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Published a full month prior to the divisive Trump vs. Clinton 2016 presidential election, this book exposed the Russian hacking while the CIA was drafting their own report. In April 2016, computer technicians at the Democratic National Committee discovered that someone had accessed the organization’s computer servers and conducted a theft that is best described as Waterga Published a full month prior to the divisive Trump vs. Clinton 2016 presidential election, this book exposed the Russian hacking while the CIA was drafting their own report. In April 2016, computer technicians at the Democratic National Committee discovered that someone had accessed the organization’s computer servers and conducted a theft that is best described as Watergate 2.0. In the weeks that followed, the nation’s top computer security experts discovered that the cyber thieves had helped themselves to everything: sensitive documents, emails, donor information, even voice mails. Soon after, the remainder of the Democratic Party machine, the congressional campaign, the Clinton campaign, and their friends and allies in the media were also hacked. Credit cards numbers, phone numbers, and contacts were stolen. In short order, the FBI found that more than twenty-five state election offices had their voter registration systems probed or attacked by the same hackers. Western intelligence agencies tracked the hack to Russian spy agencies and dubbed them the “Cyber Bears.” The media was soon flooded with the stolen information channeled through Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks. It was a massive attack on America but the Russian hacks appeared to have a singular goal—elect Donald J. Trump as president of the United States. Malcolm Nance’s fast paced real-life spy thriller takes you from Vladimir Putin’s rise through the KGB from junior officer to spymaster-in-chief and spells out the story of how he performed the ultimate political manipulation—convincing Donald Trump to abandon seventy years of American foreign policy including the destruction of NATO, cheering the end of the European Union, allowing Russian domination of Eastern Europe, and destroying the existing global order with America at its lead. The Plot to Hack America is the thrilling true story of how Putin’s spy agency, run by the Russian billionaire class, used the promise of power and influence to cultivate Trump as well as his closest aides, the Kremlin Crew, to become unwitting assets of the Russian government. The goal? To put an end to 240 years of free and fair American democratic elections.


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Published a full month prior to the divisive Trump vs. Clinton 2016 presidential election, this book exposed the Russian hacking while the CIA was drafting their own report. In April 2016, computer technicians at the Democratic National Committee discovered that someone had accessed the organization’s computer servers and conducted a theft that is best described as Waterga Published a full month prior to the divisive Trump vs. Clinton 2016 presidential election, this book exposed the Russian hacking while the CIA was drafting their own report. In April 2016, computer technicians at the Democratic National Committee discovered that someone had accessed the organization’s computer servers and conducted a theft that is best described as Watergate 2.0. In the weeks that followed, the nation’s top computer security experts discovered that the cyber thieves had helped themselves to everything: sensitive documents, emails, donor information, even voice mails. Soon after, the remainder of the Democratic Party machine, the congressional campaign, the Clinton campaign, and their friends and allies in the media were also hacked. Credit cards numbers, phone numbers, and contacts were stolen. In short order, the FBI found that more than twenty-five state election offices had their voter registration systems probed or attacked by the same hackers. Western intelligence agencies tracked the hack to Russian spy agencies and dubbed them the “Cyber Bears.” The media was soon flooded with the stolen information channeled through Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks. It was a massive attack on America but the Russian hacks appeared to have a singular goal—elect Donald J. Trump as president of the United States. Malcolm Nance’s fast paced real-life spy thriller takes you from Vladimir Putin’s rise through the KGB from junior officer to spymaster-in-chief and spells out the story of how he performed the ultimate political manipulation—convincing Donald Trump to abandon seventy years of American foreign policy including the destruction of NATO, cheering the end of the European Union, allowing Russian domination of Eastern Europe, and destroying the existing global order with America at its lead. The Plot to Hack America is the thrilling true story of how Putin’s spy agency, run by the Russian billionaire class, used the promise of power and influence to cultivate Trump as well as his closest aides, the Kremlin Crew, to become unwitting assets of the Russian government. The goal? To put an end to 240 years of free and fair American democratic elections.

30 review for The Plot to Hack America: How Putin's Cyberspies and WikiLeaks Tried to Steal the 2016 Election

