Worm: The First Digital World War Audiobook | Mark Bowden | Audible.com
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Worm: The First Digital World War | [Mark Bowden]

Worm: The First Digital World War

Worm: The First Digital World War tells the story of the Conficker worm, a potentially devastating piece of malware that has baffled experts and infected more than twelve million computers worldwide. When Conficker was unleashed in November 2008, cybersecurity experts did not know what to make of it. Exploiting security flaws in Microsoft Windows, it grew at an astonishingly rapid rate, infecting millions of computers around the world within weeks.
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Publisher's Summary

Worm: The First Digital World War tells the story of the Conficker worm, a potentially devastating piece of malware that has baffled experts and infected more than twelve million computers worldwide. When Conficker was unleashed in November 2008, cybersecurity experts did not know what to make of it. Exploiting security flaws in Microsoft Windows, it grew at an astonishingly rapid rate, infecting millions of computers around the world within weeks. Once the worm infiltrated one system it was able to link it with others to form a single network under illicit outside control known as a “botnet.” This botnet was soon capable of overpowering any of the vital computer networks that control banking, telephones, energy flow, air traffic, health-care information — even the Internet itself. Was it a platform for criminal profit or a weapon controlled by a foreign power or dissident organization?

Surprisingly, the U.S. government was only vaguely aware of the threat that Conficker posed, and the task of mounting resistance to the worm fell to a disparate but gifted group of geeks, Internet entrepreneurs, and computer programmers. But when Conficker’s controllers became aware that their creation was encountering resistance, they began refining the worm’s code to make it more difficult to trace and more powerful, testing the Cabal lock’s unity and resolve. Will the Cabal lock down the worm before it is too late? Game on.

©2011 Mark Bowden (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

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  •  
    Julie Kerrville, TX, United States 10-21-11
    Julie Kerrville, TX, United States 10-21-11 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Clear, Concise Story of the Conficker Worm"

    I enjoyed this book more than I expected to. It was very clearly written with plenty of background on the technical side of computer viruses and worms to make the story clear and easy to follow. The Conficker worm turns out to be rather mysterious, and I appreciated that mystery element. For the most part, Bowden keeps himself out of the story - another plus. Recommended for those who like Hackers, The Cuckoo's Egg, and stories about computer history.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenneth LEESBURG, VA, United States 11-13-11
    Kenneth LEESBURG, VA, United States 11-13-11 Member Since 2005

    Old & fat, but strong; American, Chinese, & Indian (sort of); Ph.D. in C.S.; strategy, economics & stability theory; trees & machining.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Important Insight into the Next 10 Years"

    I’m often amazed at how surprised others seem to be by big events. Seriously. The rise of the internet was not surprising to most computer scientists. 9-11 was not surprising to a large number of terrorism experts. That the iPhone or more precisely something like it would explode into the mainstream was predicted by a plethora of prognosticators for very long time.

    So this book is your change to able to say, “Oh, yea I’ve known about that for a couple of years”, while too many of your friends are reeling in shock … although in my personal experience saying this wish such lack of tact is less than ideal for your friendships {wink} …

    Sometime in the next 5 to 15 years (let’s call it 10 years) there will be an act of cyber-war or cyber-terrorism that will shock much of the western world. But really the shocking thing would be if such an event doesn’t occur.

    This book is the story of the creation of a formidable new weapon in the “cold” cyber-war, which seems to have been escalating for about 5 years, by none other than the former Soviet Union. It is told from the perspective of rag tag band of American intellectuals who fought intently to prevent its creation. It is a very good story, but more importantly knowing this story will elucidate future world events. In the end there is just enough

    The story is one that most computer security experts don’t know, or only vaguely know. In this regard this is a must read for mainstream computer scientists. But the author goes to great lengths to explain concepts to non-programmers. For example he explains in surprising detail the, somewhat rudimentary, buffer overflow attack at the heart of the sorry through an extended analogy to a cook following a recipe a bit too slavishly while a miscreant tricks the cook into inserting ruinous items into his own recipe. Often this sort of thing is tedious for the expert listener, but somehow it wasn’t in this case.

    13 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynn BEAUMONT, TX, United States 11-04-11
    Lynn BEAUMONT, TX, United States 11-04-11 Member Since 2005
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    "Engaging and Informative"

    Mark Bowden (Black Hawk Down), in Worm, tells the story of the Conflicker worm which was introduced to computers in 2008 and infected 1.5 million computers in 195 countries. He brings to the public the story of those who would disrupt the internet and those who are charged to protect it. A strength of Bowden is his uncanny ability to tell this story in a way that the nongeek will easily follow and understand. I was particularly interested in passage where Bowden explains what goes into protecting the internet, profiles the people involved in that task, and explains something of what takes place in such an atmosphere and environment. It is probably the topic covered, but I found Black Hawk Down to be far more engaging than Worm. On the other hand, the battle scenes of Black Hawk Down lend themselves to life-and-death struggle and computer hacking and worms are not that bloody. Nonetheless, Bowden fan will be entertained, informed, and otherwise rewarded for reading his most recent book. Christopher Lane's reading is well done.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jean Santa Cruz, CA, United States 03-13-13
    Jean Santa Cruz, CA, United States 03-13-13 Member Since 2010

    I am an avid eclectic reader.

