Event Date: Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Event Time: 7:00 PM via Zoom

Presenter: Dr. Ben Buchanan

Tracing the conflict of wills and interests among modern nations, Ben Buchanan reveals details of how China, Russia, North Korea, Britain, and the United States hack one another in a relentless struggle for dominance. His analysis moves from underseas cable taps to underground nuclear sabotage, from blackouts and data breaches to billion-dollar heists and election interference. Using insider information based on interviews, declassified files, and forensic analysis of company reports, his book The Hacker and the State sets aside fantasies of cyber-annihilation to explore the real geopolitical competition of the digital age.

Tracing the conflict of wills and interests among modern nations, Ben Buchanan reveals details of how China, Russia, North Korea, Britain, and the United States hack one another in a relentless struggle for dominance. His analysis moves from underseas cable taps to underground nuclear sabotage, from blackouts and data breaches to billion-dollar heists and election interference. Using insider information based on interviews, declassified files, and forensic analysis of company reports, his book The Hacker and the State sets aside fantasies of cyber-annihilation to explore the real geopolitical competition of the digital age.

Buchanan illuminates this continuous cycle of espionage and deception, attack and counterattack, destabilization and retaliation. He explains why cyber attacks are far less destructive than we anticipated, far more pervasive, and much harder to prevent. The contest for geopolitical advantage has moved into cyberspace. The United States and its allies can no longer dominate the way they once did. The nation that hacks best will triumph.

Ben Buchanan is a faculty member at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, where he conducts research on the intersection of cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and statecraft. He is the author of two books, The Hacker and the State (Harvard University Press, 2020) and The Cybersecurity Dilemma (Oxford University Press, 2017). He is also the Senior Faculty Fellow and Director of the CyberAI Project at Georgetown’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology, a five-year $57 million effort to study AI and international affairs. Buchanan’s other publications include journal articles and peer-reviewed papers on attributing cyber attacks, deterrence in cyber operations, cryptography, election cybersecurity, and the spread of malicious code between nations and non-state actors, as well as articles in the Washington Post, War on the Rocks, and Lawfare. Ben received his PhD in War Studies from King’s College London, where he was a Marshall Scholar. He earned master’s and undergraduate degrees from Georgetown University.