  1. 5 out of 5

    Monica

    I wanted to finish this one before the end of the year.  This is the type of social commentary/current events book that has a shelf life of about 30 seconds in terms of relevancy.  This was a bit of a mixed bag.  In terms of information security, it's already passed its prime. In terms of strategies and tactics of foreign interference and how they choose their targets, it's a very valuable primer chocked full of psychological insight and historical information.   Nance is very readable and his boo I wanted to finish this one before the end of the year.  This is the type of social commentary/current events book that has a shelf life of about 30 seconds in terms of relevancy.  This was a bit of a mixed bag.  In terms of information security, it's already passed its prime. In terms of strategies and tactics of foreign interference and how they choose their targets, it's a very valuable primer chocked full of psychological insight and historical information.   Nance is very readable and his book is geared towards a novice.  He takes great care to explain the how's and why's of Russian involvement detailing strategies and tactics. Nance assumes (rightly so) that very few people have an understanding of computers, the spy game, or what and how Russians would target. Remember this book was written and published in October 2016. Before the election. Nance knows his stuff and I would wager that this book was extremely vetted before publishing. There is a ton of well reasoned speculation and probably more importantly, a brief history of Russian espionage tactics and their history of cyber warfare. As an IT person, I found his cyber discussions to be simplistic. He talks of denial of service attacks (DNoS) and malware. Pretty much everyday stuff in my line of work. Hopefully most people know not to click suspect links in a suspect e-mail from a "friend" that says vague stuff like, "Thought you'd like this" ww.fakelink.xyz and when you look at the real e-mail address it turns out to be [email protected] and not your friend at all. This is what Nance speculates happened to the DNC well over a year prior. The malware sat on the server over a year because someone was careless and obviously their IT folks were overpaid. Someone clicked a link that allowed some malicious software to burrow into the servers and collect private and sensitive information. Apparently they found the source after they were alerted by US intelligence that something was suspicious. With the help of Wikileaks and probably Edward Snowden, the Russians knew who to target and how. Obviously these operations are more complex than Nance says. The way that the US knows how to trace origins for example was covered but very vague. To be honest, we know much more now about the cyber attack today than we did back when the book was written (like the fact that far more consequential sites and servers were infiltrated than the DNC e-mail server. The DNC hack was the significant event in this book). What I found most interesting was the history of Russian espionage and cyber warfare. Nance goes into some detail about the various incarnations of the Russian spy agencies and in how they choose their targets. After the 1950s it was KGB policy to always try to recruit the highest level spies from circles that were unexpected; they specifically targeted Westerners from conservative ideological profiles. Bezmenov said: My KGB instructors specifically made a point. Never border with leftists. Forget about these political prostitutes. Aim higher. Try to get into wide circulation, established conservative media. The rich. Filthy rich movie makers. Intellectuals. So-called academic circles. Cynical egocentric people who can look into your eyes with an angelic expression and tell you a lie. He also chronicled some of their previous cyber attacks in Europe and Eastern European countries. They were definitely honing their skills particularly in places like Estonia and the Ukraine. Nance also provides background on Julian Assange who is someone well known to US intelligence. He was a convicted hacker In 1991, Assange was under arrest and charged with thirty-one counts of hacking and related charges stemming from his infiltration of telecommunications company Nortel; he pled guilty to twenty-five charges—the remaining six were dropped—but a judge ruled he only had to pay “a small sum” in damage, citing his “intelligent inquisitiveness.” Overall I thought this was an excellent read. It wasn't all encompassing and it was open ended and already dated; but Nance is making a lot of sense. This book will make you angry because it's very obvious that this happened and it was known at the time. Nance doesn't discuss politics very much at all in the book, which I think muddies the water a little. How we got here is mindboggling. For me it's hard not being a little afraid for the future. But at least Nance brings a little clarity about Russian tactics and motivations. 4 Stars Read on kindle

  2. 5 out of 5

    Debra Daniels-zeller

    I've read a lot of thrillers, but this book has to be the most frightening book of the year for me. Nance writes in an engaging style, but the chapters on hacking were a little slow going for me. I hadn't realized how sophisiticated the Russins were are hacking and experienced in interfering in election processes with Russian cyberwarfare, and how they had a perfect canidate in Donald T. and Michael Flynn. Weakening NATO and destabilizing Western alliances is the goal. The only problem I had wit I've read a lot of thrillers, but this book has to be the most frightening book of the year for me. Nance writes in an engaging style, but the chapters on hacking were a little slow going for me. I hadn't realized how sophisiticated the Russins were are hacking and experienced in interfering in election processes with Russian cyberwarfare, and how they had a perfect canidate in Donald T. and Michael Flynn. Weakening NATO and destabilizing Western alliances is the goal. The only problem I had with the book was the dismal ending, with perhaps the end of democracy because of the divide in this country. Is it that dire for this country no matter who wins? Hopefully democracy survives.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Cody