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    "scary"

    I just finished this book and I see in today's newspaper some of the people that are in the book have a grant from the government to build a new firewall. They are to start from the beginning to create a new way of protecting computers instead of patches. Mark Bowden's well written book allowed me to understand the problem and the importance to the new firewall. The conficker worm is the largest most frighting malware I have heard of. This book reads like a sci-fi book only it is all real. The conficker has created the largest bot-net ever seen and no one yet knows what this worm is going to do or when never mind how to stop it. Just imagine what would happen if some one shut down all the Internet traffic and crashed all the computers. This is a great book and Christopher Lane did a good job narrating the story.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim United States 11-16-12
    Tim United States 11-16-12 Member Since 2010

    Toe reviewer.

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    "New Attack in the Digital Worrld"

    For anyone that is reading my review you are already connected to the digital world, as we know as the Internet. Even though you may not be an ultra geek or just don't care what is going on in cyberspace, you should wake up and be more aware of the new digital threat to our new society because the attack will effect everyone, no matter if they go online or not because all of our financial institutions are link together and we live in a digital world.

    There were many articles, postings, warnings, security patches and ongoing technology podcasts and blogs on Conficker. They were all mix match of speculation, like Y2K. No one really knew what was going to happen when Conficker went off.

    "Worm" is a good read, even though you might not have any interest on this subject. The material that is presented is elementary for people that aren't aware of these types attacks, but it also goes much deeper for savvy users to keep their interest. More like inside baseball on Conficker.

    C Day came and went like Y2K. The Internet didn't break down, the power grid didn't blew up and we had access to our bank accounts. The book addresses several valid points. If we are not careful or up to date, there will be a virus that will bring the net down and we will all be broken.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Bothell, WA, United States 11-12-12
    Mark Bothell, WA, United States 11-12-12 Member Since 2012
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    "I enjoyed this"
    What made the experience of listening to Worm the most enjoyable?

    This is an interesting story about a world I know little about. I like the way the author weaved some information in as to how things work in the computer world, as I like to understand how things work. It is an engaging story, a mystery. Well written and well narrated.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ken Lancaster, Pa, United States 09-10-12
    Ken Lancaster, Pa, United States 09-10-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Informative and shocking."

    An interesting read about a subject I knew little about. Sure I surf the internet but never understood the workings and how someone benefits from all the viruses(malware).
    I came away knowing more about the internet and with less confidence in my government to protect us.
    I would recommend this book as an eye opener!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    maxwell katoomba, Australia 07-23-12
    maxwell katoomba, Australia 07-23-12 Member Since 2010

    Middle aged; long University course (science based), and long service as a professional. Cynical and very interested in the real world.

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    "Interesting"

    We all have computers and we have all had malware, which I have never understood. This story concerns a worm/ virus/ or whatever that panicked everyone, but came to very little harm in the end.

    There were huge efforts to sort it out without particular success. Actually, I still don't understand this stuff and the worm malware certainly vexed the people who do understand it - so I suppose we are all in for a very big kicking in the future.... we will just have to wait and see.

    A bit depressing at the end of the day!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mario south pasadena, CA, United States 11-01-11
    mario south pasadena, CA, United States 11-01-11
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    "Enlightening"

    If you are interested in international security and conflict Worm should be on your radar. Bowden condenses and focuses a very heady topic with aplomb.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Navarre, FL, United States 11-12-12
    Amazon Customer Navarre, FL, United States 11-12-12 Member Since 2009
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    "VERY INFORMATIVE"
    Where does Worm rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    YOU FIND OUT HOW THE INTERNET WORKS.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    INFORMATION


    Have you listened to any of Christopher Lane’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    TOP OF THE LIST


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

    YES


    Any additional comments?

    GET IT IF YOU ARE USING THE INTERNET FOR ANYTHING!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • Jim Vaughan
    Malvern, UK
    11/25/12
    Overall
    "An exiting account of a new kind of apocalypse!"

    Hugely enjoyable, if slightly scary account of the "Confiker worm", which is probably inside your computer (and mine) at this moment, waiting for a command from "the BotMaster" to awake, and create havoc, by comandeering your PC, along with millions of others to target and "pwn" banking, utilities, defense and other essential computer networks of our civilisation's fragile infrastructure.



    This is a true story of potential network apocalypse, of huge egos, and huge intelligences, experts in arcane knowledge most of us cannot begin to grasp, evil geniuses and selfless volunteers; real life "X-men"; "white hats" fighting the shadowy "black hats" in a battle of wits, with the fate of our society at stake - the good guys trying to stay just one step ahead. It's all great fun, and brilliantly written and narrated.



    Rather worryingly, the people who should be monitoring this kind of thing, the CIA, FBI, MI5 and others, seem to be blissfully unaware of the danger. Hmmm!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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