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Trojan Horse Audiobook

Trojan Horse: A Jeff Aiken Novel, Book 2

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Publisher's Summary

It’s two years after the Zero Day attacks, and cyber-security analyst Jeff Aiken is reaping the rewards for crippling Al-Qaida’s assault on the computer infrastructure of the Western world. His company is flourishing, and his relationship with former government agent Daryl Haugen has intensified since she became a part of his team.

But the West is under its greatest threat yet. A revolutionary, invisible trojan that alters data without leaving a trace---more sophisticated than any virus seen before---has been identified, roiling international politics. Jeff and Daryl are summoned to root it out and discover its source. As the trojan penetrates Western intelligence, and the terrifying truth about its creator is revealed, Jeff and Daryl find themselves in a desperate race to reverse it as the fate of both East and West hangs in the balance.

A thrilling suspense story and a sober warning from one of the world’s leading experts on cyber-security, Trojan Horse exposes the already widespread use of international cyber-espionage as a powerful and dangerous weapon, and the lengths to which one man will go to stop it.

Featuring a bonus interview between Mark Russinovich and Kevin Mitnick, author of Ghost in the Wires and The Art of Deception.

©2012 Mark Russinovich (P)2012 Macmillan Audio

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  •  
    Ted Lancaster, PA, United States 11-02-14
    Ted Lancaster, PA, United States 11-02-14 Member Since 2010

    Don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Trip's cool though. Use Audible to make gym-training sane... And rip my imagination.

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    "5 STARS: Russinovich Is Tranformative"

    Somewhere in the middle of “hunt For Red October it clicked. “Yoa!” I thought, “This is a new something… a genre… if not a new species, well at least a new breed.” So I read the next 16 (or was that 18?) Clancys… Until somewhere in “Shadow Warriors”, or perhaps “Search and Destroy” he lost his power to fly the class he created (and never recovered them in his own attempts at cyber-fiction).

    “Trojan Horse” goes “CLICK!” Mark Russinovich has accomplished where Neil Stephenson and the aging Clancy failed. Issac Asimov argued that if science did not drive the plot, it was not "science" fiction, but fiction in drag. Clancy at his best did the same thing with his techno-fiction where a sort of electro/mechanical engineering drove the plot. Russinovich’s transformational technology-driver has done to Clancy’s breed what the internet has done to newspapers… This is a disruptive book.

    While “Zero Day”, the first in this Jeff Aiken/Daryl Hagen series, was engrossing –Russnovich was experimenting with his powers. I enjoyed it, and recommend that you read or listen to it before starting this book since it explains the allusions to that story peppered through “Trojan Horse”. But while each of these books are VERY commercial and crammed-full with action (cinematic is the word that comes to mind), Russinovich is sucking on the cyber-pipe full-on here in “Trojan Horse”.

    BTW, this is NOT a Jeff Aiken book. While it’s a partnership, Daryl Hagen is now the stronger member of this pair. I hope someone at Audible will fix that in the series description.

    Johnny Heller does a fine, if not masterful, job of presenting this work even if his characters are incompletely nuanced. Still, I won’t do anything to pull all five stars away from “Trojan Horse”. It’s as masterful as “DaVinci” code in its story telling clout yet "cyber"-fiction in the Asimov sense.

    This is a cross-over novel that every adventure/mystery lover can enjoy and the best adventure book I’ve listened to in years.

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    PeterN Sheherdstown, WV, United States 03-01-13
    PeterN Sheherdstown, WV, United States 03-01-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Once you start, you can't stop"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Without a doubt, one of the most captivating books i have listened to recently. Mark's obvious knowledge of the filed and the detailed description of certain aspects made it so much more enjoyable.


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

    Of course, the timing of the events was just perfect and always made you to go further and further.


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

    Jeff Aiken


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher D. Williams Minnesota, United States 10-30-14
    Christopher D. Williams Minnesota, United States 10-30-14 Member Since 2016
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    "Giving up on this book for now."

