A reading club with a view to the future

003 Adam Segal: The Hacked World Order

The rise of cyber threats in today’s interconnected world and how it challenges the traditional power structures of the international order.

Adam Segal: The Hacked World Order


Adam Segal's book, The Hacked World Order, explores the geopolitical implications of the internet and the cyber threats it poses to national security. The book provides an in-depth analysis of how governments, businesses, and individuals can protect themselves from cyber attacks and how cyber warfare is shaping the future of international relations. Segal's research highlights the complex and ever-changing landscape of cyberspace, as well as the challenges it presents to traditional power structures and notions of national sovereignty.


Title: The Hacked World Order: How Nations Fight, Trade, Maneuver, and Manipulate in the Digital Age

Author: Adam Segal

Publishing Year: 2016

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Length: 10 hours and 40 minutes

5 main ideas

  1. The internet has fundamentally changed the nature of power and international relations.
  2. Cyber attacks are becoming increasingly common and sophisticated, and their impact is far-reaching.
  3. Governments, businesses, and individuals need to work together to address the security challenges of the digital age.
  4. The rise of cyber warfare is blurring the line between war and peace, and challenging traditional notions of sovereignty.
  5. The future of international relations will be shaped by the way we manage the risks and opportunities of cyberspace.
Adam Segal: The Hacked World Order

5 funny quotes

  1. "As the world becomes more digitally interconnected, international relations is starting to look like a game of three-dimensional chess – played by a thousand people, each with their own board."
  2. "What is cyberwarfare? It's not just a bunch of basement-dwelling hackers stealing your credit card information – it's more like a bunch of generals sitting around a table planning airstrikes against enemy targets."
  3. "In the United States, we used to say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. In China, the definition of insanity is not trying every possible solution until one of them works."
  4. "There are two kinds of countries in the world: those that hack, and those that wish they could hack."
  5. "The Internet is like the Wild West – except instead of cowboys and Indians, it's hackers and sysadmins."

5 thought-provoking quotes​

  1. "The Internet is now an arena for international conflict, and it will remain so for the foreseeable future."
  2. "China and Russia both believe that the international system is organized against them, and their leaders are determined to push back."
  3. "We have seen that weak states are more vulnerable to hacking than strong ones."
  4. "In an age of global supply chains, it is difficult to disentangle economic interdependence and national security."
  5. "The greatest challenge in securing cyberspace is not technological, but political."

5 dilemmas

  1. How can countries balance the need for national security with the desire for economic interdependence in a globalized world?
  2. Should companies be held responsible for data breaches that occur on their watch, even if they were not directly responsible for the breach?
  3. How can countries work together to prevent cyber attacks, when there is no international agreement on what constitutes a cyber attack or who is responsible for responding to one?
  4. How can individuals protect their personal data in an age when everything is connected and data breaches are increasingly common?
  5. How can countries deter cyber attacks without escalating into traditional warfare, and what role should the private sector play in this process?

5 examples

  1. The Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
  2. The Chinese theft of intellectual property from U.S. companies.
  3. The Stuxnet virus, which was used to disrupt Iran's nuclear program.
  4. The Equifax data breach, which exposed the personal information of millions of people.
  5. The cyber attack on the Ukrainian power grid, which left hundreds of thousands of people without electricity.

Referenced books

  1. "The Art of War" by Sun Tzu
  2. "Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It" by Richard A. Clarke and Robert K. Knake
  3. "The Cuckoo's Egg: Tracking a Spy Through the Maze of Computer Espionage" by Cliff Stoll
  4. "The Perfect Weapon: War, Sabotage, and Fear in the Cyber Age" by David E. Sanger
  5. "Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War" by Fred Kaplan

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"The Internet is like the Wild West – except instead of cowboys and Indians, it's hackers and sysadmins."

Adam Segal: The Hacked World Order
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