Mark Russinovich's Zero Day Reviewed By Norm Goldman of Bookpleasures.com
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Author: Mark Russinovich
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books (St Martin's Press)
In the Forward to Mark
Russinovich's Zero Day, Professor Howard a. Schmidt, President and
CEO Information Security Forum Ltd and White House Cyber Security
Coordinator states: “I hope stories such as Zero Day remain just
that-great reads that will hopefully never come true.” And after
reading this unbelievable thriller, you will probably readily agree
We have all read or heard about viruses unleashed every so often that are stealing money from financial institutions. Did you know that Internet crime has outgrown illegal drug sales? What would we do if a group of Muslim terrorists that were part of a cyber jihad succeeded into tricking a geek-God Russian computer hacker to craft a series of viruses that could affect every computer in Europe and America, as well as every function tied to the Internet? A virus called Superphreak with variants that are tied to September eleventh as its trigger and that also avoids IP addresses owned by software security vendors. They are encrypted and buried within operating systems protected by rootkits. It is so devious and difficult to combat that they will have unbelievable repercussions affecting not only financial institutions but also hospitals, nuclear-power plants, traffic-control systems, defense networks, dams, Wall Street and everything affecting our lives. The list would be endless, and this is exactly what Zero Day is all about-a story about a possible cyber Apocalypse!
In Manhattan, the law firm of Fischerman,Platt & Cohen has lost their computer operating system wiping out their records. In other incidents, a British Airways flight all but crashed and in Brooklyn a hospital's computer system was malfunctioning resulting in misapplied medications leading to four deaths.
To find out what are the causes of these glitches, two top-notch computer experts are called upon to find out what is happening. Initially, the two, who are incidentally friends, work independently. Eventually, however, as the story unfolds, the two pool their resources to try and solve these serious problems and track down the culprits, however, not without great risk to their own lives
One of the experts is Jeff Aiken, who runs his own private company and the other is Dr. Daryl Haugen of the Department of Homeland Security. Aiken is engaged by the Manhattan law firm to figure out what happened to their computers and if he can help the firm recover its records, while Haugen informs her superior, George Carlton of eight scary incidents. However, Carlton does not see the seriousness of the problem nor their connection between any of them. Frustrated, Haugen emphasizes that the viruses were in systems that should have excluded them and they need to understand as soon as possible why they did not perform this task.
Russinovich allows his novel to unfold naturally, with his strong writing, rich characters, vivid detail and excellent pacing, all leading to a powerful conclusion that will make you think twice before opening your computer or surfing the Internet. It certainly is a treat to read a good powerful suspense novel, and a very impressive debut at that. Right up to the end, Russinovich teases us with unresolved questions. Will Aiken and Haugen be able to combat these vicious viruses and if not, will America and Europe be doomed?
Obviously Russinovich is
close to his subject matter, as he is one of the world's leading
experts on the Windows operating system. According to the books'
Forward, his tools are used worldwide by corporations and government
agencies not only to keep their IT systems running, but to perform
advanced forensics. He is a Technical Fellow in the Windows Division
at Microsoft and a co-author of the Windows Internals book series, a
Contributing Editor for TechNet Magazine, and Senior Contributing
Editor for Windows IT Pro Magazine.
Click Here To Purchase Zero Day: A Novel