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‘In the old days, anyone wanting to understand the world read the Bible. Anyone wanting to understand the world today should read this book.’ Arjan Lubach
‘This is even better than John le Carré, because it’s true.’ Matthijs van Nieuwkerk
Summer 2017: computer screens go blank in 150 countries. The NHS is so affected that hospitals can only take in patients for the casualty department. Ambulances are grounded. MRI scanners and blood refrigeration systems stop functioning. Computer screens turn on spontaneously and the words “Oops, your important files are encrypted” appear. Employees who desperately pull the plugs on their computers are too late. Restarting is pointless; the computers are locked. And now the attackers ask each victim to pay them 300 dollars. This is hijack software. Those who transfer the money get nothing in return.
A month later, an unknown virus strike shuts down systems in France, India, Britain, Holland, Poland and Germany, before spreading to 60 further countries.
Based on the cases he investigated over a period of six years, Huib Modderkolk takes the reader on a tour of the corridors and back doors of the globalised digital world. He reconstructs British-American espionage operations and reveals how the power relationships between countries enable intelligence services to share and withhold data from each other. Looking at key players including Edward Snowden, Russian hackers Cozy Bear and Evgeniy Bogachev, ‘the Pablo Escobar of the digital era’, Modderkolk opens our eyes to the dark underbelly of the internet with the narrative drive of a thriller.