Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It

Marc Goodman. Doubleday, $26 (400p) ISBN 978-0-385-53900-5
Our computers, cell phones, appliances, infrastructure, medical devices, and robots are being turned against us by robbers, terrorists, and tyrants, according to this hair-raising exposé of cybercrime. Cybersecurity consultant Goodman argues that our ever-expanding networks of digital devices with insecure software leave us vulnerable to hackers, and he recounts their exploits in spying on everything we do, casing houses, commandeering hard drives and cell phone cameras, stealing credit cards, luring children, and choreographing terrorist attacks on smart phones. Worse will soon come, he contends, when hackers take control of smart houses and refrigerators, tamper with car brakes, manipulate bionic limbs, instruct pacemakers to cause heart attacks, destroy the power grid, subvert military robots, and genetically engineer bioweapons; self-aware artificial intelligence programs may become international crime lords. Goodman’s breathless but lucid account is good at conveying the potential perils of emerging technologies in layman’s terms, and he sprinkles in deft narratives of the heists already enabled by them. His dark-edged portrait of the onrushing total surveillance state and robotization of everything is terrifying in its own right; at times illicit hacker-dom feels like the last stand of human agency against helpless subjection to machines. There’s a tinge of dystopian paranoia here, but if a fraction of what Goodman forecasts comes true then this is a timely wake-up call. Agent: Richard Pine, Inkwell Management. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/19/2015
Release date: 02/24/2015
Compact Disc - 978-0-8041-9303-0
Compact Disc - 978-0-8041-9305-4
Hardcover - 464 pages - 978-0-385-68256-5
Paperback - 608 pages - 978-0-385-68258-9
Paperback - 608 pages - 978-0-8041-7145-8
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