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Zero Day: A Jeff Aiken Novel | [Mark Russinovich]

Zero Day: A Jeff Aiken Novel

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (790 )
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4.0 (722 )
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Performance
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  •  
    G. S Senko Media PA 12-26-12
    G. S Senko Media PA 12-26-12 Member Since 2011

    gregsenko

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    15
    4
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    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "Trite, Slow paced"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I am not sure who would enjoy this book.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Mark Russinovich again?

    Probably not.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    For me it was hard to make a distinction between the the quality of the narration and the quality of the writing.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Zero Day?

    The code snippets that are elaborated in the text are not essential to the plot.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G. Halvorsen Queen Creek, AZ 12-19-12
    G. Halvorsen Queen Creek, AZ 12-19-12

    Tech bleeding edge

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Be afraid, be very afraid"
    What made the experience of listening to Zero Day the most enjoyable?

    Talking computereze. Some parts were a bit technical but for one who spent their career in IT, it was enjoyable and hit home, HARD. This may be fiction but if you know about computer security and the issues facing global Internet connection, then this book is really non-fiction and reminds you what a scary world it is when you connect it together electronically. The Internet is anything but safe and this book drives that message home with a sledge hammer. Good guys and bad, a lone person or massive government agencies of nearly every description want information or to do harm or both, be it financial, military or any other kind that is kept in systems that are hooked to the Internet (and sometimes not) and not be detected . This book centers on Internet-centric crime that focuses on those persons and institutions that create these weapons of computer code and those that work to oppose them.

    The size of Internet crime is beyond the publics' wildest imagination. If you have a PC and have anti-virus software then you have the first step in understanding that the virus that infects your PC is minuscule compared to what is out there to do harm undetected, let alone unexpected. This book is disturbing in the ability to tie recent 'in the news' real world computer crime to how it can affect us in every aspect of our daily lives.

    You would do well to check the Wiki-pedia entry for the author. He knows of which he writes. This makes the book all the more scary and credible. Hate to say enjoyable unless the definition of enjoyable includes discomfort. Again, I see this as a fiction story wrapped in non-fiction. If you read it, you will grasp what I mean. If you want to be shaken at the core for your naivete about the dark side of the Internet you need to read this book. If you already know the score, this ties together the enormity of the issues. If you are technical no problem but if you are technically challenged then this will be a very hard read. But if you use the Internet, avoid this book at your own peril. Am so glad I retired before Internet crime exploded. Sad because the Internet has opened Pandora's box to the world.

    Oh, there is a love story and a couple instances of gratuitous sex. If that offends..get over it.


    What other book might you compare Zero Day to and why?

    The author's other book: Trojan Horse. The sequel to Zero Day. If the first book didn't make an impression, then Trojan Horse will...or should. Both books really could be combined and that bothers me not at all.


    What about Johnny Heller’s performance did you like?

    At first, nothing. But got over it. Johnny is a bit laid back and with this story that is not a bad thing. Some of the impressions of foreign bad persons are a bit over the top but sometimes a little dramatic reading brings the book to life. Mostly what I liked was the ability to concentrate on the story, not the reading. For me, essential. A solid four stars.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes. This book was very hard to pause. One session well over four hours. Again, fully appreciated all aspects of the story. One into which I could sink my inner geek.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ric salisbury, NC, United States 12-08-12
    ric salisbury, NC, United States 12-08-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    5
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    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "Zero Day ,not a zero"
    What did you love best about Zero Day?

    The way computer hackers were intertwined


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    A very interesting and steady listen


    Which scene was your favorite?

    all about the same


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    no


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim Bettendorf, IA, United States 12-08-12
    Tim Bettendorf, IA, United States 12-08-12 Member Since 2011
    ratings
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    27
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Mildly entertaining at times"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The story wasn't very exciting. It was very linear, you knew what was going to happen every step of the way.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Cold Days, by Jim Butcher


    What didn’t you like about Johnny Heller’s performance?

    It was just off a little. I didn't like how he read code sequences. I don't think it's his fault he was probably told to read it that way. There was one point he read hex for 3 minutes straight.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The initial story was interesting at first. About the middle of the way I almost quit listening. I finished it but the ending was not like it could have been.


    Any additional comments?

    If you want a good tech thriller check out Daemon by Daniel Suarez, it's 100 times better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Placentia CA, United States 12-03-12
    Robert Placentia CA, United States 12-03-12 Member Since 2011

    Iranians keep their nukes, Americans lose their insurance.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Ok but not as good as I hoped"

    This is a somewhat typical spy novel complete with attempts at sexy girls and cheesy manufactured hero moments, with some technology sprinkled in. But I sort of enjoyed it.I read it at the recommendation of a friend, but I could not recommend it unless you the reader know who is Mark Russinovich and want to read his book, his first.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Keefer SAN MATEO, CA, United States 12-01-12
    Keefer SAN MATEO, CA, United States 12-01-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Disappointing"

    It really pains me to write a negative review for this book. For one, Mark Russinovich is a really smart guy who has been very generous in sharing his knowledge of obscure Windows internals. As a computer security professional, I'm also very eager for thrillers with hacker themes.

