Book Review: Zero Day

Zero Day (Jeff Aiken #1)

Zero Day by Mark Russinovich

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Cyber-terrorism: a threat to disable or destroy the governments or organisations across the world by using the loopholes on the computer systems.

Consider this: there is no anti virus software in the world that can provide proactive security to any computer system. That means the software can detect only when a virus has entered the system, not while entering the system. Most of the anti-virus software systems maintains a list of virus definitions that shall be used for detecting and repairing the affected systems. The software makers release periodic updates on the new virus definitions. Systems that lacks the facility to those updates are more vulnerable to malicious attacks.

What is the harm a virus shall do? Why is it to be considered a threat? How big a small terrorist group can plan for an attack using only a couple of computer systems? How depended are we on the computers? Is internet a safe place? Mark Zussinovich amplifies the possibilties to answer these questions in this fictional thiller. First part of the Jeff Aiken trilogy.

The collapse of the highly dependable systems shall attract the fear of digitisation. A terrorist group targets such systems to create panic across the government and enterprises across United States and Europe. Who is behind it? What is the motive for such disasterous plan? How it has been tracked down and solved? This is the storyline of this novel.
Though the storyline was interesting, the same is not in the flow of the story. At times it was felt like the author was biased. He had attempted for a hollywood based action story which was unexplicably draggy. Most of the characters and plots were predictable.

This was the first story by the author. He himself was an technical expert on the Internals of Windows operating system who had started a company called WinInternals that was later acquired by Microsoft. Thus, Technically the author was able to explain the viruses/worms and their impacts on a large scale but the story could have done more justice for the concept.

Am I going to read other parts in this trilogy? No. Atleast not very soon.

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