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Bowden, a bestselling author, has delivered a dramatic cyber-crime story that explores the Conficker Computer Worm, a potentially devastating computer virus that has baffled experts and infected as many as 12 million computers to date. Bowden has gained unprecedented access to the key players in the story and produced what could be his most important story to date. 288 pp. (Politics)
From the author of Black Hawk Down comes the story of the battle between those determined to exploit the internet and those committed to protect it--the ongoing war taking place literally beneath our fingertips. The Conficker worm infected its first computer in November 2008 and within a month had infiltrated 1.5 million computers in 195 countries. Banks, telecommunications companies, and critical government networks (including the British Parliament and the French and German military) were infected. No one had ever seen anything like it. By January 2009 the worm lay hidden in at least eight million computers and the botnet of linked computers that it had created was big enough that an attack might crash the world. This is the gripping tale of the group of hackers, researches, millionaire Internet entrepreneurs, and computer security experts who united to defend the Internet from the Conficker worm: the story of the first digital world war.
The fascinating story of the Conficker computer worm, which since its introduction in November 2008 has infected millions of computers around the world, and the cyber-security elites who have joined forces in a high-tech game of cops and robbers to find Conficker's creators and defeat them.
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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 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
What the Experts are Saying about the Conficker Worm: "If you're looking for a digital Pearl Harbor, we now have the Japanese ships steering toward us on the horizon."--Rick Wesson, Support Intelligence, CEO "This thing has proven . . . that it is rock-solid, and that the good guys, and the anti-virus guys and the Microsoft guys can't do sh*t. It is the Holy Grail of a botnet."--Rodney Joffe, Neustar, Security Chief "These [security] problems have been here so long that the only way I've been able to function at all is by learning to ignore them. Or else I would be in a constant state of panic, unable to think or act constructively. We have been one command away from catastrophe for a long time now."--Paul Vixie, Board of Trustees of the American Registry for Internet Numbers "It's . . . clear that we're not as prepared as we should be, as a government or as a country. . . . Just as we failed in the past to invest in our physical infrastructure--our roads, our bridges and rails--we've failed to invest in the security of our digital infrastructure . . . We saw this in the disorganized response to Conficker. This status quo is no longer acceptable--not when there's so much at stake."--President Barack Obama