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“Utterly fascinating…. The future of crime prevention starts here.”
—NPR, San Francisco

Future Crimes by Marc Goodman

From former FBI Futurist, Interpol advisor and beat cop Marc Goodman, a deep dive into the digital underground illuminating the alarming ways criminals, corporations, and even countries are using new and emerging technologies against you—and how this makes everyone more vulnerable than you ever thought possible.


Technological advances have benefited our world in immeasurable ways, but there is an ominous flip side: our technology can be turned against us. And just over the horizon is a tidal wave of scientific progress that will leave our heads spinning—from implantable medical devices to drones and 3-D printers, all of which can be hacked, with disastrous consequences.

With explosive insights based on a career in law enforcement and counterterrorism, leading authority on global security Marc Goodman takes readers on a vivid journey through the darkest recesses of the Internet. He explores how bad actors are primed to hijack the technologies of tomorrow. Provocative, thrilling, and ultimately empowering, Future Crimes will serve as an urgent call to action that shows how we can take back control of our own devices and harness technology’s tremendous power for the betterment of humanity—before it’s too late.

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“Addictive…. Introduces readers to this brave new world of technology, where robbers have been replaced by hackers, and victims include nearly anyone on the Web…. He presents his myriad hard-to-imagine cybercrime examples in the kind of matter-of-fact voice he probably perfected as an investigator. He clearly wants us never to look at our cellphones or Facebook pages in the same way again—and in this, Future Crimes succeeds marvelously.”
—The Washington Post

“Excellent and timely…. Mr. Goodman is no neo-Luddite. He thinks innovations could ultimately lead to self-healing computer networks that detect hackers and automatically make repairs to shut them out. He rightly urges the private and public sectors to work more closely together, ‘crowdsourcing’ ideas and know-how…The best time to start tackling future crimes is now.”
—The Economist

“This is a must-read!”
—Larry King

Future Crimes is a risk compendium for the Information Age….
Exhaustively researched….Fascinating….Thrilling to read.”
—San Francisco Chronicle

“In Future Crimes, Goodman spills out story after story about how technology has been used for illegal ends…The author ends with a series of recommendations that, while ambitious, appear sensible and constructive…Goodman’s most promising idea is the creation of a “Manhattan Project” for cyber security…[Future Crimes is] a ride well worth taking if we are to prevent the worst of his predictions from taking shape.”
—Financial Times

“A superb new book.”
—The Boston Globe

“You couldn’t ask for a better [cyber risk] overview than Future Crimes.”
—Harvard Business Review

“Marc Goodman is a go-to guide for all who want a good scaring about the dark side of technology.”
—New Scientist

“Utterly fascinating stuff…Goodman weds the joy of geeky technology with the tension of true crime. The future of crime prevention starts here.”
—NPR, San Francisco

“A well-researched whirlwind tour of internet-based crime.”
—Science Magazine

“By the middle of the first chapter you’ll be afraid to turn on your e-reader or laptop, and you’ll be looking with deep suspicion at your smartphone…[Goodman’s] style is breezy but his approach is relentless, as he leads you from the guts of the Target data breach to the security vulnerabilities in social media…Mr. Goodman argues convincingly that we are addressing exponential growth in risky technologies with thinking that is, at best, incremental.”
—Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“OMG, this is a wakeup call. The outlaws are running faster than the architects. Use this book to shake up the companies you buy from, the device makers, telecom carriers, and governments at all levels. Demand that they pay attention to the realities of our new world as outlined within this thorough and deep book. Marc Goodman will startle you with the ingenuity of the bad guys. I’m a technological optimist. Now I am an eyes-wide-open optimist.”
—Kevin Kelly, co-founder of Wired Magazine and bestselling author of What Technology Wants

“The hacks and heists detailed in Future Crimes are the stuff of thrillers, but unfortunately, the world of cybercrime is all too real. There could be no more sure-footed or knowledgeable companion than Marc Goodman on this guided tour of the underworld of the Internet. Everyone—and the business world especially—should heed his advice.”
—Daniel H. Pink, New York Times bestselling author of Drive and To Sell is Human

“A riveting read.”
—Nassim Nicholas Taleb, professor of engineering at NYU and 
New York Times bestselling author of The Black Swan