    "There are no morals in politics; there is only expedience. A scoundrel may be of use to us just because he is a scoundrel." - Vladimir Ilyich Lenin "Always remember: cyber or kinetic, your adversaries prefer your silence, apathy and inaction. Be the consequence, not the victim." - Anthony Couchenour, Hoplite Cyber Security In the barrage of information coming at us in droves, the sequences of half-truths meant to convey the entirety of a situation or opinion, and the "alternative-facts" that seem "There are no morals in politics; there is only expedience. A scoundrel may be of use to us just because he is a scoundrel." - Vladimir Ilyich Lenin "Always remember: cyber or kinetic, your adversaries prefer your silence, apathy and inaction. Be the consequence, not the victim." - Anthony Couchenour, Hoplite Cyber Security In the barrage of information coming at us in droves, the sequences of half-truths meant to convey the entirety of a situation or opinion, and the "alternative-facts" that seemingly enflame and destroy any sense of grounded stability and common sense, a book like this is most welcome. Author Malcolm Nance, a career US intelligence official and devoted professional, approaches the Russian meddling in the 2016 United States election in a calm, collected manner indicative of a man who knows full well what he is talking about. His background, skills, dedication, and all around professionalism are what give The Plot to Hack America its legitimacy. Nance centers his book around the foundation of the Democratic National Committee hacks into their servers by two different entities, later to be discovered as groups connected with Russian intelligence services. The first entity was APT28, known by many names but referred to as FANCYBEAR. The second entity was APT29, otherwise known as COZYBEAR. These APT's (Advanced Persistent Threats) represent toolkits hackers can use to unleash malware and spear phishing into organizations or peoples servers, emails, etc. The ability to identify them as sourced from Russia are associated with IP addresses, Cyrillic keyboards, or the timecodes in the Eastern Europe/Western Russia sectors. Nance illuminates this with ease in a way that non-technological people won't have much trouble understanding. Beyond showcasing how these cyber attacks were orchestrated, (information worth its weight in gold), Nance skims the history of Russian intelligence and information gathering, from the era of Ivan the Terrible and Peter the Great to Khrushchev's creation of the KGB to the more contemporary era of Vladimir Putin. Also covered are Russian attempts to disrupt foreign countries through cyberwarfare tactics, such as Estonia in 2007 or Georgia in 2008. Putin obviously takes center stage here in his and the Russian government attempts to influence the US election in favour of a candidate that will more likely support Russian ideals. Trump makes the perfect candidate to be coerced directly and indirectly. His infatuation with Putin and the way he carries on with government policies domestically and internationally strikes a cord with Trump, and combined with Trump's notorious ego and submission to flattery, make him the ideal "cyberian candidate" as Nance refers to it. It was very interesting to note that historically the Soviet Union looked for as potential assets. "My KGB instructors specifically made a point. Never border with leftists. Forget about these political prostitutes. Aim higher. Try and get into wide circulation, established conservative media. The rich. Filthy rich movie makers. Intellectuals. So-called academic circles. Cynical egocentric people who can look into your eyes with an angelic expression and tell you a lie" (42) This was stated by Yuri Bezmenov, a defector of the KGB talking about recruitment strategies. Sounds eerily relevant in a post-KGB 21st century. There is so much to unpack with this book, including the laundering of information by Julian Assange, the infighting between the two democratic runners Clinton and Sanders, or Trump's delusions and compliance with Russian intelligence efforts. If there is one flaw with the book, it's too short and generalises some of the information given. However, Nance gives you enough to not feel like it's lacking information. This is a wonderful book and a much needed one to unpack all the craziness surrounding the 2016 election.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Baobab

    Partial but hard to ignore I'm inclined to believe bad things about Donald Trump, but I would feel better if stronger proof were provided. The author acknowledges that Trump likely did not conspire with Putin, but the tone comes off as a political smear. In the end I'm willing to believe that the Russians were behind the hacks in some way, but this book does nothing more than show it is possible, perhaps even likely they were. Absolute proof is apparently not possible. The book makes clear just h Partial but hard to ignore I'm inclined to believe bad things about Donald Trump, but I would feel better if stronger proof were provided. The author acknowledges that Trump likely did not conspire with Putin, but the tone comes off as a political smear. In the end I'm willing to believe that the Russians were behind the hacks in some way, but this book does nothing more than show it is possible, perhaps even likely they were. Absolute proof is apparently not possible. The book makes clear just how wide open our technology is to spying and crime, however. I wonder when, or if we will do anything to fix this existential flaw?

  5. 5 out of 5

    Louise

    Anyone who is up on the news will know the basics of what is presented here. Malcolm Nance, a former Navy Intelligence analyst, adds depth. You see how Putin came out of the still the Stalinist KGB which, despite glasnost, continued to carry out “the polices and practices that have worked for over a century”. The skills once used to develop fellow travelers are now used to develop “assets”. He shows how Donald Trump’s profile fits MICE (Money, Ideology, Coersion and Ego), the profile of a potenti Anyone who is up on the news will know the basics of what is presented here. Malcolm Nance, a former Navy Intelligence analyst, adds depth. You see how Putin came out of the still the Stalinist KGB which, despite glasnost, continued to carry out “the polices and practices that have worked for over a century”. The skills once used to develop fellow travelers are now used to develop “assets”. He shows how Donald Trump’s profile fits MICE (Money, Ideology, Coersion and Ego), the profile of a potential target to a glove… needing money… respecting wealth and power… needing to be praised. Nance goes step by step into how to “Organize and Election Theft”. There were practice runs –Brexit –The Ukraine, and campaigns to support Russian minorities (as Hitler did in Czechoslovakia) in its former satellites such as Estonia and Georgia. Cyber operations, while they cost money are cheap compared to war. Nance calls WikiLeaks, “Putin’s Laundromat” and shows the connections. He shows how Trump's rhetoric is allied with Putin's policies. There is technical material on the Cyberbear that went a little over my head. The Muller indictment, which I read somewhat simultaneously with this book, shows the breadth of the ground game, which Nance merely touches on. Once the Cyber operation is documented we will know the full scale of this… but it is clear that it is huge and world-wide. There is an appendix that includes excerpts from declassified versions of FBI and CIA reports. There is no index. This is a good book on the fundamentals. Almost like a reference book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    Scary & infuriating. Even more so post election. I always enjoy (probably not the right word, since he mostly scares the hell out of me) his appearances on TV. A good & necessary book. Scary & infuriating. Even more so post election. I always enjoy (probably not the right word, since he mostly scares the hell out of me) his appearances on TV. A good & necessary book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Charlene

