar worlds of war and terrorism.” In 42 short chapters, the author chronicles his travels around the world, with an emphasis on Ukraine, to describe the consequences of Sandworm and the efforts of software experts to analyze, ward off, and (ultimately) repair the damage. Ukraine, a test bed for cyberwarfare, remains in the crosshairs of Russian leader Vladimir Putin, who ordered the invasion of Crimea in 2014, supports a nasty insurgency in border areas, and opposes closer Ukrainian ties with Western Europe and NATO. Since the invasion, Russian hackers have been honing their skills on Ukraine’s infrastructure, shutting down electric grids, internet, railroads, hospitals, and even ATMs. Confident that America’s systems are less vulnerable and hobbled by Donald Trump’s clear admiration of Putin, U.S. leaders have downplayed the risk, although Russia and a host of other hackers are already flexing their muscles and wreaking havoc across the world. Throughout, Greenberg writes in the fast-paced style that characterized his first book, and while the narrative is occasionally scattershot, he effectively captures the disturbing nature of this new global threat.

A credible, breathless account of the discovery and defeat (perhaps) of major Russian computer cyberattacks.

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-385-54440-5

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Sept. 9, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2019


The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006



Well-told and admonitory.

Young-rags-to-mature-riches memoir by broker and motivational speaker Gardner.

Born and raised in the Milwaukee ghetto, the author pulled himself up from considerable disadvantage. He was fatherless, and his adored mother wasn’t always around; once, as a child, he spied her at a family funeral accompanied by a prison guard. When beautiful, evanescent Moms was there, Chris also had to deal with Freddie “I ain’t your goddamn daddy!” Triplett, one of the meanest stepfathers in recent literature. Chris did “the dozens” with the homies, boosted a bit and in the course of youthful adventure was raped. His heroes were Miles Davis, James Brown and Muhammad Ali. Meanwhile, at the behest of Moms, he developed a fondness for reading. He joined the Navy and became a medic (preparing badass Marines for proctology), and a proficient lab technician. Moving up in San Francisco, married and then divorced, he sold medical supplies. He was recruited as a trainee at Dean Witter just around the time he became a homeless single father. All his belongings in a shopping cart, Gardner sometimes slept with his young son at the office (apparently undiscovered by the night cleaning crew). The two also frequently bedded down in a public restroom. After Gardner’s talents were finally appreciated by the firm of Bear Stearns, his American Dream became real. He got the cool duds, hot car and fine ladies so coveted from afar back in the day. He even had a meeting with Nelson Mandela. Through it all, he remained a prideful parent. His own no-daddy blues are gone now.

Well-told and admonitory.

Pub Date: June 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-06-074486-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Amistad/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2006

Close Quickview