Favorite Quotes on Books and Reading

"A book is a gift you can open again and again." Garrison Keillor

Literature is a textually transmitted disease, normally contracted in childhood.” Jane Yolen

"It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it." Oscar Wilde

"Books have furnished, burnished, and enabled my life." Julia Keller

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Book 171: COUNTING FROM ZERO Review


Your computer may be part of a global attack and you don't even know it. At least that's part of the premise in Counting From Zero by Alan B. Johnston. The problems begin and end with internet security. 


Most of us think we are prepared against viruses, worms, and malware with antivirus programs, etc., but there are those that use email encryption programs, change their passwords weekly, and use only open source software. Or at least there are in the fictional world of Counting From Zero and one such person is Mick O'Malley. To say that Mick takes paranoia to an extreme is a bit of an understatement, but it appears that he is justified with his paranoia. Mick works in computer security and knows exactly what havoc viruses, malware, worms, spam, etc. can wreak on a computer or on a computer system. His work takes him around the world, often on speaking engagements or conferences on computer security. He discovers a new attack while in Japan and thus begins the first zero day (initial day of attack). The intrigue in discerning why this attack has been launched and its purpose sends Mick traveling around the world and has others following his every move.


I'm not much of a computer person. I understand the basics and am quite happy in my ignorance . . . or I was until I read Counting From Zero. Mr. Johnston is known in the computer security industry and has combined fact with fiction to the point that I'm now paranoid about internet security. There was much that I didn't understand but Mr. Johnston did a credible job of explaining terminology and making things as simple as possible. The story does drag periodically from all of the computer terminology and explanations. In addition the secondary characters aren't as well-developed as perhaps they could be. Counting From Zero is one scary techno-thriller to the point that I was actually afraid to turn my computer on and log into the internet. 


Disclaimer: I received this book free for review purposes from the author. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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