The First Digital World War
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From the author of Black Hawk Down comes the story of the battle between those determined to exploit the internet and those committed to protect itthe ongoing war taking place literally beneath our fingertips.
The Conficker worm infected its first computer in November 2008 and within a month had infiltrated 1.5 million computers in 195 countries. Banks, telecommunications companies, and critical government networks (including the British Parliament and the French and German military) were infected. No one had ever seen anything like it. By January 2009 the worm lay hidden in at least eight million computers and the botnet of linked computers that it had created was big enough that an attack might crash the world. This is the gripping tale of the group of hackers, researches, millionaire Internet entrepreneurs, and computer security experts who united to defend the Internet from the Conficker worm: the story of the first digital world war.
From Publishers Weekly
© Publishers Weekly
Where are the spell checkers?
This is a good, fast read, even for a non-Geek like me. However, there were so many grammatical errors, it took away from the experience.
By far, the best books I've read this year!
I can't remember the last time I had that "can't put the book down feeling". The last few years I always felt guilty if I wasn't reading some type of technical manual or learning some new programming language. Yes, I'm a geek.. but nowhere near X-men class, as the people described in the book. Now I aspire to learn more and about security and build my "do no evil white hat tactics.
I'm shocked at how fragile our Internet connected world has become and how close we've come to near utter failure (and continue to be driving towards). At the same time, I'm humbled and inspired to know there are selfless good people out there working tirelessly to protect the Internet for the rest of us.. nothing short of superheroes.
Not enough meat
I'm torn between feeling I wasted my time and money on this book and at least feeling better informed. There are really two stories here, one about the human side including the characters if the people primarily involved and the way in which internal politics and a general insular and self serving attitude makes our government so incapable of acting until someone's job is on the line. The other side is the side dealing with the computer / Internet guts that make viruses and worms possible. The first aspect is relatively well treated, though a bit disjointed due probably to trying to keep a timeline going at the same time as he tries to introduce the characters which inevitably requires digressions. The second aspect is way too thin. He mentions at the end the amount of time and effort the main actors gave him to try to explain it all to him, a relative novice to the world of computer geeks not to mention the rarified group involved. I don't feel like he passed the favor on. Lack of understanding contributes to our ability to take this subject as seriously as we should. We should be lobbying for a radical restructuring of the Internet which while it isn't likely to eliminate all possible malicious software, should at least make it much easier to cope with such infection and make life a lot harder for the perpetrators.
I was hoping for something like James Gleick's masterful book Chaos that perfectly mixed both the personal and technical and left you with at least a decent understanding of what the people at the beginning of the field had discovered and a basic knowledge of hoe it worked. I felt like this author didn't even try. Perhaps in this age of books written days after events happen, writers just don't have the time to do the research or spend the time needed to really convey such information. I wish they did.