The Perfect Weapon: War, Sabotage and Fear in the Cyber Age – School of Social and Political Sciences The Perfect Weapon: War, Sabotage and Fear in the Cyber Age – School of Social and Political Sciences

Perfect weapon book cover

The Perfect Weapon: War, Sabotage and Fear in the Cyber Age

The Centre for International Security Studies, the Sydney Cybersecurity Network and the New York Times in Australia present New York Times national security correspondent and senior writer David E. Sanger in an exclusive Australian appearance discussing his latest book, The Perfect Weapon.

The Perfect Weapon is the startling inside story of how the rise of cyberweapons transformed geopolitics like nothing since the invention of the atomic bomb. Cheap to acquire, easy to deny, and usable for a variety of malicious purposes, cyber is now the weapon of choice for democracies, dictators, and terrorists.

Moving from the White House Situation Room to the dens of Chinese government hackers to the boardrooms of Silicon Valley, David Sanger will reveal how the world is coming face-to-face with the perils of this technological revolution. Following his talk, David will be joined by former colleague and New York Times journalist Raymond Bonner and co-founder of the Sydney Cybersecurity Network Dr Frank Smith, for a discussion and audience Q&A moderated by Professor James Der Derian.

This talk is part of the CISS Global Forum, a series of public lectures and seminars which respond to new and pressing issues of global security. In 2019, the Global Forum explores the theme of ‘Future Insecurity’ with a special focus on how states and new global actors, seeking advantages through cyber, social media and other forms of digital manipulation, are producing a new precariousness in global politics.

About the speakers

David E. Sanger is a national security correspondent and a senior writer for the New York Times. In a 36-year reporting career, he has been on three teams that have won Pulitzer Prizes, most recently in 2017 for international reporting. His newest book, “The Perfect Weapon: War, Sabotage and Fear in the Cyber Age,’’ examines the emergence of cyberconflict as the primary way large and small states are competing and undercutting each other, changing the nature of global power.

Raymond Bonner is a former lawyer, foreign correspondent, investigative reporter and writer for The New York Times, The New Yorker and The New York Review of Books. He has reported from more than a hundred countries. He is the author of four books and the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Louis M. Lyon award for Conscience and Integrity in Journalism from the Nieman Fellows at Harvard and a shared Pulitzer Prize on the same reporting team as David Sanger. Ray has recently relocated to Australia, where he runs the iconic Bookoccino bookstore in Avalon Beach.

James Der Derian is Michael Hintze Chair of International Security and Director of the Centre for International Security Studies at the University of Sydney. His research and teaching interests are in international security, information technology, international theory, and documentary film. He has been a visiting scholar at the University of Southern California, MIT, Harvard, Oxford, and the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. Most recently he was awarded a Bosch Berlin Prize in Public Policy at the American Academy in Berlin for 2011.

Frank Smith is a Senior Lecturer with the Centre for International Security Studies and the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney. He is also a co-founder of the Sydney Cyber Security Network, which helps to bridge the divide between computer and social science, as well as between academia, industry, and government. His current work examines cyber incident response in Asia, the future of airpower, quantum technologies and cyber security, and the impact of technology hype on security policy.



Feb 25 2019


6:00 pm - 7:30 pm


Free with registration

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Veterinary Science Conference Centre (B22)
Lecture Theatre 208 The University of Sydney Camperdown, NSW 2006
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