    6 stars By far, this is the best book I have read about Trump to date. Every time I watch questioning during trials from FBI or Senate investigations or read breaking news from WP and NYT about the Trump campaign's ties to Russia and, more specifically, Russia's efforts to hack American Democracy in the 2016 presidential election, I scour the internet to find as many news stories and timelines as I can, so that I can be as informed as possible. However, I always find the timelines to be a bit sca 6 stars By far, this is the best book I have read about Trump to date. Every time I watch questioning during trials from FBI or Senate investigations or read breaking news from WP and NYT about the Trump campaign's ties to Russia and, more specifically, Russia's efforts to hack American Democracy in the 2016 presidential election, I scour the internet to find as many news stories and timelines as I can, so that I can be as informed as possible. However, I always find the timelines to be a bit scattered. Some are focused on Kushner's role, some on other actors like Page, Flynn, and others. There is always some pasting to do in my own mind to keep everything straight and connect the dots. I also wonder what the CIA and FBI really know about Trump and or his campaign's dealings with Russia. This book made following the timeline very easy and filled in a lot of gaps. What a great piece of writing! Nance hand delivers the clear and shocking story of Trumps ties to Russia (businesses, banks, events, oligarchs, mobsters, and politicians), which are laid bare for all to see. His attempts to cover them up are almost laughable at this point. Unless the FBI and Senate have blind loyalty to Trump (he wishes they did, but they don't), there is simply no way to cover up his dealings with Russia. The paper trail is far too direct and the evidence far too plentiful for that. Whether he voluntarily and personally colluded with Russia is not still yet to be proven, but it is very clear that Trump has a lot of dealing with Russia, which go all the way to Putin (whether or not Trump ever met with Putin prior to becoming president) that Trump would rather keep quiet. Ever wonder why Trump is so afraid of Mueller looking at his finances? Well wonder no longer. As detailed in this book and, more fully in The Making of Donald Trump by Jonston, Trump claimed to be worth 3 billion, but was instead 3 billion in debt! Despite being a trust fund baby (something he lies about in an effort to make him appear as a self-made man), Trump lost it all and went into bankruptcy, making him ineligible to extort the American banks any further. To get his hands on money, Trump had to tap a source that didn't know what a bad bet he was. (Incidentally, read Johnston's book to understand how Trump was seen as "too big to fail," just as the banks of 2008 were, despite the fact that Trump is an individual.) Trump found that new source when Russian Oligarch Aras Agalarov became enamored with Trump's reality show and his catch phrase, "You're Fired!" Trump, as is now widely reported in the news, appeared in Agalarov's son's music video. When Trump enter the Agalarov's world, things began to look up for him. He made connections with Russian oligarchs, borrowed large sums of money for Russian banks, and did business with Russian mobsters such as Felix Sater (who was once out with Trump and Marla Maples and told people his name was David Satter, so they would not make the mob connection). I am sure all the money Trump made under the table with Russian mobsters and American mobsters (like the Weichselbaum brothers who seem to have done some money laundering with Trump through a flight service) are not on his tax returns for Mueller to see, but there are other ways of getting at those transactions, and there are plenty of transactions that do have a legitimate paper trail. Let's see how up in the Russian government (mostly likely ties to oligarchs) that paper trail goes. Trump's connections to Oligarchs is particularly interesting because oligarchs like Agalarov are heavily and personally connected to Putin himself. Anything that comes from Agalarov (say a meeting in a hotel room with a Russian lawyer, to spill dirt on Hillary Clinton) is likely know about, or even set up by, Putin. Putin can never be separated from the oligarchs. It was Putin's rise to power and his simultaneous crooked actions that helped steal money from the poor to line the pockets of a small subset of the population. Putin reminds me of the two guys who were put in positions of power in the East India Company (EIC) prior to the revolutionary war. They were positioned in tax ports and used their position of power to steal from the masses of poor people and line their pockets and the pockets of their shareholders. In fact, one of those men who was a top dog at the EIC and used his position to steal from the poor and become one of the richest men in America was Standford, of Standford University. Like the top power thieves at the EIC, Putin was put in charge of food stuff and skimmed from top, stealing from the people to line his own pockets and line the pockets of those who were loyal to him. Trump would like to do the same thing to Americans. No way buddy. Go find some other suckers who don't know their history. This book provided a truly noteworthy history of Russian politics that reads like a novel at times. Some books that provide histories of politics can get bogged in detail and make you feel like you are in 8th grade history class about to fall asleep and wishing for the bell to ring. Rather than being boring or difficult to follow this book is a page turner. Nance quickly detailed the path Russian intelligence has taken from Ivan the Terrible's Oprichnina in 1565 through the rise of the KGB, which turned into the FSB, through now. (I think someone should name their bad "The Oprichnina"). More importantly, Nance recounted Putin's journey from wanna-be spy teenager to a well-educated top spy who became Prime Minister and then President of Russia. More importantly still, Nance laid out, very clearly, the types of actions taken by spies to gather information, gather loyalty, and gather unwitting allies. You can read it and decide for yourself if Trump is in way over his head. Decide for yourself what actions Putin might be currently taking to hack our very democracy. It is nothing short of shocking to know that this book was written and published a long time before many of the stories about Russian ties broke. It is incredible how much was known about Trump, Putin, Flynn, Manafort (who is written about at length in this book), and other actors before the majority of news stories made it into the main stream, keeping many of us glued to our computers to find out what bombshell will be dropped next. There is a surprising amount of information in this book that can really help the reader understand the many currently breaking news stories on a deeper level. I highly recommend this book.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Radiantflux

