• Gray Day

  • My Undercover Mission to Expose America's First Cyber Spy
  • By: Eric O'Neill
  • Narrated by: Eric O'Neill
  • Length: 9 hrs and 42 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (373 ratings)

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Gray Day  By  cover art

Gray Day

By: Eric O'Neill
Narrated by: Eric O'Neill
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Publisher's summary

A cybersecurity expert and former FBI “ghost” tells the thrilling story of how he helped take down notorious FBI mole Robert Hanssen, the first Russian cyber spy.

“Both a real-life, tension-packed thriller and a persuasive argument for traditional intelligence work in the information age.” (Bruce Schneier, New York Times best-selling author of Data and Goliath and Click Here to Kill Everybody)

Eric O’Neill was only 26 when he was tapped for the case of a lifetime: a one-on-one undercover investigation of the FBI’s top target, a man suspected of spying for the Russians for nearly two decades, giving up nuclear secrets, compromising intelligence, and betraying US assets. With zero training in face-to-face investigation, O’Neill found himself in a windowless, high-security office in the newly formed Information Assurance Section, tasked officially with helping the FBI secure its outdated computer system against hackers and spies - and unofficially with collecting evidence against his new boss, Robert Hanssen, an exacting and rage-prone veteran agent with a fondness for handguns. In the months that follow, O’Neill’s self-esteem and young marriage unravel under the pressure of life in Room 9930, and he questions the very purpose of his mission. But as Hanssen outmaneuvers an intelligence community struggling to keep up with the new reality of cybersecurity, he also teaches O’Neill the game of spycraft. The student will just have to learn to outplay his teacher if he wants to win.

A tension-packed stew of power, paranoia, and psychological manipulation, Gray Day is also a cautionary tale of how the United States allowed Russia to become dominant in cyberespionage - and how we might begin to catch up.

©2019 Eric O'Neill (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic reviews

“Gray Day is a well-written and suspenseful story about an odd spy and the young man who helped take him down.” (The Washington Times)

“What job could possibly be twisty, mind-bending, and demanding than being an undercover spy in one of the FBI’s own cybersecurity units? With resolute doggedness, shrewd psychological instincts, and the sheer guts to make critical split-second decisions, rookie agent Eric O’Neill helped to turn the tables on his own boss - one of the most dangerous traitors of our time. In Gray Day he weaves together his personal and professional stories with all the skills of a seasoned novelist. The result is a thrilling, page-turning brew worthy of Hollywood - only better because it’s real.” (Elisabeth Elo, author of Finding Katarina M.)

"An adrenaline-laced memoir...as compulsively readable as any thriller. O’Neill has a knack for ratcheting up tension so that foregone historical conclusions, such as Hanssen’s capture, feel like white-knuckle cliffhangers.... O’Neill’s page-turner deglamorizes undercover work while conveying the uncertainty, stress, and excitement that accompany a successful investigation.” (Publishers Weekly)