    So I'm about 50 minutes in to the book. There has been no "hook", no catastrophic event, no big plot line introduced. Just a UN researcher who had his report mysteriously altered. I'm almost an hour in to this book and it's a slog. Nothing of substance has occured. There is terribling numbing detailed minutiae of this researchers career ambitions and his colleagues background. With an hour's worth of detail on these two characters you'd think they were the main protagonists! Our real "hero" hasn't really even been introduced yet.

    Loved the first book, but this opening just sucks so bad I can't force myself to continue. I'm putting it down for now. Maybe I'll come back to it. I loved the first book, but this one is just introducing the story to us at such a glacial pace I can't handle it. Deleting for now. May come back and try again in the future. (Will update the review accordingly if I do).

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian Niagara Falls, NY 07-20-17
    Brian Niagara Falls, NY 07-20-17 Member Since 2015

    Check out BriansBookBlog DOT com for more reviews.

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    "A Tight and Technical Technothriller"

    I read the original novel by Russinovich years ago (Zero Day) and absolutely loved it. Jeff Aiken was such a fun and different character. And Russinovich was incredibly detailed in his writings about the zero day virus he was writing out. It helps that he has lots of knowledge in the tech world having worked at Microsoft and other tech firms.

    Trojan Horse was a little different, showing off more of the thriller part of technothriller — it was a little bit focused on the virus(es) and computer stuff, but more focused on Jeff and Daryl trying to save the world… again.

    The story itself was strong and a fun one to follow. Trojan Horse as a book was one of the most fun technothrillers I’ve read in a while. There were just nonstop action scenes intermixed in with some technical detail here and there. The best part is that this book is a few years old now and it could still be as true as the day it was written. All of the things inside are possible, have happened, or could easily happen.

    I can’t wait to continue the series and read the third Aiken novel and I’ll hopefully get to that this year.

    If you like action-packed Technothrillers — Trojan Horse is definitely for you. Russinovich wrote a tight and technical thriller that I’ll remember for a while.

    Trojan Horse was narrated by the great Johnny Heller — if you’re an audiobook person I don’t have to say much more. If you’re not, he has a wonderfully easy voice to listen to and made this book fly by.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Invisibled California 06-21-13
    Invisibled California 06-21-13 Member Since 2017
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    "Great book almost ruined by a horrific narrator"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I'd recommend the book, but not the audiobook. Johnny Heller is probably my least favorite reader.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Johnny Heller’s performances?

    No. I will avoid his performances at all cost. He has the total vocal range of bad text-to-speech software and annoying enunciation. He speaks in a flat monotone that ruins narration for me.


    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Walter GEORGETOWN, DE, United States 02-23-13
    Walter GEORGETOWN, DE, United States 02-23-13 Member Since 2012
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    "True adventure"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Trojan Horse to be better than the print version?

    I have not read the print version, but the audio version was excellent.


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

    Yes, I read Mark's first book zero day, and this is the perfect next step. I would highly recommend it to anyone that is interested in how technology can affect thdays news headlines.


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

    Jeff once again is my favorite character.


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

    I had to keep listening, it held me on my edge.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Reading, PA 11-28-12
    Amazon Customer Reading, PA 11-28-12 Member Since 2016

    ShawnMilo

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    "This narrator should not have a speaking job."
    What did you love best about Trojan Horse?

    The story was pretty good and technical.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Darryl, because she's an interesting character.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Constantly mispronouncing words, pronouncing the same word differently, and repeatedly mispronouncing "nuclear" (sounding like new-kyu-lur). He says the word "program" like "pro-grum" and other distracting annoyances.<br/><br/>This person should not have a job in narration.


    6 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven Hillside, NJ, United States 05-28-17
    Steven Hillside, NJ, United States 05-28-17 Member Since 2013

    "Audio-phile"

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    "Re-hash of the Same..."

    I really really wanted to like this series of books. And I've tried. I literally read through this book *twice* back to back. Just to see if perhaps the first go 'round I judged it unfairly... Alas..no. The book falls into the same trap, and even worse so, that the previous book falls into. Mark Russinovich is a very very smart, and talented man. In the field of security, and threat detection, he's a futurist, and a man that, has a lot of insight into what the future may hold for our political/techno world. I very much so trust his opinion and his idea's that the future of warfare will be shaped by the internet, and more covert cyberware rather than ground forces and bombs.
    That being said... Mark...we're all not writers. Sadly to say, the art of writing a novel isn't a gift bestowed upon everyone. Trojan Horse, occurs a few years after Zero Day. Let's start off with my biggest praise of the series. The books start off with a very scary but ultimately very realistic look into different situations that could possibly happen if the right code fell into the wrong hands. We're given the scene of a team of doctors in the middle of an operation on someone's exposed brain, and the entire hospital goes lights out... a train is given the wrong signal on a track, and halted, while another train immediately behind collides... This similar intro was presented in Zero Day as well. Mark has quite the imagination when it comes to these types of events and ideas. He gives us very scary and thought provoking scenes that show us, we are vulnerable behind a shadow of a doubt. To this effect, Mark Russinovich, proves his mettle. Unfortunately, that's sort of where it ends. Mark is very good at showing us that we are and have been lulled into a false sense of security, and that our society is far far more vulnerable than we think. If the opportunity presented itself, we could be in serious trouble. The problem is...he made this point in his book Zero Day. We were present with the very same situation. The United States finds itself exposed and vulnerable, that honestly scares me. Then in Trojan Horse we're literally given the same set of circumstances just with a literal new plot.

    Building on the idea that Trojan Horse bears too much resemblence to Zero Day, the characters all fall into the very same writing problems that they did in Zero Day. Mark does an excellent job presenting characters with interesting backstories, but utterly fails in bringing any of them to life. Each character, Jeff, Darryl, Frank, the host of shadowy bad guys are all flat and I honestly have no real emotional connection to any of them. That's pretty bad when your main character AND support characters can draw no emotional response. While the "bad guys" here are given some elaborate attention to detail in regards to their motivations (which is always a good thing), in the real time action of the story they come off as just cut outs and characters of little dimension.
    I reason this to be the result of another major problem with Mark's writing. He spends far, far too long with the exposition. That is to say he sets up explanations that last pages. And it becomes tiresome. This is a complaint that dogged the first book as well. He has paragraphs explaining one matter, such as pgp keys. or a page dedicated to a political process or how a system works. These types of exposition is good if used sparingly. He literally drowns the book in it, and it leaves precious little room for actual character interaction, dialogue and anything in the way of writing for the characters.
    Also, and again this is a carry over that runs into Trojan Horse as well... His characters just blur together. I read through this book twice, and I still couldn't tell you the individual characters on the Muslim/Chinese/European sides, to distinguish between them. What ends up happening is characters talk and say things, but because there's so little real substance, they just come off as flat and unengaging. Mark tries to throw in bits of humor, such as Darryl teasing Jeff about taking her on a vacation in Italy... or proding him with a jab about her getting used to certain treatment etc.. Unfortunately this type of dialogue is just empty. As there is absolutely zero relationship building in this series. Throughout zero day and trojan horse, relationships between characters is non-existant. There's a character in Trojan Horse, Frank something or another.. he's suddenly a close friend to Jeff and Darryl. But yet there's no setup to this, no follow ups, or anything. I feel as though in the way of personal lives and relationships, there's zero continuity. Nothing is followed up on, there's no consequence or continuing bit of subplot. Even Jeff's overly dramatic back story about his gf dying in the sept. 11th attacks (see my previous review of Zero Day as to why I think it's a pretty silly plot..) is not even mentioned here. And that's how Jeff,Darryl and mostly all the characters are... We're given these back stories, but none of them seem to affect the story, or future events at all. It means the characters are just flat, unmoving, static devices to advance the plot.

