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.
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.
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.
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. :)
Trojan Horse continues on the same theme, I really don't know any direct comparison outside the Jeff Aiken series.
It made me more conscious of the cyber threats.
Just a normal computer geek that likes audiobooks to make my comute easier
This book is a good book for someone who likes tech but doesn't fully understand it. Russinovich tech is solid and explained in a way that anyone can understand. As a full time geek I thought the book was telling me a bunch of things I already knew. I recommended the book to my boss who loves thrillers. I knew he would be blown away with the tech. I know he will enjoy the book and maybe he will understand why I spend so much of my day applying security patches to our network.
Russinovich gives us a glimpse into the world of computer hackers and cyber terrorists. But the view is a bit shallow and the world is populated with stereotypes. My primary concern is that Arabs and Muslims are presented in a manner that invites fear of the "enemy within" and will help feed the appetites of anti-Arab and anti-Muslim bigots. At a time when such bigotry is on the rise (witness the subway murder of a Muslim-looking man in New York City after a vicious anti-Muslim ad campaign was launched), we need less fear mongering.
On the other hand, the intirgue is well constructed and has enough technical material to interest the geeks among us. If it inspires people to increase their own cyber security -- and maintain proper backups -- then it can be deemed a success.
I am not sure who would enjoy this book.
For me it was hard to make a distinction between the the quality of the narration and the quality of the writing.
The code snippets that are elaborated in the text are not essential to the plot.
Tech bleeding edge
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.
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.
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.
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.
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