Worm

Worm

The First Digital World War

Book - 2011
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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 mightcrash the world.

Surprisingly, the U.S. government was only vaguely aware of the threat that Conficker posed, and the task of mounting resistance fell to disparate but gifted group of geeks, Internet entrepreneurs, and computer programmers. They formed what came to be called the Conficker Cabal, and began a tireless fight against the worm. But when Conficker's controllers became aware that their creation was beginning to encounter resistance, they began refining the worm's code to make it more difficult to trace and more powerful testing the Cabal's unity and resolve. Will the Cabal lock down the worm before it is too late? Game on.

Worm reports on the fascinating battle between those determined to exploit the internet and those committed to protect it.
Publisher: New York : Grove Press, c2011.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780802145949
0802145949
Characteristics: x, 252 p. ; 21 cm.

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StarGladiator
Feb 23, 2013

The comments below by johnsankey really nails it! I would add that Bowden writes in a "good-guy-vs.-bad-guy" manner,without really ever understanding what he's writing about; the official flag bearer for the status quo and Wall Street. His books always read the same. The ultimate question is: who funded this botnet, who was essentially behind it? Bowden is always a complete letdown. Bowden also doesn't includ the full backgrounders on the subjects he mentions (SRI and their Scientologists, for instance?!?!), and his mischaracterizations of Paul Vixie --- greatly exaggerating his background regarding internet protocols, is really outrageous! The one really interesting item in the entire book (and no, neither the Pentagon nor Richard M. Nixon, contrary to Bowden's inferences, were behind the Internet, it was President Kennedy's administration (see JCR Licklider, et al.)) was the idiot at the Pentagon who picked up a USB drive in the parking lot and compromised their system.

h
humbleworm
Mar 13, 2012

I heard about this from an interview with the author on CBC radio and it sounded interesting. I was expecting a more technical book however and in the end simply didn't bother to finish it.

j
johnsankey
Nov 25, 2011

Sensationally subtitled "the first digital world war", this book is in fact about one Internet bot only. Bowden is far too close to his subject. Most of the book consists of copies of lengthy infantile hacker rants, where self-selected self-glorified people say what they think without thinking.

If you are expert in the technology of the Internet (as I am), the portion of the book that presents details of the Conficker worm and its predecessors will be of interest. Otherwise, the book is a waste of time to read. Particularly pathetic is the effort of the counter-worm hackers (the "Cabal") to bask in the cachet that comes from the attention of the US government with their claim that the world as we know it was about to end tomorrow. (It didn't, and it won't.) I wouldn't listen to blinkered nerds like them either, particularly given how obvious it is that the worm was an inside job by one of them.

d
dhiscocks
Oct 24, 2011

I found this book an interesting documentary of the battle against computer viruses and 'malware'.

The author did a great job of combining technical details with a detective story that should appeal to technical weenies and non-nerds too.

honeylove810 Sep 30, 2011

I have my own copy that i won as part of a online giveaway :)

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