Do you know of Mark Russinovich? If you are in IT, you have probably heard of him. He is a Technical Fellow at Microsoft and the genius behind the SysInternals Windows Utilities like Process Explorer, Autoruns, and many others. He’s also the author of such authoritative technical resources like Windows Internals, coming soon in its 6th edition.
With Zero Day, Mr. Russinovich expanded his resume to include ‘Novelist’ and it is a great debut into the world of technical thrillers.
I’ll stick to the summary so I don’t give anything away beyond what you might read on the book’s jacket flap.
An airliner’s controls abruptly fail mid-flight over the Atlantic. An oil tanker runs aground in Japan when its navigational system suddenly stops dead. Hospitals everywhere have to abandon their computer databases when patients die after being administered incorrect dosages of their medicine. In the Midwest, a nuclear power plant nearly becomes the next Chernobyl when its cooling systems malfunction.
At first, these random computer failures seem like unrelated events. But Jeff Aiken, a former government analyst who quit in disgust after witnessing the gross errors that led up to 9/11, thinks otherwise. Jeff fears a more serious attack targeting the United States computer infrastructure is already under way. And as other menacing computer malfunctions pop up around the world, some with deadly results, he realizes that there isn’t much time if he hopes to prevent an international catastrophe.
Written by a global authority on cyber security, Zero Day presents a chilling “what if” scenario that, in a world completely reliant on technology, is more than possible today—it’s a cataclysmic disaster just waiting to happen.
For being a gripping novel embroiled in technical matters like viruses and rootkits and the bureaucracy of working with government agencies, Zero Day successfully brings the reader right along with the emotional struggles of the main character, Jeff Aikens, now working as one of the best IT consultants out there. Jeff Aikens saw the inevitable cyber-attacks coming, as did a lot of people, but Jeff sees there is too much on the line and pushes himself to do what he can to stop it.
Zero Day by Mark Russinovich is a recommended read for the technically-inspired and especially for those with an interest in security. A sequel is in the works called Trojan Horse and is planned for a September release with a focus on “state-sponsored cyber-espionage”. I’ll definitely be picking that one up when it hits shelves this Fall.
The book even has a trailer: