Saturday, January 29, 2011

Zero Day by Mark Russinovich

Over the Atlantic, an airliner’s controls suddenly stop reacting. In Japan, an oil tanker runs aground when its navigational system fails. And in the Midwest, a nuclear power plant nearly becomes the next Chernobyl.

At first, these computer failures seem unrelated. But Jeff Aiken, a former government analyst who saw the mistakes made before 9/11, fears that there may be a more serious attack coming. And he soon realizes that there isn’t much time if he hopes to stop an international disaster.

My Review:

My first though on this book was "If I get the opportunity to push the sale of any book, this is the book I would choose, for the simple fact that we need to be educated in cyber terrorism." A thought provoking thriller, Zero Day is by far one of the most exciting yet terrifying books I have ever read. In our generation, there is no where you can look that is not controlled by computers in some capacity. Just think about it for a minute. Online banking, your power at home, the airplane that you take to reach your destination and even your check out at the grocery store, these are all reliant on computers. Now try to imagine a virus attacking any one of those industries and your world would be turned upside down. Zero Day is a book that addresses those issues and expounds on that by painting a vivid picture of what can happen should one of these industries come under attack. The public needs to become educated and aware of the fact that cyber terrorism does exist and CAN happen to them.

I am currently a programming student in college and one of the areas we study is internet security. Just about everything we studied in class is included in this book. I've told my instructors that this book needs to be required reading because it not only shows you the magnitude of destruction that viruses can cause but it helped me to better understand what I learned in class. When I read this book, it was almost as though it were in two parts. The first part of the book concentrated on the technical computer side and the second part where most of the action was found in the book. Believe me when I tell you that there is a lot of action throughout the book and that it was nearly impossible to put this book down.

I felt a connection right away with Jeff Aiken's character. Previously working with the government, Jeff tries to bring attention to the links between all the disasters taking place and the recent virus outbreaks. He's met with red tape throughout the book and I couldn't help but feel helpless right along with him. Jeff has closed himself off from forming relationships with anyone and finds himself attracted to Daryl, his female counterpart who happens to work for the government. Watching Jeff and Daryl work side by side while their relationship grows stronger, was a breath of fresh air. I found myself rooting for their relationship to flourish beyond friendship. While the focus stays on cyber terrorism, romance between these two is intricately woven into the story. There are some surprises with Jeff's co-workers that you won't see coming. I loved to be shocked and Mr. Russinovich does just that very well I might add. The action in this book is remarkable. Painting vivid pictures of the level of greed humans go to, the reader is transported into a very dark world.

Zero Day is the debut novel for author Mark Russinovich who is a cyber security expert with Microsoft. A well researched and highly developed book, Zero Day is a must read for everyone who is dependent on the internet in any form. The book does get technical quite often but Russinovich does an excellent job of explaining what he's talking about. Everyone needs to be made aware of the potential of a threat of global proportions and even though this is a fictional story, it can easily become reality. Zero Day is an addictive read that will stay with you for a long time to come. It is a MUST READ!

*Coming March 15, 2011*

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