Scott J. Shapiro with Brian Christian - Fancy Bear Goes Phishing (Ferry Building Store)

Scott J. Shapiro
in conversation with Brian Christian

Fancy Bear Goes Phishing

An In-Person Event • Book Passage (SF Ferry Building)

Thurs., May 25th • 5:30pm PT

This event will be hosted live at Book Passage's San Francisco Store. Please contact with questions regarding live events.
*Please note that masks are recommended for all in-person Ferry Building events.

"Unsettling, absolutely riveting, and—for better or worse—necessary reading." —Brian Christian, author of Algorithms to Live By and The Alignment Problem

An entertaining account of the philosophy and technology of hacking—and why we all need to understand it.

It’s a signal paradox of our times that we live in an information society but do not know how it works. And without understanding how our information is stored, used, and protected, we are vulnerable to having it exploited. In 
Fancy Bear Goes Phishing, Scott J. Shapiro draws on his popular Yale University class about hacking to expose the secrets of the digital age. With lucidity and wit, he establishes that cybercrime has less to do with defective programming than with the faulty wiring of our psyches and society. And because hacking is a human-interest story, he tells the fascinating tales of perpetrators, including Robert Morris Jr., the graduate student who accidentally crashed the internet in the 1980s, and the Bulgarian “Dark Avenger,” who invented the first mutating computer-virus engine. We also meet a sixteen-year-old from South Boston who took control of Paris Hilton’s cell phone, the Russian intelligence officers who sought to take control of a US election, and others.

In telling their stories, Shapiro exposes the hackers’ tool kits and gives fresh answers to vital questions: Why is the internet so vulnerable? What can we do in response? Combining the philosophical adventure of Gödel, Escher, Bach with dramatic true-crime narrative, the result is a lively and original account of the future of hacking, espionage, and war, and of how to live in an era of cybercrime.

Scott J. Shapiro is a professor of law and philosophy at Yale Law School and the director of the Yale Center for Law and Philosophy and its CyberSecurity Lab. He is also the author of Legality and the coauthor, with Oona Hathaway, of The Internationalists: How a Radical Plan to Outlaw War Remade the World.

Brian Christian is the bestselling author of The Alignment Problem, Algorithms to Live By, and The Most Human Human, which have been translated into nineteen languages. His nonfiction and scientific research explore the human, philosophical, and cognitive implications of computer science. A Laureate of the San Francisco Public Library and a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley, he lives in San Francisco.







Scott J. Shapiro photo courtesy of Guy Jordan, London School of Economics. Brian Christian photo courtesy of Eileen Meny.


Book Passage Ferry Building
1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111
Fancy Bear Goes Phishing: The Dark History of the Information Age, in Five Extraordinary Hacks By Scott J. Shapiro Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374601171
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title for More Details
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - May 23rd, 2023