    29th book for 2017. Nance covers in gripping detail the highly sophisticated attack by Russia on the US 2016 election. The writing at times is a bit rough, and the book ends before Trump reaches office, but the story itself is so gripping I am happy to give this book 5-stars. The appendix contains a very interesting declassified joint report of the NSA/CIA/FBI, which independently confirms and extends the findings presented by Nance. Whatever happens going forward Russia won the 2016 US election. 29th book for 2017. Nance covers in gripping detail the highly sophisticated attack by Russia on the US 2016 election. The writing at times is a bit rough, and the book ends before Trump reaches office, but the story itself is so gripping I am happy to give this book 5-stars. The appendix contains a very interesting declassified joint report of the NSA/CIA/FBI, which independently confirms and extends the findings presented by Nance. Whatever happens going forward Russia won the 2016 US election. Trump is damaging the US (both economically and socially), damaging the US Atlantic Alliance, and weakening NATO (all top Punin objectives). The skills learnt will be applied in all future US/European elections (what was the exact role of Russa in Brexit one wonders). A must and scary read for anybody with a stake in Western democracy.

  9. 4 out of 5

    writegeist

    Note: I received a copy of this book as a Goodreads giveaway winner. I fully understand my own political bent when it comes to books like this. I expect to read a copy of the Woodward book as soon as I can get a copy from my library. So, I'm on-board with Nance's conclusions, which are based on an impressive amount of data both from the US intelligence community and private cyber security companies: that Russia is behind the flurry of cyber attacks perpetrated against the US during the 2016 presi Note: I received a copy of this book as a Goodreads giveaway winner. I fully understand my own political bent when it comes to books like this. I expect to read a copy of the Woodward book as soon as I can get a copy from my library. So, I'm on-board with Nance's conclusions, which are based on an impressive amount of data both from the US intelligence community and private cyber security companies: that Russia is behind the flurry of cyber attacks perpetrated against the US during the 2016 presidential election. In addition, Trump and his associates, whether knowingly or unknowingly, have been groomed as pawns in the game Russia is playing to undermine the US and NATO. One thing to realize is Nance's book came out before the election, and I'm just getting around to reading it now. Everything Nance talks about is conjecture on the outcome of the elections. It's spooky; a bit of time traveling to a time when most of us had an idea about who would be the next president. The interesting thing is to follow some of this cast of characters, some of whom have since been fired, indicted, or imprisoned after being found guilty of a number of criminal acts. Nance's stance is that all of the propaganda and the timing of the release of huge numbers of documents by such groups as WikiLeaks all point to getting Donald Trump elected as president, based on Trump's stated admiration for Putin and his leadership. I have long been of the opinion that only one person could have been elected as president without the claim of a stolen election. As Nance states: "No matter what the evidence, no matter who will ask for calm, [Trump voters] won't believe anything other than treachery because Donald Trump has convinced a third of the American electorate that the entire American electoral system has always been corrupt. The greatest danger now is that any outcome other than the election of Donald Trump will not be accepted, and demands for a new election and rejection of the results will cripple the nation in ways not seen since [the] 1860 secession." The irony of this all is that if the whole system is corrupt, then Trump was elected by a corrupt system. Of course, from his standpoint, that's okay.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Karla

    First off, when the "Russia!" talk seemed to start in the news immediately on Nov. 9th, I was skeptical of just how large a role Russia played in the election. It had all the reek of deflecting blame from an inarguably flat-flooted campaign in the areas that mattered. In the ensuing weeks & months, there is no longer any doubt in my mind. (Been watching Rachel Maddow lately?) If anything, there should be an update to this book in about, oh, maybe 6 months...because the sheer amount of recent infor First off, when the "Russia!" talk seemed to start in the news immediately on Nov. 9th, I was skeptical of just how large a role Russia played in the election. It had all the reek of deflecting blame from an inarguably flat-flooted campaign in the areas that mattered. In the ensuing weeks & months, there is no longer any doubt in my mind. (Been watching Rachel Maddow lately?) If anything, there should be an update to this book in about, oh, maybe 6 months...because the sheer amount of recent information reveals has already made this pre-election book somewhat outdated. However, for background on what is still unspooling/unraveling/imploding on a semi-daily basis, it was a valuable read. Even so, despite its informational value, its...professionalism? integrity?...was tarnished (IMO) from the wealth of stylistic and editorial flaws. You can tell that it was rushed to publication. It could have really used a good polish from an editor. Or even a proofread from the author. The formatting is erratic (quotes that should be block paragraphs, aren't; a bolded header runs the bolding right through the text of the first paragraph); grammatical goofs and typos abound (promenence, abandoned apostrophes for its & Trumps, etc.); and then there's the mangled syntax, such as: Assange, however, over time he has strayed far away from the traditional journalistic principle of striving for objectivity, and instead has focused on the idea of justice. Also, portions of the book gave a feeling of "written by committee" (as in, "farmed out") because quotes & relevant details are duplicated in different sections, verbatim. Sure, the details are relevant to each section and the topic it covers, but had it been written all of a piece it wouldn't have had such a choppy feel to it. On another note, the long section going into the nuts and bolts of the hacking itself (full of its various BEARS) would probably interest a reader who is all into the technological aspect of it, but Nance doesn't make it palatable for the layman. So, informative and disappointing all at once. In all good grammatical conscience, I had to deduct a star for the awful editorial job. I hope Nance updates this and gets it tidied up within this year. Maybe some of the snoozy aspects can be revised and reduced so that more of the juicy news coming out on a daily basis will give his report a fuller picture of all the threads that came into play.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kiesha ~ 1Cheekylass

