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Worm: The First Digital World War Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged


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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio; Unabridged edition (October 14, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1455825220
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455825226
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,039,582 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“[Worm] is well-written and informative, capturing a key episode in a fast-moving field we all need to better understand.”—The Washington Post

“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

“Worm is a solid although disquieting read for anyone with a stake in the Internet’s continued smooth functioning—and these days, isn’t that just about all of us?”—Pop Matters

“In the world of nonfiction, Bowden is an ace, a writer with guts and gusto. . . [Worm] does a terrific job of setting the groundwork, turning the highly technical into something comprehensible.”—The Seattle Times

“Worm details a digital-age battle between good and evil . . . It is a harbinger of the future, where threats to the cyber domain are as real and potentially cataclysmic as a weapon of mass destruction.”—Military Review

“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 üntergeek 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

“[T]his book chronicles a larger threat and should be on the shelves not just of computer collections, but any general lending library.”—The Midwest Book Review

“People have compared cybercrime to a type of warfare. And after reading Mark Bowden’s fast-paced Worm: The First Digital World War, it’s easy to see why.”—South Bend Tribune

“Excellent. . . a screen grab of a kaleidoscopic video with a projection growing bigger by the day, a sound getting louder by the hour.”—The Oregonian

“[A] story that readers will find entertaining, informative, and—hopefully—a little alarming.”—Lawfare

“Bowden is a sharp, funny writer who can convey a complex narrative in crisp terms . . . A brief, punch reminder of our high-tech vulnerabilities.”—Kirkus Reviews

“[Bowden] delivers a dramatic cyber crime story that explores . . . a devastating computer virus and a potential weapon in war.”—Publishers Weekly
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Mark Bowden is the author of seven books, including Black Hawk Down, Bringing the Heat, Killing Pablo, and Guests of the Ayatollah. He reported at The Philadelphia Inquirer for twenty years and is a national correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly. He lives in the Philadelphia area.

More About the Author

Mark Bowden is the bestselling author of Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War, as well as The Best Game Ever, Bringing the Heat, 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.

Customer Reviews

The publisher should have saved the paper for a better read.
G. BLAIR
I've been a fan of Mark Bowden's since I was asked to investigate how he got parts of his story for Killing Pablo: The Hunt for the World's Greatest Outlaw.
Robert David STEELE Vivas
The author also explains just enough of the technical aspects to make the story understandable, and he does an excellent job in his explanations.
Julie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

114 of 114 people found the following review helpful By Chris Lee Mullins on September 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover
One of the greatest things about airport bookstores - they often ignore sale dates. I purchased Worm a few days ago without realizing it wasn't supposed to be released yet. Which is good, because it made that flight from Denver to Baltimore tolerable.

First things first. If you are a network newbie, you will be coddled by this book. You don't need to have your MCSE or CISSP to read "Worm". Bowden does a good job of breaking down salient data - what is TCPIP, what is RPC - and creating explanations that make sense. Don't know why Port 445 is so special? Wonder why Windows is so often the target of malware around the world? (the technical explanation, not the political answer) You will after reading this book. It won't win you any medals at the next Cisco shareholders meeting or net you a job in IT, but at least you'll know why Patch Tuesday is important and why malware isn't just a problem with code - it's a social engineering problem, too.

The next best thing about this book is how much it stresses that the Internet is still in it's adolescence. It's a hodgepodge of ancient protocols and new-fangled protocols shoehorned into communicating with one another, and that's a fragile animal. you'll wonder why it doesn't go down more often.

"Worm" is entertaining and informative. Personally, I think it's too short. You'll get a quick bio about a particular researcher, follow them through some problem solving and then, inexplicably, drop them entirely while picking up with another researcher. I think the personalities involved are as important as the science. But those quibbles are trivial.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Mal Warwick on October 5, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's out there. Waiting. Chances are, you've never heard of it. Nobody knows who controls it, or why. No one knows what it will do. But its destructive capacity is terrifying.

Welcome to the world of cyberwar! And, no, this is NOT science fiction.

"It" is the Conficker Worm, an arcane name (an insider's joke) for the most powerful "malware" -- malicious software -- yet encountered on the Internet. First detected in November 2008, Conficker is a devilishly clever bit of programming that took advantage of a vulnerability in the Windows operating system. Microsoft immediately moved to "patch" the vulnerability, but therein lay the problem: Windows is the most-pirated software of all, so hundreds of milliions of computers were running versions of Windows without the patch -- all of them vulnerable to Conficker (and to hundreds of other malicious programs whose authors now knew how to embed their work in Windows).

Mark Bowden, the very capable author of Blackhawk Down, tells the story in Worm of a group that included many of the world's top computer security experts who privately came together early in 2009 to combat Conficker. At first, they were confined exclusively to the private sector, and their work was informal. Eventually, they managed to gain the attention of senior government officials and -- slowly, reluctantly -- obtain limited official support from the U.S. and Chinese governments. The group, known among themselves as the Conficker Cabal, even managed to get onto the White House agenda late in the game, as Conficker was upgraded once and then again - because the worm represented nothing less than an existential threat to the Internet itself.

I did say the potential was terrifying, didn't I?
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28 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Loyd E. Eskildson HALL OF FAME on September 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Author Bowden does a great job of summarizing malware in general, and the Conficker worm in particular. He begins by explaining that there are three types of malware - Trojans, viruses, and worms. A Trojan is a piece of software that masquerades as one thing to get inside a computer, then attacking. A virus attacks its host computer after entering its operating system - it depends on the operator opening an e-mail attachment or clicking on a lilnk. A worm works like a virus, but doesn't attack once it enters - it's primarily designed to spread, then wait for instructions delivered later.

Some computer malware is intended to damage or destroy one's computer, and victims quickly realize the problem. A computer worm, by contrast, is a packet of computer code designed to infiltrate a computer without attracting attention and then scans for others to invade, spreading exponentially. The Conficker computer worm emerged in November, 2008 and infiltrated 1.5 million of the world's computers in the first month. By January, 2009 it had spread to at least 8 million computers, exploiting flaws in Microsoft Windows that it closed after entering. They constantly check with its unknown creaters at their unknown location for directions. Frustrated cyber-security experts at Microsoft, Symantec, SRI International, etc. have merged forces to try and defeat it - so far they've been unsuccessful. Bowden's 'Worm' tells how hackers, entrepreneurs, and computer security experts are trying to defend the Internet from Conficker - what the author calls 'the first digital world war.'

In the 'good old days,' infected computers slowed down because user commands had to compete with viral invaders for processing power. Computers would slow down, and programs would freeze.
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