    So getting passed the major problem of completely un-interesting characters, is the issue of actual plot. Don't get me wrong, I think the story lines are great and very realistic, but there is such a thing as "over the top". I'd rather see the characters go through a much more down to earth and realistic plot than some trumped up huge epic world ending storyline. Look...our character Jeff is the private owner of a small web security firm... The previous book already stretches the imagination that he gets wrapped up and is able to foil a terrorist plot and suddenly become a martial artist and gun totting bad ass and literally saves the United States. Alright...so a fluke right? A once in a lifetime deal that a real person would probably hold to be the greatest thing they ever accomplished in their lives... Nope, here's book two and the same "normal" guy Jeff Aiken is wrapped up in a 2nd even larger spread terrorist plot. Again managing to foil it and save the world ( I don't think that's an overstatement here) So what's my problem? It just comes off as being too fake and unbelievable. I know big plots and epic stories sell, but I'd probably really care for Jeff and Darryl a *tad* bit more if I could relate to them solving way way more down to earth crime or situation. Instead we're again given this hyped up plot that apparently a guy with just some basic logic can stop, but yet the entirety of the US intelligence agencies can't?

    My last complaint is Mark's poor description of locales. Trojan Horse supposedly takes place in many different countries around Europe, China, and bits of the US. Yet there is absolutely no feeling given to any of these places. Ever. Aside from Mark mentioning the name of the current location in the beginning, I would have sworn that every chapter took place in the same area. There is no descriptive text or feeling given to any of the locales. (the only small exception is when Ahmed is in Prague I believe and describes standing out from the normal blonde/blue eyed crowd) This is a pity because the book spans many locations that could take more of a front seat and actually apply to the story, but nope. It comes off, just like the main characters...flat and inconsequential.

    Both books just feel rushed and "going through the motions". The stories themselves are creative, the character backstories are lush, but none of it matters when the execution and writing of the novel itself is done so poorly. Aside from beating the bad guys the main characters have no movement. I really doubt I'll be in any rush to read and start Rogue Code. I have so little caring or motivation to read yet another installment of this series, because I'm 90% sure it'll be another carbon copy of these first two books. Sorry Jeff, you gotta save the world apparently without me...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    The Reader 05-08-17
    The Reader 05-08-17
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    "Excellent!!! I was attracted by Kevin's books!"

    Excellent!!! I was attracted by Kevin's books! I was on edge from start to finish!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Quella 03-30-17
    Quella 03-30-17 Member Since 2016

    A reader of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and non-fiction Christian books. A reviewer for Audiobookboom.com

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    "Continuation of a Techno Thriller"

    “Trojan Horse” is the second book in the Jeff Aiken series written by authors Mark Russinovich and Kevin Mitnick; the second of actual hacker fame. The first book in the series was “Zero Day”, which I enjoyed very much, and there is a third book already out in audiobook format which I have not listened too, yet. I felt this book from a story perspective was a bit weaker than the first, but it does have some good action, intrigue and technology that keeps it following and the reader engrossed. If you like a well-written technology thrillers (techno thrillers) this book may be one to pick up. If you like technology and have been involved in the information security field, you may enjoy it more than those who are not. With that said, I believe that there were quite a few Hollywood moments written in for dramatic effect where the reader simply need to suspend belief and move on. Like with forensic drama shows on TV, it is not as easy to hack into a system, decrypt secure files, etc. as is portrayed in the book. Just remember this book is not a primer or educational piece on hacking, but instead a piece of fiction to be enjoyed.

    The book picks up two years after the events unfolded in Zero Hour (book 1). Our hero and information security expert, Jeff Aiken, is now a successful and well respected individual in the security community. He also continues to work with Daryl who he is in a relationship with. One day it is discovered that a secure document sent via a secure digital means had been altered somewhere between the sender and the person receiving it. Making changes to a Word document may seem irrelevant or not all interesting unless one understands how documents are secured and validated using digital hashes providing assurance that the file has not been altered. Today’s financial, corporate, and government industries depend on these file protections controls to ensure money transfers, etc. What if someone could, in transit, change the deposit amount or reroute it completely to a different account? This would cause chaos in our digital world, nothing could be trusted to be accurate. This newly uncovered piece of malware can make changes to files and documents, without modifying the digital hash (watermark) or signature while also not leaving any tracks of the infection on the computer; fileless malware. This is where Jeff and team are brought in to root out the creators and the intentions of this nasty virus.