    Before the downers, if you're an IT person who wants to read a book where computer experts are the central figures and aren't too concerned about the plot, you'll probably enjoy this book any way.

    The story was just too weak for me. The technical parts were highly dumbed down and not very accurate, which surprised me because Russinovich is very knowledgeable on these subjects. The interactions were sexualized to the point where it distracted a lot from the plot, in my opinion. There are ways to work sex into stories without beating the reader over the head with it. The attempts at describing relationships seemed very strained to me, like someone trying to fit human interaction into a crude algorithm.

    I'm not sure how many of my complaints stem from bad writing to begin with, or bad editing. I hope editors will allow more technically accurate and detailed depictions in Russinovich's future works, and hopefully encourage a lot of coaching in character development and interaction.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    doug APPLETON, WI, United States 11-12-12
    doug APPLETON, WI, United States 11-12-12

    Just some dude.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Sexy! Exiting! Intelligent! Thought Provoking!"

    I follow Security Now on the TWIT.TV network.. So I knew this would be of interest to me, but I really was surprised how good the story and characters were. This is a non-stop thrill ride from the very beginning. The reader also does a great job, however the choice of microphone or maybe the quality of the audio engineering could have been a bit richer for my taste, but that did not impede my enjoyment of a fine audio book while at work. If Mark Russinovich's next book is as good as this one, I will really be happy.
    Zero Day is a must read/listen. :)

    P.S. Quick, update your antivirus software, flush your cache and don't open any links in your email !!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Valdis Kent, WA, United States 11-09-12
    Valdis Kent, WA, United States 11-09-12 Member Since 2011

    I lie dreaming, waiting for the stars to align... But seriously, while looking for gainful employment, I craft chainmaille jewelry and armor, play video games and enjoy audiobooks. My favorite Authors are/have been: Jim Butcher, Neil Gaiman, Kevin Hearne, and H.P. Lovecraf

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    148
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Computer Security Thriller"
    Would you listen to Zero Day again? Why?

    Probably. I'd want to share this with friends and family, and if we were on a road trip, this would be one of my first choices to bring. It's not only a good tale, but also stresses the importance of updating your PC to curtail malicious attacks.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The tech talk throughout the book is spot on. With the author's pedigree, it's no surprise, but to hear is spelled out is both eye-opening and frightening.


    What does Johnny Heller bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Mr. Heller brings an almost news headline feel to the story that stresses the urgency of the subject matter.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Having never really listened to a End of Times / "ripped from the headlines" audiobook before, I was on the edge of my seat throughout the book. I also was reinspired to update all aspects of my PC, for fear of infection from malicious software.


    Any additional comments?

    Two qualms with this book:
    1. While most tech terms are defined when brought up, the reading of "code" was too much. The first time was nearly 5 minutes, and there are a few other code readings later in the book. It may be great for a programmer, but not for the average reader.

    2. Too many chapters. This book has nearly 80 chapters, most not even 10 minutes long. Hopefully in the next book, Russinovich condenses the chapters a bit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian West Valley City, UT, United States 11-07-12
    Brian West Valley City, UT, United States 11-07-12 Member Since 2012

    Technology teacher and coordinator. love my audio books so i can work while i listen. grew up on Alistair MacLean. lately mysteries and westerns.

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    131
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "an interesting read for computer geeks"
    Would you try another book from Mark Russinovich and/or Johnny Heller?

    I would read another


    Would you be willing to try another book from Mark Russinovich? Why or why not?

    I would try another. topic interests me


    What aspect of Johnny Heller’s performance would you have changed?

    liked his performance


    Any additional comments?

    enjoyed the development and computer knowledge but thought it ended abruptly

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew SEATTLE, WA, United States 11-05-12
    Matthew SEATTLE, WA, United States 11-05-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    496
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    187
    155
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    93
    12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Another Apocalyptic Day"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Zero Day to be better than the print version?

    Most definitely. Heller does a fine job bringing the story, and the characters, to life.


    Would you recommend Zero Day to your friends? Why or why not?

    Yes, but only if " end times" narratives are your gig. It can wear on even the most optimistic type if you aren't ready for the end.


    Which character – as performed by Johnny Heller – was your favorite?

    Too many to note.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Accents can be challenging, and he does a reasonable job, but still sometimes awkward. IMHO.


    Any additional comments?

    A good value, that adds to the growing list of "end times' audio books I have been listening to,and generally enjoying. I suppose with 12/21/12 heading our way, it's good to get these under your belt ahead of time!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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