A technothriller for the malware and Stuxnet era
An airliner’s controls abruptly fail mid-flight over the Atlantic. An oil tanker runs aground in Japan when its navigational system suddenly stops dead. Hospitals everywhere have to abandon their computer databases when patients die after being administered incorrect dosages of their medicine. In the Midwest, a nuclear power plant nearly becomes the next Chernobyl when its cooling systems malfunction.
At first, these random computer failures seem like unrelated events. But Jeff Aiken, a former government analyst who quit in disgust after witnessing the gross errors that led up to 9/11, thinks otherwise. Jeff fears a more serious cyber terrorism attack targeting the United States computer infrastructure is already under way. And as other menacing computer malfunctions pop up around the world, some with deadly results, he realizes that there isn’t much time if he hopes to prevent an international catastrophe.
Written by a global authority on cyber security, Zero Day presents a chilling “what if” scenario that, in a world completely reliant on technology, is more than possible today - it’s a cataclysmic disaster just waiting to happen.
©2011 Mark Russinovich (P)2012 Macmillan Audio
I love to read and since 2011 I have been mostly listening to audiobooks because oftentimes there is nothing like a good narrator.
I've been looking for computer or Internet tech thriller but surprisingly in this Internet Age, there are surprisingly few. This nove so far is one of my favorites. I loved Daemon by Daniel Suarez and the sequel Freedom and when I finished them, I went looking for more. This Jeff Aiken Novel was what I found. I wasn't disappointed although I must add that it is hard following a book like Daemon so that says a lot for this author and this book.
I did like this better than Daemon in one respect, the author went into the tech details much more than I'm used to seeing in this small genre and for that I am glad. I can't say enough how much I enjoyed reading parts such as when our protagonist Jeff worked his way through the code on the machine at the law firm or how he describes how script kiddies use buffer overflow bugs to execute code. He explains it in such a way that you don't have to be a computer scientist to understand him. My wife confirmed that for me because she isn't a "computer person" as she puts it, while I am a system and network admin and we both enjoyed it equally.
One thing I'd like to note, because of what I said above and how he goes into detail regarding things like buffer overflows, etc; This is not a hacker instruction guide. You won't learn how to hack by reading this book. Sure, you might get a general idea or even come up with a decent flowchart on what and how to do certain things but I think Mark Russinovich does an awesome job going into the tech stuff while keeping the non-tech audience interested.
I also enjoy the author's writing style. It isn't so much a lyrical style as much as he explains things and tells the story in such a way that lets you concentrate on the story instead of reading or the listening. Even with audiobooks, I often find myself rewinding or playing parts over again because I just didn't get something. I didn't do that at all with this book, well....unless our dog jumped in my lap or pulled my pant leg wanting to go out. :)
I enjoyed the book. It is not one of my favorites, but it was worth listening to.
While much of the story seemed plausible, the ending seemed to be more Hollywood Action movie, than realistic ending.
I would be interested in continuing with the next book in the series.
decent tech thriller , fast paced and interesting story but I would have liked a more in-depth dive into the relevant technology.
I enjoyed the combining of computer security and James Bond style action. It was light on detailed scripting and technical techniques, but that is the cost of creating a popular novel.
A good read, made even better by the true plausibility of the story. I think the suspense factor could've been slightly improved by including a greater number of instances where viruses wreaked havoc in the early parts of the story. I think it would've given a greater sense of the true destruction to come had that been more fully developed. Aside from that minor quibble, it was a very enjoyable book. I look forward to his next.
It's an interesting subject and the premise is plausible but I found it a little long for the story to unravel. The ending was not as dramatic as it could / should be and this left me a little flat at the end.
Fanatical Endurance Athlete, who listens to a lot of books while training.
The plot in the book is relatively simple, but the technology behind the story is not simple at all. But the explanation of the technology is both educational and somewhat scary. The story tells of the malicious release of computer malwear and hypothesises the possible impact.
Simple plot, but the characters are real and believable. The background behind the main characters is comprehensive and adds to their actions. Probably there best thing about the main characters, is there are no super men or women, or ex special forces. They are easy to relate to because they are normal, real people.
Also the story is not around one person, there are many involved with equal standing. There is no real lead through the plot. This to me is another plus to the story, but there are not too many characters that the story is hard to follow.
Johnny Heller narrates the story brilliantly with one exception. The characterisation of the female characters seems to be lacking in comparison to some narrators. But this is the only negative of the delivery, but it doesn't detract from the story telling, its just that in my opinion, I think it could be better.
For a geek like myself it had enough tech references, the way the story goes back and forth on the story of each character is great.
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