June 3, 2013
A Fierce Domain: Conflict in Cyberspace, 1986-2012 is the first book of its kind — a comprehensive, accessible history of cyber conflict. A Fierce Domain reaches back to look at the major “wake-up calls,” the major conflicts that have forced the realization that cyberspace is a harsh place where nations and others contest for superiority. The book identifies the key lessons for policymakers, and, most importantly, where these lessons greatly differ from popular myths common in military and political circles.

This book is intended as a textbook for graduate classes on the topic. It lends itself to class discussions, while teaching students necessary background information and key lessons of cyber conflict’s past.

Praise and reviews


Few of the conflicts in A Fierce Domain "is a household name, though from the gripping accounts in Mr Healey's book many readers will feel they all should be ... Mr Healey's main message is to urge policymakers to be less secretive and more humble. Too many past attacks remain classified. Officials continue to burble the same warnings and assurances as they did 20 years ago; the public is left in the dark."

- Review in The Economist, "Digital Doomsters," 29 June 2013
"Don't think of A Fierce Domain as the first history book on cyber conflict, but as a practical guide to the policy questions that need to be answered to really address cyber security - not just in the U.S. but the world."

- Jeff Moss (Founder, Black Hat and DEFCON)

"I've often complained that, while we could always use better technology or more trained people, the biggest impediment to effective cyber defense in the United States was our failure to settle on the "big ideas"--those macro-thoughts of law, policy and doctrine that should guide our cyber behavior. A Fierce Domain takes a giant step to meet this need by carefully (and entertainingly) laying out where we have already been on this journey. It turns out that we have a cyber history, after all, a history we can now put to work to guide our thinking and our future actions."

- General Michael Hayden (Former NSA Director)

"This is an important book. I have not seen anything this thorough about the history, and without history we are poorly equipped to understand the future. In addition, the cases well support the three main conclusions: change is gradual enough for us to learn from the past; we have spent too much attention on cyber attack rather than exploitation; and we should beware of the popular myths about “cyber wars” that obscure clear thinking about policy."

- Joe Nye (Former Dean, Harvard JFK School of Government)
“Conflict in cyberspace, as it turns out, is far more like conflict in the ‘real’ world than we’ve been told. If you’re a diplomat, general, or elected official that cares about the implications of cyber warfare, be sure to read this book.”

- President Toomas Ilves of Estonia
"Today the media is full of pundits and spokesmen decrying or demanding attention to cyber issues, and most exhibit a minimal understanding of where and when this all started. There is a long line of cyber warriors who labored in the technology and the policy… and yes, the warfare… long before cyber was cool. Jay is one of the few people in a position to know most of these pioneers on a first name basis, and to capture their trials and tribulations (and their successes and failures) and compile them into an important historical framework and resource for the future."

- General Ron Keys, US Air Force (retired), Former Commander of Air Combat Command
"As someone who has been around this cyber game since the late 1990's, I will tell you I have never seen an unclassified (or classified) book so well done on the subject. It is well written, well researched, and captures the evolution of cyber conflict from its origins to today. I wish I had this when I was teaching cyber at NDU. Everyone who is involved with this issue should read it."

- Ron Marks, former senior CIA official and Capitol Hill staffer

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