When people think of hackers, they usually think of a lone wolf acting with the intent to garner personal data for identity theft and fraud. But what about the corporations and government entities that use hacking as a strategy for managing risk? Why Hackers Win asks the pivotal question of how and why the instrumental uses of invasive software by corporations and government agencies contribute to social change. Through a critical communication and media studies lens, the book focuses on the struggles of breaking and defending the “trusted systems” underlying our everyday use of technology. It compares the United States and the European Union, exploring how cybersecurity and hacking accelerate each other in digital capitalism, and how the competitive advantage that hackers can provide corporations and governments may actually afford new venues for commodity development and exchange. Presenting prominent case studies of communication law and policy, corporate hacks, and key players in the global cybersecurity market, the book proposes a political economic model of new markets for software vulnerabilities and exploits, and clearly illustrates the social functions of hacking.
Why Hackers Win Power and Disruption in the Network Society
About the Book
Reviews"Simply the best book on the complex relationship that binds hacking to cybersecurity. Drawing on extensive documentation, Burkart and McCourt brilliantly describe the economic, political, and legal issues shaping the digital world. A must-read for scholars, policy makers, and activists."––Vincent Mosco, author of The Smart City in a Digital World
"This book provides an original and thought-provoking account of cybersecurity, hacking, malware, and surveillance technologies and their corrosive impact on people’s trust in the internet and the information society. The authors make interesting and original theoretical observations about hacking as a routinized part of the communications environment."––Dwayne Winseck, Professor, Carleton University's School of Journalism and Communication
"In light of recent large-scale data breaches, manipulation of opinions, cyber-crime and information warfare, Why Hackers Win couldn’t be more timely. Burkart and McCourt makes an original and convincing argument for why hacking should be seen as much more than a disruptive practice that throws gravel into the machinery of corporations and governments, arguing that hacking is foundational for digital capitalism as well as state governance. International in scope, rich with examples, and covering technical, economic, legal, and social dimensions of hacking, this book is a must-read for anyone interested in the dynamics of the networked digital and datafied society." ––Göran Bolin, author of Value and the Media: Cultural Production and Consumption in Digital Markets