Worm: The First Digital World War Hardcover – 20 Oct 2011
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Worm" is worth attention. Government officials up to and including President Obama have taken notice of Conficker and begun to address some of the issues it raised. "Bloomberg" When Mark Bowden writes, smart readers pay attention. . . . Bowden is a deserved brand name a superb reporter and compelling narrative writer, whether his subject is war in a forlorn land ("Black Hawk Down," set in Somalia) or a variety of others in seven other books (Killing Pablo," "Guests of the Ayatollah," etc.). And now we have the current masterpiece, "Worm." "The Philadelphia Inquirer" 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. "Publishers Weekly" From the author of Black Hawk Down," a different sort of blood-and-thunder heroism narrative, out on the frontiers of cybercrime. . . . A brief, punchy reminder of our high-tech vulnerabilities. "Kirkus Reviews" Bowden . . . gives this account of the computer world s efforts to neutralize the Conficker worm the flavor of a riveting report from the digital battlefield s front lines. . . . A nerve-wracking but first-rate inside peek into the world of cybercrime and its vigilant adversaries. "Booklist" [T]he thumbs of every 30-something untergeek will still Tweet in ecstasy at seeing technical terms like NCP/IP, Port 445, and MS08-067 spread across the pages of a mainstream book. But the rest of us should take Mark Bowden s warnings with the utmost seriousness because of the growing threats to our wired world. "New York Journal of Books""
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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Top Customer Reviews
I sometimes would have liked photos of those concerned - but even the main movers and shakers in the book rarely met in person, and are probably known as towering figures in the internet security world without many people knowing what they look like.
The only problem I have with Worm is that at the end a huge question remains unanswered - but that is the nature of fact as apposed to fiction - the story is still unfolding. If, as I have, you have read "Steve Jobs" and "Into The Plex " you will enjoy this book. All three books tail off towards the end - because they are ongoing history. Worm however leaves some very disquieting thoughts......
Worm is a really informative good read.
After reading the synopsis and another good review I thought this book, which indeed reads like a novel, though of course is based on fact, would be a good place to start. I wasn't disappointed. It kept me hooked from day one, a real page turner. Not a particularly long book, but it did take me a few days to finish, as at first, I went back over passages/events that weren't familiar or clear to me. I do stress that this was purely down to my lack of computer knowledge. I soon decided to just read, and this proved more enjoyable. Having now finished though, and having enjoyed the book so much, I do intend to go back and read it again just to cement some of the knowledge.
The synopsis is a good description, this is my experience and enjoyment of the book. The Internet, and how it links into our every day lives through business, commerce, socialising and other applications, something most of us use everyday and take for granted. Never again!, read the book and decide if you will. Highly, recommended.
As the blurb went "This dramatic cybercrime story travels from the Ukraine to the United States (and all parts in between) to explore the next frontier in terrorism"
Well, it doesn't really travel anywhere except a few office blocks in IT companies in the US but Ukranian keyboards do get a mention and a virtual finger is pointed now and then to foreign powers.
It's not a bad book - but I'm not sure what it's meant to be.
It reads more like a very staid journalist reporting on fairly esoteric events in the online world. As a geek myself I found a lot of the technical explanations unnecessary and taking up far too much of the book. On the flip side I'm not sure if for the non-technical they were equally superfluous (but for a different reason).
The story of the Conficker worm is interesting but could be told in half the time. Maybe even a quarter.
The characters are so thinly drawn that I could never recall who was who, let alone picture them in my mind, but in many ways the cast list were just "cardboard programmers" there to bounce the technical details off.
The constant reference to X-Men was grating and, to me, belittled the individuals involved.
A bunch of highly technical people, trying to fight back against a very real online threat, really deserved a bit more respect than being drawn as puerile comic book heroes. It's the very perception of nerdiness that meant nobody listened to them in the first place.
Despite all of this, the book has some fascinating moments - particularly in relation to the reactions of the US authorities.Read more ›
In terms of timing Worm couldn't have come out at a better time, Stuxnet autopsies were shedding light on the complexity of the software used to cripple Iran's nuclear programme and at the time of my reading the book the details of FLAME started to permeate out into the public view.
Bowden did a good job getting to grips with the personalities that he chose to follow around Conficker and the hapless nature of the US government in facing the potential threat posed by Conficker; but I don't think that he got under the skin of hacker culture or the technology.
Because of this aspects of the characters become cartoon-like and the technology in an overly superficial way that is more Marvel than Discovery Channel. And since no one knows who really built Conficker or what it was really designed to do it feels like one of them TV series that gets cut by the network half-way through first run with the script writers desperately trying to tidy away loose ends.
I found the book a welcome break from the academic books that seem to be my life at the moment, but somewhat wanting in terms of substance.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Factual thriller! You can't make this stuff up. This is a fantastic insight into something which actually happened. I am no computer wiz but I got the feel of what has occurred.Published 14 months ago by K D Connelly
Left up in the air. Originators of worm, purpose and damage not really identified. Leaves you up in the air.Published 14 months ago by David O'Neill
I thought this was a novel so was disappointed with ending, however I think I learnt a lot about malware and feel the teaching of very technical subjects was extremely well done... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Twiggs
A very detailed and extraordinary story, it does demonstrate that future battles will not just be fought with explosive weapons, but computers. Read morePublished on 17 Jun. 2014 by Mark Ramsay
This is an excellent account of the advent of the Conficker worm and the guys who went to such great efforts to keep it contained. Have they been successful? Only time will tell.Published on 20 Feb. 2014 by Mr. M. P. Lewin
I bought this book inspired by the great read of mark bowdens classic BHD.
unfortunatly this book is far from a good book. Read more
This is a behind-the-scenes account of a dramatic race to beat a vicious and global "worm", or particularly nasty type of computer virus. Read morePublished on 16 Oct. 2013 by Marie-Therese