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Monday, January 10, 2011

Zero Day by Mark Russinovich

Zero Day  will be released March 11th.  An ARC  dealing with cyber-terrorism, the novel has a forward by Howard A. Schmidt, White House Cyber Security Coordinator and a blurb by Bill Gates.  The author is a Technical Fellow in the Windows division of Microsoft.

The novel is more plot than characters, but it is a very frightening, fast moving narrative that reveals how interconnected we all are through the internet.  National security, banking, nuclear power plants, ships, trains, planes, government sector and private sector, from the least to the greatest....

The novel is a glimpse into some truly scary possibilities.  I found myself fascinated by some of the scenarios and terrified as well.  I remember reading a novel 10-15 years ago, long before computers were as widespread as they are today, about cyber attack on Wall Street.  I've never forgotten how vulnerable our financial system seemed at the time.

  Zero Day would almost be a better read, if it could be dismissed as fantasy.  Russinovich, however, knows what he's talking about; he certainly has the background to speak with authority.  We can only hope that the threats of cyber-terrorism can be countered.  The implication is that we are all too confident about our safety on the internet.  It is easier to understand with private individuals when the threat of identity theft and hacking seem like they happen to someone else, but more difficult to understand when the stakes involve such things as air travel and nuclear power plants.

I've received several ARCs lately that I just can't review because, frankly, I can't even finish them.  This novel is exciting, suspenseful, and scary!

Fiction.  Thriller/Techno-thriller.  2011.  328 pages.


  1. I have a feeling this book would scare the pea-waddin' out of me, but it sounds like a really terrific read. We have been among those who experienced identity theft. It wasn't as bad as it could have been, but it was scary and we're still monitoring our accounts, nearly a year later. One thing we discovered: If your information is stolen from an online store, don't expect them to even tell you what the thieves got their hands on. Apparently, the company where all the trouble began "lawyered up". They wouldn't tell us a thing, so we didn't know whether they had credit card info or paypal info or our bank account number. And, then someone started charging items to our paypal account and it slowly avalanched. Scary, scary stuff.

  2. Wow, Nancy, that really makes you take it seriously when it hits home like that.

    The novel made me examine consequences I'd never even thought nuclear plants and the lack of manual fail-safes.

  3. I'll be on the lookout for this one, Jenclair. Sounds very interesting. Isn't it a funny thing that the scenarios that are completely possible (like this type incident and flu pandemics) are the scariest and not so much a lot of the crime fiction I read. LOL

  4. :) Real life is scary! We are always more vulnerable than we realize, aren't we?