“From black ops to rogue bots and everything in between, Future Crimes is a gripping must-read. Marc Goodman takes readers on a brilliant, ‘behind-the-screens’ journey into the hidden world of 21st century criminal innovation, filled with one mind-boggling example after another of what’s coming next. Future Crimes raises tough questions about the expanding role of technology in our lives and the importance of managing it for the benefit of all humanity. Even better, Goodman offers practical solutions so that we not only survive progress, but thrive to an extent never previously imagined.”
—Peter H. Diamandis, New York Times bestselling author of Abundance; CEO, XPRIZE Foundation; Exec. Chairman, Singularity University

Future Crimes reads like a collection of unusually inventive, terrifying plots conjured up by the world’s most ingenious science fiction writer…except that almost every story in this goosebump-raising book is happening all around us right now. It’s a masterful page-turner that warns of a hundred worst case scenarios you’ve never thought of, while also—thank goodness—offering bold and clever strategies to thwart them.”
—Jane McGonigal, New York Times bestselling author of Reality is Broken

“As Marc Goodman shows in this highly readable book, what is going on in the background of your computer has turned the internet into a fertile ground for massive crime…. Future Crimes has the pace of a sci-fi film, but it’s happening now.”
—Express UK

“As new loopholes open up in cyberspace, people inevitably find ways to flow through them. Future-proof yourself by reading this book. No one has a better vantage point than Goodman, and you won’t want to touch another keyboard until you know what’s in these pages.”
—David Eagleman, New York Times bestselling author of Incognito

Future Crimes is the Must Read Book of the Year. Endlessly fascinating, genuinely instructive, and truly frightening. Be warned: Once you pick it up, you won’t put it down. Super cool and super interesting.”
—Christopher Reich, New York Times bestselling author

“Future Crimes brings our global dialogue on safety and security to the next level by exploring how potential criminals are exploiting new and emerging technologies for their nefarious purposes. It provides a futuristic perspective grounded on current case studies. Future Crime is an essential read for law enforcers, corporations and the community alike. It offers answers beyond what comes next to what we can do, both individually and collectively, to secure ourselves and our communities.”
—Khoo Boon Hui, former President of Interpol

“A tour de force of insight and foresight. Never before has somebody so masterfully researched and presented the frightening extent to which current and emerging technologies are harming national security, putting people’s lives at risk, eroding privacy, and even altering our perceptions of reality. Future Crimes paints a sobering picture of how rapidly evolving threats to technology can lead to disasters that replicate around the world at machine speed. Goodman clearly demonstrates that we are following a failed cybersecurity strategy that requires new thinking rather than simply more frameworks, more information sharing, and more money. Read this now, and then get angry that we really haven’t taken the technology threat seriously. If the right people read Goodman’s book and take action, it might just save the world.”
—Steven Chabinsky, former Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI’s Cyber Division

“As with Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything and Robert Whitaker’s Anatomy of an EpidemicFuture Crimes deserves a prominent place in our front-line library. Goodman takes us behind the computer screen to a dark world where Crime Inc. flourishes at our expense. When the criminal mind conceives “what if” it is only a matter of time before its dream becomes our nightmare. Goodman urges us to take responsibility for this new world we are speeding towards. If we don’t perhaps the greater crime will be ours.”
—Ed Burns, co-creator of The Wire

“This is a fantastic book and one that should be read by every cyber crime fighter. Technology breeds crime…it always has and always will. Unfortunately, there will always be people willing to use technology in a negative self serving way. Your only defense is the most powerful tool available to you—education. Read Future Crimes and understand your risks and how to combat them. The question I am most often asked in my lectures is, ‘What’s the next big crime?’ The answer is in this book.”
—Frank Abagnale, New York Times bestselling author of Catch Me If You Can and Stealing Your Life

“Hacking robots and bad guys using AI and synthetic biology to carry out bad deeds may seem like science fiction, but that is the real world of Future Crimes that awaits us. Marc Goodman, one of the world’s leading experts on the field, takes the reader on a scary, but eye-opening tour of the next generation nexus of crime, technology, and security.”
—PW Singer, New York Times bestselling author of Wired for War

