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Future Crimes
Cover of Future Crimes
Future Crimes
When Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable—and What We Can Do About It Before It's Too Late
Borrow Borrow
NEW YORK TIMES and WALL STREET JOURNAL BESTSELLER
ONE OF THE WASHINGTON POST'S 10 BEST BOOKS OF 2015
One of the world’s leading authorities on global security, Marc Goodman takes readers deep into the digital underground to expose the alarming ways criminals, corporations, and even countries are using new and emerging technologies against you—and how this makes everyone more vulnerable than ever imagined. 

Technological advances have benefited our world in immeasurable ways, but there is an ominous flip side: our technology can be turned against us. Hackers can activate baby monitors to spy on families, thieves are analyzing social media posts to plot home invasions, and stalkers are exploiting the GPS on smart phones to track their victims’ every move. We all know today’s criminals can steal identities, drain online bank accounts, and wipe out computer servers, but that’s just the beginning. To date, no computer has been created that could not be hacked—a sobering fact given our radical dependence on these machines for everything from our nation’s power grid to air traffic control to financial services. 
     Yet, as ubiquitous as technology seems today, just over the horizon is a tidal wave of scientific progress that will leave our heads spinning. If today’s Internet is the size of a golf ball, tomorrow’s will be the size of the sun. Welcome to the Internet of Things, a living, breathing, global information grid where every physical object will be online. But with greater connections come greater risks. Implantable medical devices such as pacemakers can be hacked to deliver a lethal jolt of electricity and a car’s brakes can be disabled at high speed from miles away. Meanwhile, 3-D printers can produce AK-47s, bioterrorists can download the recipe for Spanish flu, and cartels are using fleets of drones to ferry drugs across borders.
     With explosive insights based upon a career in law enforcement and counterterrorism, Marc Goodman takes readers on a vivid journey through the darkest recesses of the Internet. Reading like science fiction, but based in science fact, Future Crimes explores how bad actors are primed to hijack the technologies of tomorrow, including robotics, synthetic biology, nanotechnology, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence. These fields hold the power to create a world of unprecedented abundance and prosperity. But the technological bedrock upon which we are building our common future is deeply unstable and, like a house of cards, can come crashing down at any moment.
     Future Crimes provides a mind-blowing glimpse into the dark side of technological innovation and the unintended consequences of our connected world. Goodman offers a way out with clear steps we must take to survive the progress unfolding before us. Provocative, thrilling, and ultimately empowering, Future Crimes will serve as an urgent call to action that shows how we can take back control over our own devices and harness technology’s tremendous power for the betterment of humanity—before it’s too late.
NEW YORK TIMES and WALL STREET JOURNAL BESTSELLER
ONE OF THE WASHINGTON POST'S 10 BEST BOOKS OF 2015
One of the world’s leading authorities on global security, Marc Goodman takes readers deep into the digital underground to expose the alarming ways criminals, corporations, and even countries are using new and emerging technologies against you—and how this makes everyone more vulnerable than ever imagined. 

Technological advances have benefited our world in immeasurable ways, but there is an ominous flip side: our technology can be turned against us. Hackers can activate baby monitors to spy on families, thieves are analyzing social media posts to plot home invasions, and stalkers are exploiting the GPS on smart phones to track their victims’ every move. We all know today’s criminals can steal identities, drain online bank accounts, and wipe out computer servers, but that’s just the beginning. To date, no computer has been created that could not be hacked—a sobering fact given our radical dependence on these machines for everything from our nation’s power grid to air traffic control to financial services. 
     Yet, as ubiquitous as technology seems today, just over the horizon is a tidal wave of scientific progress that will leave our heads spinning. If today’s Internet is the size of a golf ball, tomorrow’s will be the size of the sun. Welcome to the Internet of Things, a living, breathing, global information grid where every physical object will be online. But with greater connections come greater risks. Implantable medical devices such as pacemakers can be hacked to deliver a lethal jolt of electricity and a car’s brakes can be disabled at high speed from miles away. Meanwhile, 3-D printers can produce AK-47s, bioterrorists can download the recipe for Spanish flu, and cartels are using fleets of drones to ferry drugs across borders.
     With explosive insights based upon a career in law enforcement and counterterrorism, Marc Goodman takes readers on a vivid journey through the darkest recesses of the Internet. Reading like science fiction, but based in science fact, Future Crimes explores how bad actors are primed to hijack the technologies of tomorrow, including robotics, synthetic biology, nanotechnology, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence. These fields hold the power to create a world of unprecedented abundance and prosperity. But the technological bedrock upon which we are building our common future is deeply unstable and, like a house of cards, can come crashing down at any moment.
     Future Crimes provides a mind-blowing glimpse into the dark side of technological innovation and the unintended consequences of our connected world. Goodman offers a way out with clear steps we must take to survive the progress unfolding before us. Provocative, thrilling, and ultimately empowering, Future Crimes will serve as an urgent call to action that shows how we can take back control over our own devices and harness technology’s tremendous power for the betterment of humanity—before it’s too late.
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Excerpts-
  • Chapter 1 CHAPTER 1
     
     
    Connected, Dependent and Vulnerable
     
     
     
    Technology…is a queer thing; it brings you great gifts with one hand and it stabs you in the back with the other.
    — CHARLES PERCY SNOW
     
     
     
