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Showing posts from January, 2014

Book Review: Worm: The First Digital World War by Mark Bowden (2011)

Executive Summary

Written by the author of Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern Warfare, Mark Bowden, Worm: The First Digital World War is the story of how the cyber security community came together to do battle with what seemed at the time to be the largest and most significant cyber threat to date: the Conficker worm. It was the time of the Estonian and Georgian distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, and the Conficker botnet was growing to be the largest DDoS delivery system ever created. A white hat group of cyber ├╝bergeeks formed the Conficker Cabal to stop the worm because most of the world could not even understand it, let alone do something about it. Bowden accurately captures the essence of our cyber security community in times of crisis. He compares us all to cyber security superheroes, like the X-Men of Marvel Comics fame, because of what he sees as our superhuman or mutant ability to work with computers and our desire to help each other. Seasoned security professionals …

Book Review: The Blue Nowhere by Jeffery Deaver (2001)

Book Review: "Reamde" by Neil Stephenson (2011)

Executive Summary

With Reamde, the author of Snow Crash and Cryptonomicon, Neal Stephenson, delivers a high octane, straight-up cyber thriller along the same lines as Mark Russinovich’s Zero Day and Trojan Horse and Tom Clancy’s Threat Vector, but Stephenson does it with more skill and elevates the genre in the process. The novel has everything that a cyber thriller needs: Chinese hackers, Russian mafia, cyber crime, massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs), hacking culture, and guns. It is classic Stephenson without the denseness of Cryptonomicon and The Baroque Cycle. While it is a wildly imaginative story, the details are real and correct. If you are a cyber security professional, you will not learn anything new here, but you will appreciate a ripping good story told within the boundaries of the cyber security community. It is a good candidate for the cyber security canon, and you should have read this by now.


I am a Neal Stephenson fan.[1][2] He started …