Blog in the Category "Secrets & Lies"

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Praise for Secrets & Lies

“Successful companies embrace risk, and Schneier shows how to bring that thinking to the Internet.”

—Mary Meeker, Managing Director and Internet Analyst, Morgan Stanley, Dean Witter

“Just as Applied Cryptography was the bible for cryptographers in the 90’s, so Secrets and Lies will be the official bible for INFOSEC in the new millennium. I didn’t think it was possible that a book on business security could make me laugh and smile, but Schneier has made this subject very enjoyable.”

—Jim Wallner, National Security Agency

“The news media offer examples of our chronic computer security woes on a near-daily basis, but until now there hasn’t been a clear, comprehensive guide that puts the wide range of digital threats in context. The ultimate knowledgeable insider, Schneier not only provides definitions, explanations, stories, and strategies, but a measure of hope that we can get through it all.”…

A Personal Message from the Author

I’ve written a new book.

I started writing this book in 1997; it was originally due to the publisher by April 1998. I eventually delivered it in April 2000, two years late. I have never before missed a publication deadline: books, articles, or essays. I pride myself on timeliness: A piece of writing is finished when it’s due, not when it’s done.

This book was different. I got two-thirds of the way through the book without giving the reader any hope at all. And it was about then I realized that I didn’t have the hope to give. I had reached the limitations of what I thought security technology could do. I had to hide the manuscript away for over a year; it was too depressing to work on…

Introduction to the Second Edition

It’s been over three years since the first edition of Secrets and Lies was published. Reading through it again after all this time, the most amazing thing is how little things have changed. Today, two years after 9/11 and in the middle of the worst spate of computer worms and viruses the world has ever seen, the book is just as relevant as it was when I wrote it.

The attackers and attacks are the same. The targets and the risks are the same. The security tools to defend ourselves are the same, and they’re just as ineffective as they were three years ago. If anything, the problems have gotten worse. It’s the hacking tools that are more effective and more efficient. It’s the ever-more-virulent worms and viruses that are infecting more computers faster. Fraud is more common. Identity theft is an epidemic. Wholesale information theft—of credit card numbers and worse—is happening more often. Financial losses are on the rise. The only good news is that cyber-terrorism, the post-9/11 bugaboo that’s scaring far too many people, is no closer to reality than it was three years ago…

Order Signed Copies

Signed copies of the paperback are available for $24 shipped to U.S. addresses, $40 to addresses in Canada, and $43 to the rest of the world. (Yes, buying it from an online bookstore is cheaper—and you can always find me at a conference and ask me to sign the book.)

Cover of Secrets & Lies

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More signed books for sale: We Have Root | Click Here to Kill Everybody…


I have written this book partly to correct a mistake.

Seven years ago I wrote another book: Applied Cryptography. In it I described a mathematical utopia: algorithms that would keep your deepest secrets safe for millennia, protocols that could perform the most fantastical electronic interactions-unregulated gambling, undetectable authentication, anonymous cash-safely and securely. In my vision cryptography was the great technological equalizer; anyone with a cheap (and getting cheaper every year) computer could have the same security as the largest government. In the second edition of the same book, written two years later, I went so far as to write: “It is insufficient to protect ourselves with laws; we need to protect ourselves with mathematics.”…

Table of Contents


How to Read This Book


Systems and Security



The Unchanging Nature of Attacks
The Changing Nature of Attacks
Proaction vs. Reaction


Criminal Attacks
Privacy Violations
Publicity Attacks
Legal Attacks


Lone Criminals
Malicious Insider
Industrial Espionage
Organized Crime
National Intelligence Organizations


Multilevel Security
Privacy and the Government …

Secrets & Lies

Secrets & Lies

Digital Security in a Networked World

A book by Bruce Schneier

Welcome to the It’s digital: Information is more readily accessible than ever. It’s inescapably connected: businesses are increasingly—if not totally—dependent on digital communications. But our passion for technology has a price: increased exposure to security threats. Companies around the world need to understand the risks associated with doing business electronically. The answer starts here.

Information security expert Bruce Schneier explains what everyone in business needs to know about security in order to survive and be competitive. Pragmatic, interesting, and humorous, Schneier exposes the digital world and the realities of our networked society. He examines the entire system, from the reasons for technical insecurities to the minds behind malicious attacks. You’ll be guided through the security war zone, and learn how to understand and arm yourself against the threats of our connected world…

Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.