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Worm: The First Digital World Warby Mark Bowden
Synopses & Reviews
"Bestselling Black Hawk Down author Bowden follows a group of white-hat computer experts who came together to fight Conficker, malware that surfaced in late 2008 and appeared poised to take over millions of computers running Windows Operating System on April 1, 2009. Bowden shows how 'The Cabal' struggled to stay ahead of the Conficker worm as it evolved in the course of four months into ever more threatening incarnations. The author takes readers behind the scenes, showing the security specialists' increasing frenzy, not to mention occasional infighting, as they worked to defeat the worm. Along the way, the author lucidly explains how malware can take over computers as well as how the very openness of the Internet makes it vulnerable to attack. 'If no one is ultimately responsible for the Internet, then how do you police and defend it?' he asks. But while Bowden presents the Cabal's efforts to defeat Conficker as an epic good vs. evil battle, the actual stakes are never entirely clear. Even the computer researchers have no way of knowing whether Conficker will set off 'Cybarmageddon,' or will amount to no more than an elaborate April Fool's joke." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Mark Bowdens Worm: The Story of the First Digital World War is about the next frontier in war. Bowden, the best-selling author of Black Hawk Down and The Best Game Ever, has delivered a dramatic cyber-crime story that explores the Conficker Computer Worm,” a potentially devastating computer virus that has baffled experts and infected as many as 12 million computers to date. Bowden has gained unprecedented access to the key players in the story and produced what could be his most important story to date.
When the Conficker Computer Worm” was unleashed upon the world in November 2008, cyber-security experts did not know what to make of it. The worm, exploiting the security flaws in Microsoft Windows, grew at an astonishingly rapid rate, infecting millions of computers around the world within weeks. Once the worm infiltrated one system it was able to link it with others to form a single network under illicit outside control known as a botnet.” It was soon capable of overpowering any of the vital computer networks that today control banking, telephones, energy flow, air traffic, health-care information—even the Internet itself. Was it a platform for criminal profit, or a weapon? Security experts do not know for sure what Confickers purpose is, or even where it came from. Their struggle to control it, a dazzling battle of wits between expert programmers over the future of the Internet, pitted those determined to exploit it against those committed to protect it, and awakened the U.S. Government for the first time to the urgent nature of the threat.
Bowdens book reports this new frontier on terror in a way that has never been done before. Bowden skillfully explores the digital chess match unfolding in the esoteric world of computer security, telling the story from the perspective of both the good-guy hackers known as the Conficker Cabal” working to defeat the worm and the bad guys intent on spreading it. In Worm: The Story of the First Digital World War, Mark Bowden delivers an accessible and fascinating look at the ongoing and largely unreported war taking place literally beneath our fingertips.
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 it—the 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.
About the Author
Mark Bowden is the author of seven books, including Black Hawk Down, The Best Game Ever, Killing Pablo, and Guests of the Ayatollah. He reported at The Philadelphia Inquirer for twenty years and now writes for Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, and other magazines. He lives in Oxford, Pennsylvania.
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