“In this highly readable and exhaustive debut, [Marc Goodman] details the many ways in which hackers, organized criminals, terrorists and rogue governments are exploiting the vulnerability of our increasingly connected society…Goodman suggests solid actions to limit the impact of cybercrimes, ranging from increased technical literacy of the public to a massive government ‘Manhattan Project’ for cybersecurity to develop strategies against online threats. A powerful wake-up call to pay attention to our online lives.”
Kirkus starred review

“[A] hair-raising exposé of cybercrime…. Goodman’s breathless but lucid account is good at conveying the potential perils of emerging technologies in layman’s terms, and he sprinkles in deft narratives of the heists already enabled by them…. A timely wake-up call.”
—Publishers Weekly

Future Crimes is required reading for anyone who wants to comprehend the rise of cyber crime in an age of mass surveillance. Goodman goes beyond lurid headlines to explore the implications of technologies that are transforming every industry and society on Earth—in the process creating an ocean of real-time personal data plied by businesses, governments, and criminals alike. Far from a screed against tech, Marc Goodman’s Future Crimes is an eye-opening and urgent call to action to preserve the benefits of our high-tech revolution.”
—Daniel Suarez, New York Times bestselling author of Daemon

“In the wake of North Korea’s cyber-terrorist attack on Sony as well as numerous hacker
break-ins throughout the corporate world, it’s become increasingly obvious that
neither governments nor corporations are prepared for the onslaught of problems….
Goodman nails the issue and provides useful input on the changes needed to make our systems and infrastructure more secure.”

Protect Yourself:
The UPDATE Protocol

Future Crimes Info Graphic

Read an Excerpt


Connected, Dependent and Vulnerable

Technology…is a queer thing; it brings you great gifts with one hand and it stabs you in the back with the other.
Mat Honan’s life looked pretty good on-screen: in one tab of his browser were pictures of his new baby girl; in another streamed the tweets from his thousands of Twitter followers. As a reporter for Wired magazine in San Francisco, he was living an urbane and connected life and was as up-to-date on technology as anyone. Still, he had no idea his entire digital world could be erased in just a few keystrokes. Then, one August day, it was. His photographs, e-mails, and much more all fell into the hands of a hacker. Stolen in just minutes by a teenager halfway around the world. Honan was an easy target. We all are.

Honan recalls the afternoon when everything fell apart. He was playing on the floor with his infant daughter when suddenly his iPhone powered down. Perhaps the battery had died. He was expecting an important call, so he plugged the phone into the outlet and rebooted. Rather than the usual start-up screen and apps, he saw a large white Apple logo and...

Excerpted from Future Crimes by Marc Goodman. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.


New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestseller

Washington Post 10 Best Books of 2015

Kansas City Star Best Nonfiction in 2015 Best Book of 2015 in Business & Investing:
“It won’t surprise many people to read that computers, networks, and personal information are under constant attack. Most of us install a commonly available anti-virus program, mind our clicks, and hope for the best. More than that seems like work, and stories of data theft have become so ubiquitous that a certain amount of desensitization is probably inevitable. Well, Goodman’s book should take care of that. When your C.V. includes titles like “futurist-in-residence with the FBI,” you’ve seen who’s creeping through those internet pipes, and it’s harrowing; his litany of cyber criminals and their multitudinous misdeeds are often shocking in their inventiveness and audacity, and Goodman brings the nightmares one after another at an almost breathless pace. But not all is hopeless–Goodman aims to educate, offering from high-level policy to practical layman’s advice for buttoning down your own data. Despite the scare factor, it’s a fun, fast, and fascinating 400 pages. My only quibble is with the title, which implies a coming threat. The threat is here, and the future is now.” —Jon Foro,

“We have some catching up to do on cyber-security.” —NPR

Listen to Marc Goodman on NPR’s Marketplace

Marc Goodman

Photo: © CG Photography

About Marc Goodman

MARC GOODMAN has spent a career in law enforcement and technology. He was appointed futurist-in-residence with the FBI, worked as a senior adviser to Interpol, and served as a street police officer. As the founder of the Future Crimes Institute and the Chair for Policy, Law, and Ethics at Silicon Valley’s Singularity University, he continues to investigate the intriguing and often terrifying intersection of science and security, uncovering nascent threats and combating the darker sides of technology.

Marc Goodman is available for select readings and lectures. To inquire about a possible appearance, please contact Penguin Random House Speakers Bureau at or visit

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