Intercept: The Secret History of Computers and Spies

I needed a break from text books recently, so picked up Intercept by Gordon Corera for a relaxed, light read. Covering the origins of ‘computers’ in espionage back during the first world war, through to major attacks of the last few years, Gordon covers the topic objectively and with enough depth to be informative without overwhelming a more casual reader.

Going from the first war, through Bletchley, the cold war, national corporate espionage, and the beginnings of genuine cyber warfare involving known damage to infrastructure, Intercept provides a narrative framework for the parallel development of computer espionage with computers themselves – as well as asking interesting questions about the meaning of espionage in our new information age. There’s a sizeable mention of Cliff Stoll’s adventures as well, which provides a lot of wider context around the Cuckoo’s Egg.

Definitely an easy read, written in a light, narrative style while still managing to avoid imposing moral judgments on the decisions taken – simply examining their effects and consequences. One to take on the beach or out to the park, or just to sit and read on the train. Recommended especially to anyone interested in the history of computer espionage through the 20th century to today.


Genre: computer, espionage, history, security
Subjects: computer espionage, history, security

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