    What an amazing book. My only complaint? Too short!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jill Deutsch

    This book scares the crap out of me. Malcom Nance identified and predicted the manipulation of Trump and his cronies by Russia. The ignorance of Trump and his supporters allowed the United States to be manipulated by money and flattery to weaken the United States. They put themselves ahead of the good of this nation. Mr. Nance shows step by step that our election was undermined by cyber warfare, document dumps through Wikileaks and our country's refusal to recognize the seriousness of these atta This book scares the crap out of me. Malcom Nance identified and predicted the manipulation of Trump and his cronies by Russia. The ignorance of Trump and his supporters allowed the United States to be manipulated by money and flattery to weaken the United States. They put themselves ahead of the good of this nation. Mr. Nance shows step by step that our election was undermined by cyber warfare, document dumps through Wikileaks and our country's refusal to recognize the seriousness of these attacks. These failures led to Trump. I hope that there are people who care more about this country more than being in power and realize the long term damage that will result if we do not heed Malcolm Nance's warnings. Mr. Nance please write a post-election follow up to this book. Our country needs it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Gary Beauregard Bottomley

    The DNC was hacked by Russia. Putin wanted Trump in the White House. Authoritarians thrive on the chaos created by alternative facts. Trump is Putin's useful idiot. This book lays the foundation for what is currently slowly being revealed. There is no doubt that Russia wanted Trump in the White House and colluded with him. This book demonstrates that conclusively. Russia (Putin) and Trump want power for its own sake. To retain that power they must create illusions based on alternative facts. The The DNC was hacked by Russia. Putin wanted Trump in the White House. Authoritarians thrive on the chaos created by alternative facts. Trump is Putin's useful idiot. This book lays the foundation for what is currently slowly being revealed. There is no doubt that Russia wanted Trump in the White House and colluded with him. This book demonstrates that conclusively. Russia (Putin) and Trump want power for its own sake. To retain that power they must create illusions based on alternative facts. They are doing everything in their power to obfuscate and confuse and control through the assimilation of false narratives and disinformation. Trump, Fox News and the other right wing mouth pieces or the equally vile rumor filled Huffington Post gladly play along even if it is all at the biding of and control of Russia and for the sake of confusion. The trope's origination is irrelevant for them. The always vile Ann Coulter really said it best "I don't care if they are performing abortions in the White House, I'll still support Donald Trump". Trump hates the people they hate. That is enough for those haters and truth deniers. Merely to have information, no matter how abundant, is not to know. A story needs to be told before one can understand and know. This book gives that story and is necessary reading for what is to come with the Mueller investigations. The dots are being connected and this book is the first phase required for what is happening. Trump will fire Mueller (imo). Russia will support that. The world will suffer. (And what the hell is this about banning transgender from the military in a tweet. How does that make America safer?).

  14. 5 out of 5

    Priscilla Oppenheimer

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The writing in this book is quite bad in many cases. Publication was clearly rushed. The publishers should have taken a few days to do some basic copy editing. In the meantime, they could have waited for Election Day too. The last page (spoiler alert) actually implies that Hillary was going to win and that Trump supporters would doubt the results because of the Russian hacking. With that said, I highly recommend the book anyway. It presents the security and forensics techniques that the experts The writing in this book is quite bad in many cases. Publication was clearly rushed. The publishers should have taken a few days to do some basic copy editing. In the meantime, they could have waited for Election Day too. The last page (spoiler alert) actually implies that Hillary was going to win and that Trump supporters would doubt the results because of the Russian hacking. With that said, I highly recommend the book anyway. It presents the security and forensics techniques that the experts undoubtedly used to pin the hacking of the DNC, DNCC, and Podesta emails on Russia's FSB and other government agencies. Russia's motivations, skill set, and techniques are clearly explained along with Wikileaks' role. The book is partisan, no doubt, but believable nonetheless due to the presentation of evidence and motive. Every American should read it.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Susan Miller

    A good book if this episode in history interests you. Technical enough to explore the topic, but not so technical that the reader is lost. I found the information fascinating. Each point is made with expert documentation of the facts making the conclusions believable and strong.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Grace

    For the political junkie, this is a good read. It has a pointed, particular message. Russia is interfering to control messaging all over the Internet, in the US and in Europe. Good detail about how it was done. Intriguing, informative and frightening.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    It’s terrifying that Nance was able to put all this together & present it to the public before the 2016 election... and yet this Chump still got elected 🤦🏻‍♀️ The book is good, but very heavy on Intel in-speak. If you like that, you’ll love hanging out with this book. If it’s too much, you can skim those parts & still get the point: Russia influenced our election, & our president is compromised. It’s terrifying that Nance was able to put all this together & present it to the public before the 2016 election... and yet this Chump still got elected 🤦🏻‍♀️ The book is good, but very heavy on Intel in-speak. If you like that, you’ll love hanging out with this book. If it’s too much, you can skim those parts & still get the point: Russia influenced our election, & our president is compromised.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Bettie