    Again, if you understand the technology covered in the book, you will find it more interesting than if you did not. However, I think the book can be read and understood as simply a technology spy thriller and most of the technical details could be ignored and you will still get the jest of the story, as with a Clancy novel. The book takes us from one infected customer around the world to many other location to hunt down the virus’ creator so we can once again put our trust in document security. The book continues to unravel and we discover more and more the purpose of this virus.

    Note for younger readers, this book is rather gritty and at time quite dark and graphically violent. Again, not a surprise for a techno-thriller. I will say that there points that vulgar language was used heavily and some subject matter involving sex or sexual content is also contained within.

    Johnny Heller has narrated over three-hundred and fifty other books on Audible at the time of this review, so he is no new-comer to narration. I know other reviewers have said they did not like his narration of this book, but I’m in with a larger majority that did. I thought his reading speed and voicing of the characters solid. I did notice a few potential mispronounced words, but this was not something that ruined the book for me. The audio was also professionally produced, coming from a known publisher, and lacked any noticeable artifacts.

    In summary, if you liked Zero Day or if you are one who enjoys a delve into techno thrillers, Trojan Horse if well worth the listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Russ Varley
    Scarborough, United Kingdom
    5/1/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Unsophisticated pot boiler"

    I'd read the first Jett Aiken novel and had enjoyed it. Like the first one it is reasonably tightly plotted and goes along at a fair pace. However, in the first one Russinovich spent a good deal of time illustrating the effects of the loss of control of electronic systems; the tanker episode being particularly memorable. In this book he as allowed the main characters to come more to the fore which is serious mistake because they are revealed to be one dimensional stereotypes. All the Americans are heroes and all the foreigners are either stupid or evil "bad guys". The central character, Jeff, acts like he is in a video game taking on everyone who would dare to harm his girl. The narrator is fine, although his attempt at a British accent is so bad it is funny.

    Too much "USA, USA" and not enough time spent on fleshing out rounded characters. A book only for those who have credits burning a hole in their pockets!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Alan
    UK
    7/4/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Awful and over hyped"

    The writing is the amongst the worst I have encounter. An error compounded by the narrators inability to pronounce certain words. Honestly avoid this as I couldn't wait for it to end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hendon
    3/10/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great listen"

    Really enjoyed the story, the realisation how the cyber landscape is evolving, scary

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rogue
    12/21/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I kept losing sleep with this one,"

    I really liked this story even if it is a little similar to other stories by this author, however saying that it was much easier to listen to and hard to stop listening to it.
    All in all worth a listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • P. Hewson
    Northampton, UK
    7/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not as exciting as his first book, Zero Day..."
    What made the experience of listening to Trojan Horse the most enjoyable?

    The subject matter is of interest and relevance, mainly surrounding one of the most sophisticated real life computer viruses in recent years. It was good to find out what the main character has been up to since the last book.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Trojan Horse?

    The escape of the female character from the bad guys.


    What three words best describe Johnny Heller’s voice?

    Not very appropriate.


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

    Yes, I did want to learn what happened next.


    Any additional comments?

    It wasn't quite as riveting as the first book. Unfortunately, the narrator's pronunciation of several words was wrong, his characterisation/accents was also poor. However, I will probably get the next book in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Matthew Rayner
    London, UK
    4/7/13
    Overall
    "Amazing follow up to TrZero Day"

    Mark Russinovich has done it again with another blockbuster, The story line, technical content and premise for this book are all amazing. Well worth a read and would recommend it to anyone with a techie inclination.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Pixi
    BASINGSTOKE, United Kingdom
    12/6/12
    Overall
    "All too farmiliar"

    As a regular user of Marks awesome tool set care of MS; PSExec probably being the most popular, I couldn't wait to listen to this. Was he as good a story teller as programmer? I did get shades of a Tom Clancy book but I felt he didn't spend as much time getting into the nitty-gritty. Could have been padded out a bit more but it brings up a lot of points about modern day cyber terrorism. A good yarn non the less. I would recommend as compulsive reading along with Ghost in the wire



    Spoiler alert! there is a bonus at the end of this book that you don't usually get at the end of books.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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