Mark Russinovich’s ‘Zero Day’ – Fiction Or Fact?

imageMuslim jihadist, undetectable rootkits, replicating viruses with cloaking capabilities, inept politically motivated government departments,  security application vendors driven by their own needs – all accelerating toward a nexus where economic destruction, and personal calamity, show every sign of being  unavoidable.

….. and one man, with bulldog determination, who struggles to change the course of the seemingly inevitable.

An improbable scenario? Hardly!  As an Internet Security professional, I recognize the ingredients in this recipe for disaster, only too well.

Mark Russinovich, in his first solo effort, has crafted a bombshell tale of fiction in his just released novel – Zero Day; ripped out of the mishmash of disorganized chaos, and conflicting objectives, that passes for system and Internet security.

Russinovich, well known to those of us in the Internet Security community, as well as techies and high level computer users, as the mastermind behind Sysinternals, knows his stuff.

In Zero Day, Russinovich takes us on a skillfully crafted journey which relies on accuracy – no exaggerations – perhaps even understated; which is, at it’s core, frightening in it’s revelations.

The fact that the novel is fiction, doesn’t change the underlying reality – our reliance on the Internet has led us into a state where economic and personal mayhem may be just around the next corner.

As an avid reader who chows down on eight or more books a month, I could hardly wait to get my hands on Zero Day following an invitation to critique. I was not disappointed.

Zero Day is event driven, and relies on a fast pace rather than character development to capture the readers imagination. A great read – entertaining, and at the same time, sure to bring into question the continuing viability of the Internet as we know it.

For more information visit:  Zero Day – The Book.

Mark Russinovich is a leading expert on cyber-security and a Technical Fellow at Microsoft, Microsoft’s highest technical title.

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Filed under Books, Cyber Crime, Cyber Criminals, Microsoft, Opinion, Writing

11 responses to “Mark Russinovich’s ‘Zero Day’ – Fiction Or Fact?

  1. Thanks for the review, Bill!

  2. Murphy

    Happy Easter to you and your family .
    Best regards !

  3. Michael Fisher

    Thank you Bill I will give it a read

    Your link to the book site doesn’t work for me, but this one does (found via Google)

    • Hi Michael,

      Good catch – thanks.

      A perfect illustration as to why one must use dot com, in a web address. My fault – it’s now corrected.

      You’ll enjoy this book. I won’t spoil the plot but, it’s nicely structured, as it plows through diagnostic techniques in a malware search and destroy operation, complicated by the usual human foibles.



  4. Braveheart

    Bill something tells me it won’t be Muslims:
    January 15, 2011
    Israel Tests on Worm Called Crucial in Iran Nuclear Delay

    This article is by William J. Broad, John Markoff and David E. Sanger.

    The Dimona complex in the Negev desert is famous as the heavily guarded heart of Israel’s never-acknowledged nuclear arms program, where neat rows of factories make atomic fuel for the arsenal.

    Over the past two years, according to intelligence and military experts familiar with its operations, Dimona has taken on a new, equally secret role — as a critical testing ground in a joint American and Israeli effort to undermine Iran’s efforts to make a bomb of its own.

    Behind Dimona’s barbed wire, the experts say, Israel has spun nuclear centrifuges virtually identical to Iran’s at Natanz, where Iranian scientists are struggling to enrich uranium. They say Dimona tested the effectiveness of the Stuxnet computer worm, a destructive program that appears to have wiped out roughly a fifth of Iran’s nuclear centrifuges and helped delay, though not destroy, Tehran’s ability to make its first nuclear arms.

    “To check out the worm, you have to know the machines,” said an American expert on nuclear intelligence. “The reason the worm has been effective is that the Israelis tried it out.”

    Though American and Israeli officials refuse to talk publicly about what goes on at Dimona, the operations there, as well as related efforts in the United States, are among the newest and strongest clues suggesting that the virus was designed as an American-Israeli project to sabotage the Iranian program.

    • Hey Braveheart,

      Muslim Jihadists create a highly effective image and so, can be used effectively to illustrate, at a fictional level (at any level, in fact), a powerful characterization of the perils we face.

      I’m familiar with this article and, I quite agree with your assessment. We would be negligent, it seems to me, if we dismissed “legitimate” (open to much interpretation), purveyors of cyber warfare as a threat, by creating illusions as to their motivation. The “good guys” are not always the good guys.

      Thank you for both the comment, and the link.


  5. Hi Bill,
    Looks like a great read, I’ve admired his work for years on Sysinternals, I’m going to buy it today!
    PS Steve Gibson did an in depth breakdown of Stuxnet on Security Now #291

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