    Description: Athrilling true story of how Putin’s spy agency, run by the Russian billionaire class, used the promise of power and influence to cultivate Trump as well as his closest aides, the Kremlin Crew, to become unwitting assets of the Russian government. The goal? To put an end to 240 years of free and fair American democratic elections. Forward Preface Watergate 2.0 Suspicions of Something More Sinister The Spymaster-in-Chief Trump's Agents, Putin's Assets Operation LUCKY-7: Battles of the CYBER Description: Athrilling true story of how Putin’s spy agency, run by the Russian billionaire class, used the promise of power and influence to cultivate Trump as well as his closest aides, the Kremlin Crew, to become unwitting assets of the Russian government. The goal? To put an end to 240 years of free and fair American democratic elections. Forward Preface Watergate 2.0 Suspicions of Something More Sinister The Spymaster-in-Chief Trump's Agents, Putin's Assets Operation LUCKY-7: Battles of the CYBER BEARS WikiLeaks: Russia's Intelligence Laundromat When CYBER BEARS Attack Cyberwar to Defend Democracy Appendex Endnotes Ego-centric people who lack moral principles - who are either too greedy or who suffer from exaggerated self-importance. These are the people the KGB wants and finds easiest to recruit." Former KGB officer Yuri Bezmenov (From page xv of the Preface) Concise, easy-to-read extended essay that is essential to get under the belt before considering the impact of similar disruptions in Brexit, Kenya, Catalonia, Ukraine etc etc A Compelling Speech on Cyber Collusion // Malcolm Nance at Miami Book Fair 2017 (11/19/17)

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jen Lee-Olmstead

    This book was published before the election and before we learned of the Steele dossier. It's now March 2017 and Trump’s Russian connections are in the news daily. Nance details Putin’s/FSB’s approach to cultivating a political asset, with Trump’s grooming starting in 2013. “Coincidences take a lot of planning,” and if we weren't living and seeing the news today, I’d normally brush this book off as paranoid conspiracy writing. But Nance is heavy on details and background. Russia is a formidable, This book was published before the election and before we learned of the Steele dossier. It's now March 2017 and Trump’s Russian connections are in the news daily. Nance details Putin’s/FSB’s approach to cultivating a political asset, with Trump’s grooming starting in 2013. “Coincidences take a lot of planning,” and if we weren't living and seeing the news today, I’d normally brush this book off as paranoid conspiracy writing. But Nance is heavy on details and background. Russia is a formidable, sophisticated, tech-savvy foe, and I imagine we’ll soon hear of a couple European elections similarly upset. Trump may have adopted the “fundamental tenets of Russian psychological and information warfare’s active measures: Deny, Deceive, and Defeat.” America is better than this. Don't be daunted by the length--40% is footnotes and it's only $1.99 on kindle. This is how digital books should be priced!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mark O'Leary

    The writing is pretty bad, which is the sole reason for the low rating. Nance veers from very technical language that fails to inform the general reader to poor phrasing and the occasional malapropism, both of which would have been corrected by a decent editor. I suspect the publisher wanted to get he thing in print ASAP. Despite these faults, the content of the book is first rate.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Gene

    Very nice (if somewhat dated by publish date) recap of the whole story that we read, hear, and see on a daily basis. Almost all of the predictions and possibilities have borne out but it is great to see that the author was on top of the story while it was happening.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Eric Mesa

    The biggest weakness this book has is that the author was in a hurry to get it out before the elections were over because he assumed Americans make decisions based on being informed instead of based on emotions. If he'd waited a bit, not only would the book contain the outcome, but also some more recent revelations, like the Facebook and Twitter stuff. Beyond that, the book is a good little romp through the activities of some hacker groups that CloudStrike (or one of the other security groups) ha The biggest weakness this book has is that the author was in a hurry to get it out before the elections were over because he assumed Americans make decisions based on being informed instead of based on emotions. If he'd waited a bit, not only would the book contain the outcome, but also some more recent revelations, like the Facebook and Twitter stuff. Beyond that, the book is a good little romp through the activities of some hacker groups that CloudStrike (or one of the other security groups) have named with the suffix Bears. (EG: CozyBear) The author talks about the hacks in Estonia and Ukraine to set up their working patterns. Then shows how it matches the patterns going on in the US in 2016. I got this book as part of a Humble Bundle and it's not the reason I bought the bundle, but since I spent the money, I listened to it. The narrator does a good job, especially as he often has to read IP addresses and expand acronyms. Whether you like the book is going to depend on a number of factors: are you into spy stuff? are you into computer security? would your sense of group affiliation be threatened by the suggestion that everything wasn't on the up and up during the 2016 election? Do you feel schadenfreude in the face of the CIA attempts to affect elections during the cold war? I found it to be a well-research book that just added to my feelings of sadness that the great information potential of the Internet has been so thoroughly corrupted. (Although the fact that I'm a history nut tempers that a bit - every information tech has been like this - eg most presses in the Gutenberg and Post-Gutenberg time period made their money printing pamphlets of opposing groups accusing their opponents of all kinds of stuff)

