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Scott J. Shapiro at Harvard Book Store

June 8, 2023 @ 7:00 pm


June 8, 2023
7:00 pm
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Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02138 United States


Harvard Book Store
(617) 661-1515


Fancy Bear Goes Phishing:
The Dark History of the Information Age,
in Five Extraordinary Hacks

Fancy Bear Goes Phishing: The Dark History of the Information Age, in Five Extraordinary Hacks

Harvard Book Store welcomes SCOTT J. SHAPIRO—Charles F. Southmayd Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy at Yale Law School—for a discussion of his new book Fancy Bear Goes Phishing: The Dark History of the Information Age, in Five Extraordinary Hacks.

A Return to In-Person Events

Harvard Book Store is excited to be back to in-person programming. To ensure the safety and comfort of everyone in attendance, the following Covid-19 safety protocols will be in place at all of our Harvard Book Store events until further notice:

  • Face coverings are required of all staff and attendees when inside the store. Masks must snugly cover nose and mouth.

About Fancy Bear Goes Phishing

It’s a signal paradox of our times that we live in an information society but do not know how it works. And without understanding how our information is stored, used, and protected, we are vulnerable to having it exploited. In Fancy Bear Goes Phishing, Scott J. Shapiro draws on his popular Yale University class about hacking to expose the secrets of the digital age. With lucidity and wit, he establishes that cybercrime has less to do with defective programming than with the faulty wiring of our psyches and society. And because hacking is a human-interest story, he tells the fascinating tales of perpetrators, including Robert Morris Jr., the graduate student who accidentally crashed the internet in the 1980s, and the Bulgarian “Dark Avenger,” who invented the first mutating computer-virus engine. We also meet a sixteen-year-old from South Boston who took control of Paris Hilton’s cell phone, the Russian intelligence officers who sought to take control of a US election, and others.

In telling their stories, Shapiro exposes the hackers’ tool kits and gives fresh answers to vital questions: Why is the internet so vulnerable? What can we do in response? Combining the philosophical adventure of Gödel, Escher, Bach with dramatic true-crime narrative, the result is a lively and original account of the future of hacking, espionage, and war, and of how to live in an era of cybercrime.

Praise for Fancy Bear Goes Phishing

“The question of trust is increasingly central to computing, and in turn to our world at large. Fancy Bear Goes Phishing offers a whirlwind history of cybersecurity and its many open problems that makes for unsettling, absolutely riveting, and―for better or worse―necessary reading.” ―Brian Christian, author of Algorithms to Live By

Fancy Bear Goes Phishing is an essential book about high-tech crime: lively, sometimes funny, readable, and accessible. Shapiro highlights the human side of hacking and computer crime, and the deep relevance of software to our lives.” ―Bruce Schneier, author of A Hacker’s Mind: How the Powerful Bend Society’s Rules and How to Bend them Back

“Scott Shapiro’s Fancy Bear Goes Phishing fills a critical hole in cybersecurity history, providing an engaging read that explains just why the internet is as vulnerable as it is. Accessible for regular readers, yet still fun for experts, this delightful book expertly traces the challenge of securing our digital lives and how the optimism of the internet’s early pioneers has resulted in an online world today threatened by spies, criminals, and over-eager teen hackers.” ―Garrett Graff, co-author of The Dawn of the Code War