Fred Kaplan's new book is Dark Territory: The Secret History Of Cyber War. From the transcript of his interview with Daniel Zwerdling for All Things Considered:
ZWERDLING: So let's jump ahead in history now. We all know that hacking has become a part of life. You write that there was a huge turning point in the kinds of cyberattacks almost exactly two years ago.--Marshal Zeringue
KAPLAN: That's right. A couple years ago, Sheldon Adelson - who is the majority stockholder of Vegas Sands Casinos and a well-known right-wing political supporter with very pro-Israel views - made a statement at a public forum saying that if the Iranians didn't get serious on getting rid of their nuclear weapons, that maybe we ought to drop an atomic bomb in the middle of the desert and say if you don't stop this, the next bomb we drop is going to be on Tehran.
So in retaliation for that, the Iranians hacked into his casino chain, causing tens of millions of dollars' worth of damage - melting their hard drives, stealing a lot of data about Social Security numbers, and then planting on everybody's screen, don't make statements like this about weapons of mass destruction.
So this is a new wave in cyber war done not for espionage, not for money, not to get military secrets, but to affect the political speech of individuals or corporations. When you hack into a casino - you know, if you're looking for money, there's a lot of money there that you can get. The Iranians didn't take a dime. They even stole credit cards to...[read on]