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
It's not all that common that authors who use technology in their stories get the tech right. Mark does that very well. Since I have a background in tech, getting it wrong would have really taken away from the story. Instead, this was great for a long road trip so I could keep listening.
The use of technology was well placed and well used. This is important for someone who works with technology, otherwise the story would have had major distractions in it
It feels like this book ends abruptly, but I believe that it continues in Trojan Horse which wasn't available on Audible at the time of this writing.
Zero Day has an interesting premise, but falls waaaaaay short in execution.
The only one you get to know a little in this book is the main male character...the others are just plain and uninteresting. The story fails to interest much after the stupid 'TV' start to the book. If you are brave enough to try this one out, you'll know what I mean. The ending...well...anticlimax doesn't cover it.
This book could have been sooooo much more...some interesting found, but not enough to recommend it to anyone except hard core tech nerds...
Some notes on the audio book version...when there is code bits in the book...they get spelled out. Kinda tiring considering the first one lasted around 5 minutes.
If you aren't, don't waste a credit. If you are, you will probably enjoy how our new "toys" are being put to use in today's fight against terrorism. Technology is fascinating but can get a bit boring. The author spends way too much time explaining acronyms, it got old. Johnny Heller did a great job narrating.
Narration... Narration... Narration...
I couldn't believe my ears when the narrator kept pronouncing malware as mailware... are you serious? I also hear ICQ pronounced IQC.... just horrible narration. I didn't want to take a star away from overall but the narration really take away from the overall experience.
i really liked the idea of the book, but there was something missing. i was hoping to re-live the awesomeness of "daemon" and "Freedom ™" as they are similar in concept, but "Zero Day" didn't seem to have good characters or depth. It's doubtful that i'll listen to the sequel, "Trojan".
Not sure. This story was dry and preachy. It tried too hard to force the points. Cook and Crichton wrap their messages in suspense and storyline... this book just kept citing examples of doom and went nowhere to hold my attention or interest.
No, but I'll hesitate before buying a book from this writer.
Dry. No story development.
A fine technical thriller that held my interest all the way. It moves right along with no flat spots. Every thing the author wrote is accurate and possible in the real world. The coincidence in the back story is kind of a reach, but it works in this book. The story is powerful enough that after listening to it, you will feel the need to update your virus protection and firewall.
Zero Day made the miles go by fast. I recommend it.
Technical virus story
This was a good book, but it never really had me "on the edge of my seat" or anything. Mark (the Author) is a very technical person, and I was very pleasently surprised at how good he was at telling a story as well. If you like this book, look at Daniel Suarez books.
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. :)
"Pacey researched plot, horribly cliche characters"
This was recommended for me by the Audible/Amazon bots after reading Kill Decision and Daemon by Daniel Suarez and The Avogadro Corp by William Hertling.
The plot is well thought out and clearly the author knows a lot about the subject which made the scenarios believable, even if at times, the strings of code will leave the layman feeling a bit left behind.
I did enjoy the plot, but was continually irritated by the two dimensional female characters and the one dimensional thought processes being portrayed as going through the male characters minds. Perhaps it is a real insight into the programmers mind?
Sadly, the narrator had a real problem with French pronunciation which also grated as the plot went international.
So, in summary, a pacey and well researched plot with some interest and a well made important message about computer security, but not very well written in my opinion. Try the books above for more inventiveness and excitement.
"A gripping tech thriller..."
Unlike many techno-thrillers this pretty much has all of the details spot on, for those of you that don't live/work in the IT world it's worth pointing out that whilst this might sound fantastical it's all possible which I think makes it an even better read. Don't hesitate, download the book now and whilst you're listening to the first chapters update your antivirus package and make sure your Windows updates are installed!
Mark Russinovich knows his stuff like few other PC experts today. He manages to bring this knowledge (and his concerns about computer security) to life is a most realistic story. He also avoids most technical jargon and puts across his ideas using real English, not techno-babble.
Johnny Heller does a great job of narrating this book, and its sequel, Trojan Horse.
If you don't start doing an anti-malware scan on your PC while reading this book, you aren't paying attention!
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