Hacks, Leaks, and Revelations: The Art of Analyzing Hacked and Leaked Data

Posted December 5, 2023 in hacks-and-leaks

After just about two years of writing, hacking, analyzing, writing some more, and editing, I'm ridiculously excited to announce that I'm now a published author! As of today, my book Hacks, Leaks, and Revelations is for sale.

Technically, the official release date is January 9, 2024, but it ships today if you order it directly from the publisher, No Starch Press (the physical book includes the DRM-free ebook too). If you order it from anywhere else, like bookshop.org to support independent bookshops, or Amazon if you want the Kindle version, it will be available January 9.

If you're considering getting this book, now would be a great time to buy it. These initial sales will go a long way in showing that there's interest in the book. Bookshops will take this as a good sign that they should have copies on their shelves, it's more likely to appear higher up on new release lists, and so forth.

So what's this book about anyway? Here's an excerpt from the introduction:

Unlike any other point in history, hackers, whistleblowers, and archivists now routinely make off with terabytes of data from governments, corporations, and extremist groups. These datasets often contain gold mines of revelations in the public interest, and in many cases are freely available for anyone to download. Yet these digital tomes can prove extremely difficult to analyze or interpret, and few people today have the skills to do so.

I wrote this book for journalists, researchers, hacktivists, and anyone else who wants to learn the technologies and coding skills required to investigate these troves of hacked or leaked data. I don’t assume any prior knowledge. Along with lessons on programming and technical tools, I’ve incorporated many anecdotes and firsthand tips from the trenches of investigative journalism. In a series of hands-on projects, you’ll work with real datasets, including those from police departments, fascist groups, militias, a Russian ransomware gang, and social networks. Throughout, you’ll engage head-on with the dumpster fire that is 21st-century current events: the rise of neofascism and the rejection of objective reality, the extreme partisan divide, and an internet overflowing with misinformation.

By the end of the book, you’ll have gained the skills to download and analyze your own datasets, extracting the revelations they contain and transforming previously unintelligible information into your own groundbreaking reports.

In October, I gave a talk about this book to a room full of hackers at BSides Portland. If you're interested in learning more before diving in, check out a recording of the talk:

If you'd like to buy Hacks, Leaks, and Revelations, here are your options: