I always say I am going to read more books of professional interest as I head into the New Year, but often fall short, as I get caught up in writing, lecture planning, and grading papers – not to mention other school related events. This year, however, I have managed to knock out three very good new books that I would urge the reader to check out (this is not a paid endorsement and none of the authors know me).
3 Great Cyber Intelligence Books to Check Out
Cyber intelligence blends espionage and information technology together, and the field continues to grow as digital security threats increase. Whether you’re just starting out or have been in the field for years, check out these three books, in no specific order.
1. Spies, Lies and Algorithms by Amy Zegart
Dr Zegart’s bio and her accomplishments read like a first ballot nomination for the Intelligence Studies Hall of Fame (not sure if there is such an entity but there should be). When this book was referred to in a recent Wired magazine article, I promptly ordered it, got it two days later, and read it for essentially the next two days solid. If there is one book that I would recommend for anyone with a security clearance or aspiring to get one, this is it. Her historical analysis of every big national security event, policy, and controversy is brilliant, yet easy to understand. Her look into the future of intelligence and cyber intelligence, while somewhat brief, definitely will have the reader asking for more. I have now become a follower of her Twitter account, which has links to other works on the subject of intelligence.
2. OSINT Techniques-Resources for Uncovering Online Information-10th Edition by Michael Bazzell
I have written about Mr. Bazzell before; he is the Godfather of Open Source Intelligence Gathering, and there is not even a close second. His 10th Edition comes with not only up to date information sources, but also extensive search techniques, custom developed tools that assist in both collection and workflow. The book also includes access to these tools via his website. He explores using the big three operating systems in very good detail and has new chapters on Data Leaks, Data Breaches and Stealer Logs. Whether it’s finding information on a person or a device that is connected to the internet, this is the bible. It is a necessary get for cyber defenders, academic researchers, journalists, private detectives, and even true crime wine moms.
3. The Rise of Digital Repression: How Technology is Reshaping Power, Politics, and Resistance (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace) by Steven Feldstein.
This book was actually published in 2021, but it is more relevant than ever right now. It should be required for all journalists and intelligence professionals who are focused on countries with repressive regimes. As I started teaching the topic of a fragmented internet last semester from the perspective of national security and a roadblock to dissent, I really could have used this book instead of scrounging for material. It is more that fragmented internet as a topic as mass surveillance, DNA collection, and artificial intelligence are all discussed. Just as an example of why exposures of inhumane practices contained in Mr. Feldstein’s book are so necessary, I was reading a few days ago that the State Police of Iran are now using facial recognition software to determine whether females are wearing hijabs as is required by Iranian law. While you see outrage on social media about these subjects in select groups, the light that is shone on this violation of basic human rights is still very dim. Mr. Feldstein captures the seriousness of similar behaviors by multiple countries in extraordinary fashion and hopefully, he will be a catalyst in raising awareness of this subject.