What Should You Read on Cyber Security?

1 August 2013, 0830 EDT

https://www.duckwranglers.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/duck_pc.jpgEditor’s Note: This is a guest post by Brandon Valeriano of the University of Glasgow and Ryan C. Manes of the University of Chicago, Illinois. Brandon asked if we could run a bibliography on Cyber Security, and we happily agreed. If anyone else is interested in submitting bibliographies to be archived at the Duck of Minerva, drop us an email.

It is that time of the year again – that time when everyone considers updating their syllabus. So you have an interest in cyber security but have not taken the time to develop a reading list. Well here it is, I have, unfortunately, dived into the topic. The following includes a one day-version and then a more detailed list to can be used to develop a class, graduate seminar day, or to prep for a debate.

(Thanks to Hans-Inge Langø for asking the original question that promoted this post and suggesting a few things I was missing)

Of course I may have left some things out. This is a developing literature so we will update as time goes on. Feel free to  tweet suggestions to @drbvaler. We attach many of our own writings here, mainly because we are a glutton like that but also because our book on Cyber Conflict is not out yet. The premium here, at least for us, is on social-scientific and peer-reviewed articles and books rather than popular speculation. Our goal is to present the entire range of the field, from the cyber threat hype folks, to the more measured reactions, to the cyber skeptics.

Short Version (The Essentials)

Cyber Pearl Harbor,”New York Times
War in the Fifth Domain,” Economist

(The book on cyber hype and fear) Clarke, Richard A. and Robert K. Knake. 2010. Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It.  New York: Harper Collins.

(A more measured evaluation) Hersh, Seymour. 2010. “The Online Threat: Should We Be Worried About Cyber War?” New Yorker.

My Perspective

Media and Cyber

Valeriano, Brandon. “Cyberwar and Skyfall: Bond Enters the Digital Age,” Duck of Minerva, 11.10.2012

Public Opinion and Cyber

Valeriano, Brandon and Ryan Maness. “Perceptions of the Cyber Threat,” Duck of Minerva, 1/30/2013

Countering Hype with Evidence

Valeriano, Brandon and Ryan Maness.  2012. “The Fog of Cyberwar: Why the Threat Does not Live up to the Hype,” Foreign Affairs. (11.21.2012) Snapspot

Foreign Policy and Cyber Events

Maness, Ryan and Brandon Valeriano. “Cyber Events Data and Foreign Policy Reactions,” Duck of Minerva, 7/24/2013.

Norms and Cyber

Valeriano, Brandon. “The Cyber House Rules: Justice and Ethics in the Fifth Domain” The Conversation, 7/26/2013

Long Version

Key Books

Nye, Joseph. 2011. The Future of Power. New York: Public Affairs. (quick summary)

Schmitt, Michael. 2013. The Tallinn Manual on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Warfare. NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Center for Excellence. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (online version)

Choucri, Nazli.  2012. Cyberpolitics in International RelationsCambridge, Mass.: MIT Press (summary of book)

Reveron, Derek, ed. 2012. Cyberspace and National Security: Threats, Opportunities, and Power in a Virtual WorldWashington D.C.: Georgetown University Press.

Rid, Thomas. 2013. Cyber War Will Not Take Place. London, UK: Hurst & Company. (summary with links to)

First Cyber Article

Arquilla, John and David Ronfeldt. 1993. “Cyberwar is Coming!” Comparative Strategy. 12 (2): 141–165.

Cyber Hype

Farwell, James P. and Rafal Rohozinski.  2011.  “Stuxnet and the Future of Cyber War.” Survival. 53 (1): 23-40.

“Cool” War

Rothkopf, David. 2013. “The Cool War.” Foreign Policy. 2/20/2013.

Types of Cyber Strategies

Arquilla, John, and David Ronfeldt, eds. 1997. In Athena’s Camp: Preparing for Conflict in the Information Age. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation.

Andres, Richard. 2012. “The Emerging Structure of Strategic Cyber Offense, Cyber Defense, and Cyber Deterrence.” In Cyberspace and National Security: Threats, Opportunities, and Power in a Virtual WorldDerek Reveron, ed.  Washington D.C., Georgetown University Press.

Libicki, Martin C. 2009. Cyberdeterrence and Cyberwar. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 2009.

Cyber Weapons

Rid, Thomas and Peter McBurney. 2012. “Cyber Weapons.” The RUSI Journal 157 (1): 6-13.

Best Take on Stuxnet

Sanger, David E. 2012. Confront and Conceal: Obama’s Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American PowerNew York: Random House. (New York Times summary with links)

Cyber War Will not Happen

Rid, Thomas. 2011. “Cyberwar Will Not Take Place.” Journal of Strategic Studies. 35(1): 5-311-28.

Rid, Thomas. 2013 “Cyber Sabotage is Easy” Foreign Policy

Gartzke, Erik. 2013. “The Myth of Cyberwar: Bringing War on the Internet Back Down to Earth.”  Forthcoming, International Security. (working paperMonkey Cage blub)

Valeriano, Brandon and Ryan Maness. 2013.  “The Dynamics of Cyber Conflict between Rival Antagonists, 2001-2011” (working paper version;  Monkey Cage blub)

Yes it will, but…

Stone, John. 2013. “Cyber War Will Take Place!” Journal of Strategic Studies  36(1): 101-108

McGraw, Gary. 2013. “Cyber War is Inevitable (Unless We Build Security In).” Journal of Security Studies 36 (1): 109-119.

Government Strategy and Reactions

White House.  2011. International Strategy for Cyberspace: Prosperity, Security, and Openness in a Networked World.  May 2011.

Shactman, Noah. 2012. “Darpa Looks to Make Cyberwar Routine with Secret ‘Plan X’” Wired.

Markoff, John and Thom Shanker. 2009. “Halted ’03 Iraq Plan Illustrates U.S. Fear of Cyberwar Risk.” New York Times Online 8/1/2009,

Brenner, Joel. 2013. “Grey Matter: How to Fight Chinese Cyber Attacks without starting a Cold War.” Foreign Policy.  March 8, 2013.

Guitton, Clement. 2013. Cyber insecurity as a national threat: overreaction from Germany, France, and the UK?” European Security 22 (1): 21-35.


Inkster, Nigel. (2013) “Chinese Intelligence in the Cyber Age.” Survival: Global Politics and Strategy 55 (1): 45-66.

Case Study- pre data Chapter

Valeriano, Brandon and Ryan Maness. 2012.  “Persistent Enemies and Cybersecurity: The Future of Rivalry in an Age of Information Warfare” in Cyber Challenges and National Security, edited by Derek Reveron, Georgetown University Press.  Pgs. 139-158.

Data chapter will all Cyber Disputes and Incidents Listed

Valeriano, Brandon and Ryan Maness. “The Dynamics of Cyber Conflict between Rival Antagonists, 2001-2011” (Under Review)


Hansen, Lene and Helen Nissenbaum. 2009. “Digital Disaster, Cyber Security, and the  Copenhagen School.” International Studies Quarterly. 53(1155-1175).


Dipert, Randall. 2010. “The Ethics of Cyberwarfare.” Journal of Military Ethics. 9(4): 384-410.

Eberle, Christopher. 2013. “Just War and Cyberwar.” Journal of Military Ethics.  Forthcoming.

Cyber Arms Races and Military Spending

TBD – Nothing decent I am aware of

Other Cyber Articles and Appearances by Valeriano and Maness can be found here.

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