  23. 5 out of 5

    Charlotte Jones

    I have seen Malcolm Nance speak about various aspects of the 2016 election so thought I would listen to his book on the topic. I have kept up with all of the news surrounding the Russian meddling with the US election but this went into more of the technical details and methods behind the hacking itself. I found this to be an accessible and fascinating book though I feel that it is too short. Also as it was published in 2016, there have since been developments and discoveries about the topic that I have seen Malcolm Nance speak about various aspects of the 2016 election so thought I would listen to his book on the topic. I have kept up with all of the news surrounding the Russian meddling with the US election but this went into more of the technical details and methods behind the hacking itself. I found this to be an accessible and fascinating book though I feel that it is too short. Also as it was published in 2016, there have since been developments and discoveries about the topic that mean that this may be a little outdated. However, having said that, this has given me a great basis to carry on learning about this subject area. Overall I would definitely recommend this book. Malcolm Nance is highly knowledgeable on the subject and writes in a way that lays everything out in a manageable way.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Drew

    A decent overview of the Trump / Russia scandal, with one major flaw. It was written prior to a lot of critical events in the scandal, such as Mike Flynn's resignation, or the intelligence report on Russian interference. Being unable to explore these details feel tragic because Mr. Nance would have surely had a lot of interesting thoughts to share.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Armando Negron

    Can't think of a more relevant book considering the constant flow of information that keeps getting released about the impact of Russian hackers on the last election. While saying that the hacking itself was what swayed the election toward Trump is highly debatable, the almost proven fact that Putin and his henchmen dipped their hands must be reason for anger and alarm in any serious citizen. An attack on our democracy is an attack on our way of life, and it should not be tolerated. Malcolm Nance Can't think of a more relevant book considering the constant flow of information that keeps getting released about the impact of Russian hackers on the last election. While saying that the hacking itself was what swayed the election toward Trump is highly debatable, the almost proven fact that Putin and his henchmen dipped their hands must be reason for anger and alarm in any serious citizen. An attack on our democracy is an attack on our way of life, and it should not be tolerated. Malcolm Nance in this book details different methods and factions within the Russian intelligence apparatus that have in the past (and present) attempted to steal and disseminate information in order to give Russia some sort of political advantage. Included in the read is a careful analysis of Wikileaks and how Julian Assange has been key in spreading some of the stolen information. Also detailed is the profile of the kind of people that Russia looks to promote. There is some personalities that are so "ego-centric" that with a few sweet words they can literally become indirect agents without them even realizing it. The book ends on a somber note about how cyber attacks can disrupt the delicate balance of society. While right now we are all concentrating on the date breaches and an election, other types of attacks may lead to confrontations that extend beyond a keyboard.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Julian Abagond

    Even though this book came out in October 2016, before the election, it has held up remarkably well despite all the surprise twists and turns since then. That speaks to the soundness of its view. Best part: Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear, how Russian hackers hack (spear-phishing, waterholes, typosquatting, etc).

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ed

    Prescient As meaningful now as when it was written. Except there is so much more smoke in the air a half year later.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ian Hamilton

    "Where there's smoke, there's fire." Nance does a pretty effective job at piecing together a plausible narrative of Russia's potential involvement in the recent U.S. election, and ultimately the Kremlin's preference for the newly-elected buffoon-in-chief. There's nothing revelatory in this book; all of these facts are public knowledge in the sense that they're out there for anybody interested. Still, it's hard not to look at Nance's concoction here and not think there's something more than meets "Where there's smoke, there's fire." Nance does a pretty effective job at piecing together a plausible narrative of Russia's potential involvement in the recent U.S. election, and ultimately the Kremlin's preference for the newly-elected buffoon-in-chief. There's nothing revelatory in this book; all of these facts are public knowledge in the sense that they're out there for anybody interested. Still, it's hard not to look at Nance's concoction here and not think there's something more than meets the eye. The reader should be wary of getting caught up in taking everything Nance purports to be part of a grand conspiracy, as he's unquestionably taking a lot of liberties. That being said, this book will make you think - not just about Russia's potential cyber meddling in U.S. politics, but perhaps more importantly, just how fragile our digital world is all around.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Barry Molnaa

    I wanted everything in this book to not be true! Sadly, I think that it is likely that most of what is stated in this book is, in fact, true! Malcolm Nance makes a strong argument that Russians not only hacked American electoral targets but that they intentionally acted to influence the election. What started out as a means to gain information to use against a Clinton presidency looks like it turned into an operation to help Trump get elected. Nance points out that this is nothing new. The Russi I wanted everything in this book to not be true! Sadly, I think that it is likely that most of what is stated in this book is, in fact, true! Malcolm Nance makes a strong argument that Russians not only hacked American electoral targets but that they intentionally acted to influence the election. What started out as a means to gain information to use against a Clinton presidency looks like it turned into an operation to help Trump get elected. Nance points out that this is nothing new. The Russians have been doing this all over the world while we turned a blind eye. Well, now it looks like it has happened here. This book is terrifying and a must read.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Stewart Sternberg

    Well-written, riveting, terrifying. Nance presents a compelling look at how the Russians tried influencing the 2016 presidential election and how they chose a candidate to endorse. Forget politics, forget loyalties, the important element in this book is the driving idea that if another country can use technology as a weapon to subvert its enemy's democratic process, then that is a hostile act that must be thwarted.

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