Spooked: Espionage in Corporate America

by Adam L. Penenberg and Marc Barry

ISBN: 0738205931
Subtitle: Espionage in Corporate America
Publisher: Perseus Books Group

Imagine your main business competitor building a satellite-equipped “war room” to secretly monitor your new ventures. Imagine your classified product prototype mysteriously landing on the market under the brand name belonging to your archrival. This isn’t a story line from the latest spy thriller, it’s modern-day corporate America. Spooked thrusts readers into a clandestine world-where business means war and information is worth stealing.

Through narrative accounts of corporate spies within companies such as IBM, Microsoft, and Motorola, Spooked dramatically brings to life one of America’s fastest-growing industries: Corporate Intelligence. In this page-burning exposè, Adam Penenberg and Marc Barry uncover and describe in thrilling detail the alarming regularity of espionage in industry. They offer an unsettling portrait of America’s publicly traded companies, and unravel the truth and hypocrisy behind the multi-billion dollar corporate intelligence industry.

Read Excerpt…


— Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Paranoia levels will shoot through the ceiling among those who read this riveting report on the growing number of companies that spy on their competition in the U.S.”

— The Dallas —Morning News
“The authors paint a fascinating portrait. The book is an eye-opener that uncovers the extreme methods unscrupulous corporations resort to gain an edge on the competition.”

— Business 2.0
“A page-turner that details the current frenzied state of industrial thievery. Spooked successfully sheds light on a subterranean sector of the New Economy. Think you told your secrets to a venture capitalist? Think again.”

— Fortune
“When it comes to corporate spying, nothing works quite as well as lies and deceit. Few know this better than [Marc] Barry, a working spy who teamed up with former Forbes writer Adam L. Penenberg to argue in Spooked that intelligence gathering has become central to business life.”

— San Diego Union-Tribune
“In Spooked, Forbes senior editor Adam Penenberg and corporate security expert Marc Barry team up to describe just how ruthless industrial espionage has become. It is the sort of book that tends to reinforce our most cynical views of corporate conduct.”

— The National Post
“Spooked is an admirably well-crafted and informed book on the subject of corporate espionage. This should not be a surprise given the background of its authors: Adam L. Penenberg is an investigative journalist–which is just another name for a media spy–while Marc Barry is a practitioner, a corporate spy for hire. Anxious executives seeking solutions will no doubt be making calls to consultants such as Mr. Barry after reading this book.”

— San Francisco Chronicle
“[Spooked paints] a picture of a never-ceasing cycle of international industrial espionage, and an almost constant flow of American trade secrets into foreign hands. Even some allies of the United States, such as France and the United Kingdom, are known repeat offenders when it comes to pilfering American industrial secrets. And as for our enemies, they treat the US ‘like one giant R&D laboratory.'”

— Entrepreneur Magazine
“Toss in some exotic locales, wizardly technology and a few unusual names, and you’ve got the makings of a decent spy novel. Or, in this case, an engrossing nonfiction journey on the dark side of business information. The authors demonstrate there’s more than one way to swipe a secret: impersonation, burglary, computer hacking, electronic eavesdropping and just good old rummaging through the garbage. Is the friendly person who quizzed you extensively at that trade show last week an ex-CIA operative working for a rival? After reading this book, you may wonder.”

— Bookviews
“Spooked is filled with extraordinary stories of the lengths some corporations will go to find out what their competition is doing. Real life corporate spying is just as fascinating as the more glorified spying between nations.”

— The Guardian
“Not many Le Carreish men in overcoats mooch around dark Berlin alleyways these days. Global trade being a more efficient and publicly palatable version of war, the spies with the coolest gadgets and the driest Martinis are those at work in corporate espionage – and a lot of them are bona fide ex-Cold War spooks. This snappily journalistic collection of anecdotes reveals how practices range from low-tech gumshoe work–poking around in cardboard pizza boxes–to cutting-edge hacking: how a geek was paid by a Kashmiri terrorist to steal US military software. And there I was, thinking the corporate world was boring.”

— The Irish Times
“Spooked shines a light on a ‘billion-dollar industry’ that is surely coming to an executive suite near you.”

— Electronic Business
“Ever wonder what happened to all of those intelligence ‘spies’ who were busy during the height of the Cold War and suddenly saw their jobs evaporate when the Berlin Wall came down? They’re professional snoops who will go to great lengths to get what they want. Spooked is easy to read and offers good information that managers at any level would find useful and intriguing.”