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Zero Day: A Jeff Aiken Novel (Jeff Aiken Series Book 1) by [Russinovich, Mark]
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Zero Day: A Jeff Aiken Novel (Jeff Aiken Series Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 413 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in Jeff Aiken Series (3 Book Series)
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Microsoft computer guru Russinovich's first novel, a cautionary tale about the imminence of the great cyber attack to wipe out the Internet, works pretty well as a thriller, though it takes a while to boot up and for the bodies to begin to fall. Arab terrorists, with the collusion of Osama bin Laden, are behind the attack, which is supposed to destroy Western civilization. A New York City law firm enlists cyber expert Jeff Aiken to track down a virus that has knocked out the company's computer network. While working on this problem, Jeff uncovers the larger threat. With the help of "stunningly attractive" Daryl Haugen, an old friend who becomes his love interest, Jeff attempts to warn the authorities, but to little avail. The author effectively employs the usual genre types—government traitors, amoral hackers, professional assassins—but his main characters spend too much time at the keyboard to build up much heat. Bill Gates provides a blurb. (Mar.)
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From Booklist

The horror of cyberterrorism explodes on the page in Russinovich�s first novel. A plane over the Atlantic suddenly needs to reboot its computer to stay in the air, and the pilots barely avert disaster. A hospital network mixes up patient information, resulting in the death of several people. A law firm, which has lost all of its clients' data and can�t get its system running again, turns to Jeff Aiken, a former government analyst and computer expert. He discovers that all of the crashes are insidiously connected, and an even greater disaster is coming. Computer technospeak is handled with ease by Russinovich, who makes the jargon understandable for nongeeks but does so without losing authenticity. His background at Microsoft ensures that he knows what he�s writing about, but, equally important, he constructs a gripping narrative. A terrifying tale made all the more frightening by our concern that it could offers a glimpse into the future, Russinovich�s thriller just could become one of those books that prompts a real-world response, in this case a wake-up call for greater cybersecurity methods. --Jeff Ayers

Product Details

  • File Size: 963 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; Reprint edition (March 15, 2011)
  • Publication Date: March 15, 2011
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00457X7XQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #108,424 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I don't read a lot of cyberthrillers. In fact, this might be my second or third. But the fast pace and compelling characters and scene descriptions in Zero Day kept me reading. I finished the whole book in a day and a half.

In my day job, I write about technology. But I don't think you'd need to be a student of IT or tech jargon to enjoy this book. I will say Zero Day left me more worried than ever about what could potentially happen if a cyber-attack like what's detailed in this novel ever happens. Russinovich's book brought home more than any news article or blog post has for me the very real potential for something like this to happen.

Russinovich had an early review copy of this book sent to me. (Thanks, MarkR!) I am really glad he did. It was an enjoyable way to lose myself for a weekend.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I give the book three solid stars. I would recommend it as an excellent educational read on many levels, but caution about its linear plot.

Two months ago, the "Fatal System Error" by Joseph Menn, got me hooked on this cybercrime world. This non-fiction book reads like a thriller. Next was the recent "Counting from Zero" by Alan Johnston. It is a fast-paced fiction tale about a group of friends - eccentric global travelers - trying to save the world from yet another "zero day".

"Zero Day" was a natural next step. The security forensics descriptions were truly fascinating despite the tediousness of the process. It was helpful to get a perspective on the relationships among numerous US agencies involved. I enjoyed the crossing of the mountains part very much. (A hint for the next book.) As a whole, the plot was straightforward until the last few chapters that added thrilling dynamics to the book. I wished, I could have connected with the characters on a more personal level, but they were too dead serious to me.

Hope that you find this review helpful.
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By Misha on March 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover
*Rating is 3.5*

Mark Russinovich works at Microsoft in one of the senior-most technical positions. Considering the background of the author, the premise of Zero Day becomes even more compelling.

Zero Day has a thrilling start. Several seemingly unrelated incidents take place all over the world, all involving computer failures. The controls of a British Airways flight fails. So do the computers in a highly reputed firm based in NYC. A glitch in the computer databases in various hospitals causes many patients to die, due to wrong administration of medicines. Jeff Aiken, who used to previously work for the Government, starts to see a pattern in these incidents. What emerges is more deadly than anyone could imagine. It's up to Jeff to stop the impending disaster before all hell breaks loose.

Zero Day involves a very realistic portrayal of cyber-terrorism. It's disturbing and terrifying since it's so real; and it's scarier because of the author's knowledge and background. You can't really discount the scenario presented in Zero Day - the things described in the book can certainly happen. Ever since 9/11 attacks , there has been increasing paranoia in the world. Terrorism has expanded and with advancement in technology, the threat has increased further. Taking into account how depended we've become on computers and internet, the book's premise is only too real. If someone was to launch an attack via the internet, the effects can be enormous and more horrifying than what any one of us can imagine.

Zero Day is a fast-paced, heart-stopping thriller. I was unable to put the book down. The book compels you to ask - "What if?" This thought-provoking thriller, packed with action, will keep you reading late into the night. I instantly connected with Jeff.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I write technology and network security books, articles, newsletters and white papers for a living. Reading for fun is one of my guilty pleasures. But lately I've been disappointed in the deteriorating quality of the fiction books that I read. Even many of my long-time favorite novelists seem to have gotten sloppy, and most of the new books are badly written from a technical point of view, fail to bring anything fresh to overused plotlines, and/or aren't able to keep the story moving, make me care about the characters or wrap up the plot elements into a coherent whole.

There are, however, a few folks who can still tell a story. The two books I read immediately preceding Zero Day were by Neal Stephenson and Orson Scott Card, old standbys who never let me down. Those guys are tough acts to follow, and as I opened up Mark's book (in the Kindle app on my Galaxy Tab, if anyone cares), I felt a mixture of eager anticipation and a smidgen of worry. Mostly, I was excited to embark on reading a novel written by someone I actually knew personally; that doesn't happen every day.

If you don't know who Mark Russinovich is, check out his bio on Wikipedia. Pretty impressive technical creds, huh? I knew that Mark really knows his stuff when it comes to computers, so I was looking forward to (finally!) reading a novel about technology that wouldn't have me stopping every few pages to shake my head and say "no, no, no - it doesn't work that way." (Dan Brown's Digital Fortress is just one example of a technothriller that, despite the author's storytelling skills, I couldn't enjoy because I wasn't able to get past the technical mistakes).

The worry?
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