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Breaking Badness
Breaking Badness

Breaking Badness Book Club with Dmitri Alperovitch

In this special Book Club episode of the Breaking Badness Cybersecurity Podcast, Kali is joined by Tim Chen, CEO of DomainTools, along with Dmitri Alperovitch, Executive Chairman of the Silverado Policy Accelerator and former CTO of CrowdStrike. In this episode, Dmitri discusses his book, “World on the Brink: How America Can Beat China in the Race for the 21st Century,” which is now available at all major book retailers. 

Meet Our Guests

For those who are unfamiliar with Dmitri, he’s a seasoned cybersecurity veteran, but made a career pivot in 2020 after retiring from CrowdStrike. He is an immigrant to America and says the country has been incredibly good to him, so he wanted his next chapter to focus on giving back. He’s passionate about ensuring this century, like the last one, remains an “American century” that will be positive for American citizens. 

He spent the last 15 years of his career fighting nation-state threats, many of them originating from China including intrusions to US industries and broader Western industries, stealing intellectual property, and theft of national secrets. His focus had been from a cyber perspective, but with a geopolitical lens. 

Tim Chen joins the conversation as it applies to him from a personal point of view: he is of Chinese descent with family members working within the Chinese government prior to the communist takeover in 1949. His grandfather was the Chinese ambassador to Germany during World War II and his family fled to Taiwan during the revolution. Tim’s grandmother immigrated to the US and that’s how Tim came to be here today, but he still has family back in Taiwan. Because of that personal tie, Tim was eager to join the conversation. 

What To Expect From “World on the Brink” 

As Dmitri describes in the conversation, when CrowdStrike began, the tagline was “you don’t have a malware problem, you have an adversary problem,” which meant that it wasn’t about the technical specifics of a threat or a piece of malware that was used against you, it was about who was behind it. Today, the adversary is using a piece of malware, but tomorrow, they could use something else. The attacker is breaking into your networks for a particular purpose – how do you secure against the threat? Do you understand what they are trying to do? It’s vital to understand how to defeat adversaries by understanding their motivations, capabilities, and what they’re ultimately after. 

“World on the Brink” applies this mindset to the history of international relations between the US, China, and Taiwan. In Part I of the book. Dmitri provides his research and reasoning as to why the US is currently in Cold War II, but this time with China, with Taiwan acting as the new West Berlin where invasion by China could trigger World War III. But just because there are conditions for a war between nuclear powers doesn’t mean that it is inevitable. In Part II, Dmitri details military strategy, defense industrial base reforms, and economic and technology measures so the US can emerge successful. 

Be sure to listen to the full episode to learn more about why Dimitri wanted to write this book, the background and preparation on bringing this book to publication, and how each and every one of us can contribute to increasing the deterrence against Chinese invasion of Taiwan and the domination of that region. 
If you enjoyed the book and listening to Dimitri on Breaking Badness, you can catch him on the Geopolitics Decanted podcast for a more comprehensive understanding of global issues.