     
    Mat Honan’s life looked pretty good on-screen: in one tab of his browser were pictures of his new baby girl; in another streamed the
    tweets from his thousands of Twitter followers. As a reporter for Wired magazine in San Francisco, he was living an urbane and connected life and was as up-to-date on technology as anyone. Still, he had no idea his entire digital world could be erased in just a few keystrokes. Then, one August day, it was. His photographs, e-mails, and much more all fell into the hands of a hacker. Stolen in just minutes by a teenager halfway around the world. Honan was an easy target. We all are.
    Honan recalls the afternoon when everything fell apart. He was play- ing on the floor with his infant daughter when suddenly his iPhone pow- ered down. Perhaps the battery had died. He was expecting an important call, so he plugged the phone into the outlet and rebooted. Rather than the usual start-up screen and apps, he saw a large white Apple logo and a mul- tilingual welcome screen inviting him to set up his new phone. How odd.
    Honan wasn’t especially worried: he backed up his iPhone every night. His next step was perfectly obvious—log in to iCloud and restore the phone and its data. Upon logging in to his Apple account, he was informed that his password, the one he was sure was correct, had been deemed wrong by the iCloud gods. Honan, an astute reporter for the world’s preeminent
    technology magazine, had yet another trick up his sleeve. He would merely connect the iPhone to his laptop and restore his data from the hard drive on his local computer. What happened next made his heart sink.
    As Honan powered up his Mac, he was greeted with a message from Apple’s calendar program advising him his Gmail password was incor- rect. Immediately thereafter, the face of his laptop—its beautiful screen— turned ashen gray and quit, as if it had died. The only thing visible on the screen was a prompt: please enter your four-digit password. Honan knew he had never set a password.
    Honan ultimately learned that a hacker had gained access to his iCloud account, then used Apple’s handy “find my phone” feature to locate all of the electronic devices in Honan’s world. One by one, they were nuked. The hacker issued the “remote wipe” command, thereby erasing all of the data Honan had spent a lifetime accumulating. The first to fall was his iPhone, then his iPad. Last, but certainly not least, was his MacBook. In an instant, all of his data, including every baby picture he had taken during his daugh- ter’s first year of life, were destroyed. Gone too were the priceless photo- graphic memories of his relatives who had long since died, vanquished into the ether by parties unknown.
    Next to be obliterated was Honan’s Google account. In the blink of an eye, the eight years of carefully curated Gmail messages were lost. Work conversations, notes, reminders, and memories wiped away with a click of a mouse. Finally, the hacker turned his intention to his ultimate target: Honan’s Twitter handle, @Mat. Not only was the account taken over, but the attacker used it to send racist and homophobic rants in Honan’s name to his thousands of followers.
    In the aftermath of the online onslaught, Honan used his skills as an investigative reporter to...
About the Author-
  • MARC GOODMAN has spent a career in law enforcement and technology. He has served as a street police officer, senior adviser to Interpol and futurist-in-residence with the FBI. As the founder of the Future Crimes Institute and the Chair for Policy, Law, and Ethics at Silicon Valley’s Singularity University, he continues to investigate the intriguing and often terrifying intersection of science and security, uncovering nascent threats and combating the darker sides of technology.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    January 19, 2015
    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.

  • The Washington Post "Addictive....[I]ntroduces readers to this brave new world of technology, where robbers have been replaced by hackers, and victims include nearly anyone on the Web... He presents his myriad hard-to-imagine cybercrime examples in the kind of matter-of-fact voice he probably perfected as an investigator. He clearly wants us never to look at our cellphones or Facebook pages in the same way again -- and in this, Future Crimes succeeds marvelously."
  • Larry King "This is a must-read!"
  • San Francisco Chronicle "Future Crimes is a risk compendium for the Information Age.... Exhaustively researched.... Fascinating.... Thrilling to read"
  • Financial Times "In Future Crimes, Goodman spills out story after story about how technology has been used for illegal ends...The author ends with a series of recommendations that, while ambitious, appear sensible and constructive...Goodman's most promising idea is the creation of a "Manhattan Project" for cyber security...[Future Crimes is] a ride well worth taking if we are to prevent the worst of his predictions from taking shape."
  • The Boston Globe "...a superb new book..."
  • Harvard Business Review "You couldn't ask for a better [cyber risk] overview than Future Crimes."
  • New Scientist "Marc Goodman is a go-to guide for all who want a good scaring about the dark side of technology."
  • NPR, San Francisco "Utterly fascinating stuff... Goodman weds the joy of geeky technology with the tension of true crime. The future of crime prevention starts here."
  • Science Magazine "A well-researched whirlwind tour of internet-based crime."
  • Kevin Kelly, co-founder of Wired Magazine and bestselling author of What Technology Wants "OMG, this is a wakeup call. The outlaws are running faster than the architects. Use this book to shake up the companies you buy from, the device makers, telecom carriers, and governments at all levels. Demand that they pay attention to the realities of our new world as outlined within this thorough and deep book. Marc Goodman will startle you with the ingenuity of the bad guys. I'm a technological optimist. Now I am an eyes-wide-open optimist."
  • Daniel H. Pink, New York Times bestselling author of Drive and To Sell is Human "The hacks and heists detailed in Future Crimes are the stuff of thrillers, but unfortunately, the world of cybercrime is all too real. There could be no more sure-footed or knowledgeable companion than Marc Goodman on this guided tour of the underworld of the Internet. Everyone -- and the business world especially -- should heed his advice."
  • Nassim Nicholas Taleb, professor of engineer "A riveting read."
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When Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable—and What We Can Do About It Before It's Too Late
Marc Goodman
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