Worm: The First Digital World War

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Popular Worm The First Digital World War Creat Mark Bowden is Books Mark Robert Bowden born July is an American writer who is currently a contributing editor at Vanity

Popular Worm: The First Digital World War Creat Mark Bowden is Books Mark Robert Bowden born July 17, 1951 is an American writer who is currently a contributing editor at Vanity Fair Born in St Louis, Missouri, and a 1973 graduate of Loyola College in Maryland, Bowden was a staff writer for The Philadelphia Inquirer from 1979 2003, and has won numerous awards He has written for Men s Journal, The Atlantic Monthly, Sports Illustrated, and Rolling Stone over the years, and as a result of his book, Black Hawk Down A Story of Modern War, Bowden s received international recognition The book has been made into a 2001 movie, and was directed by Ridley Scott He currently lives in Oxford, Pennsylvania.. 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 itthe 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, telecommunicationFrom the author of Black Hawk Down comes the story of the battle between those determined to exploit the internet and those committed to protect itthe 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.. A viral Book Worm: The First Digital World War There is a war being waged in the world today. Not one of the many you read about in newspapers (or newsfeeds) or the ones you see on your televisions and computer screens. This war is going on while we sleep, eat our breakfasts and go about our business, in our cities and suburbs, in the homes of our major industries, in our home computers. Forget the annoying daily viruses that attack, primarily, Windows systems, spewing unwanted spam; forget the unwanted pop-ups that emanate from the same source; forget the Blue Screen of Death and similar results from other fun system-stoppers that flood the lines connecting our machines to the world. This is an ongoing cyberwar, complete with black hats and white hats. There are folks out there who have devised a truly weaponized form of the evil sheiss we have to cope with every day. This new invader is capable of taking down the entire system. It is robust, almost impervious to correction even once detected, and it has spread itself, functioning like millions of sleeper cells throughout our electronic world, and it waits for instructions. It might be told to send out the usual sort of sexual spam we have all seen. No biggie. But then it might take down the entire internet by flooding certain sites with millions of hits. It might be instructed to disable the electrical grid, or occupy Wall Street’s computer systems. (Yes, I know some might cheer, but the damage would extend well beyond the street) And just because we do not yet have a body count that does not mean that this war does not have casualties. Businesses that have had to shut down because of such attacks, hundreds of millions of dollars, maybe billions, that might have been spent on more productive uses, but which have been allocated to cyber defense. Most recently, [when this was originally written] Sony has enjoyed the pleasure of high end digital trouble-making, thanks to our friendly neighbors in North Korea. Thank god there are some heroes out there who are making our lives a bit, a lot safer, by indulging their need to do the right thing.Each chapter is introduced by a quote from the X-Men comic book series. It is entirely appropriate, as Bowden sees his core characters as people with special powers. They are truly superheroes, operating on their own, outside government, for the most part, to fight off an invasion that most of us did not notice at all. The X-Men of Bowden’s tale are the ones who first caught on to this invasion, the ones with the technical savvy to actually appreciate how powerful, how dangerous, how sinister and how clever this invader is. It is thanks to them that our electronic world has not returned to pencil-and-paper accounting, and our trains have not been dashing into each other head on. I bet you will not recognize a single name among this group. No Steve Jobs or Bill Gates here, although many of the team members have done quite nicely for themselves. These Jean Grays, Logans, Kitty Prides and Professor Xaviers (although all male) combined their brainpower and did what needed to be done, even though it meant having to open their own checkbooks, and strain their home lives, to cover some of the considerable costs entailed. Ironically, they call themselves “The Cabal.” Bowden, author of Blackhawk Down and Killing Pablo knows adventure, and there is plenty to be had here. Not a car chase in sight, but if your heart does not race while reading this, you might want to get it checked.What is most amazing is how uninvolved our government has been in protecting the nation from assaults, real and potential, on our infrastructure, our financial system, and our defense systems, by not only bored, gifted teens, but by high level criminal enterprises and nation states. Actually not so surprising, given that the administration in question is the one that ignored repeated warnings of impending terrorist attacks in 2001. The current administration has taken the challenge more seriously, but I have not yet read any book-length materials that report on that.I have only one caveat for readers of this exciting book. Although it has clearly been written with a general audience in mind, there is enough geekish detail here to cause more than a bit of befuddlement. Bowden does a pretty good job of de-teching the material, and I scooted past it easily enough, but I am not a typical reader for this, having spent a few decades fiddling with bits and bytes. So take with a grain of salt my sense that the tech will not get in the way. For any who find that absolutely needing to grasp all the technical details impairs their reading experience, I suggest blowing past it. It is not critical for you to get the minutiae. The gist is plenty, and it is substantial. Worm is a page-turner. Be an early bird and catch it. There are more than a couple of books on the subject out there. I have read only a few. Neil Stephenson offers a fictionalized version of how clever techies might make mayhem in the world inReamde. Richard Clarke has real world expertise in this area. He has a clear notion of what is going on, what is possible and what we should be afraid of. He writes both non-fictionCyberwarand fiction,Breakpoint.Update December 23, 2016 - The book came out and I wrote the above review in 2011. It has only gotten worse since then. Hackery of different sorts has resulted in the USA facing the prospect of actual fascism taking over our government institutions. This includes both the Russians hacking our government departments and political parties, then using their crimes to tilt the USA election to favor their patsy, and the political hackery of traitors to the republic like FBI director Comey, who blatantly misused his office for political reasons, have caused us all immeasurable harm. Evil assholes we will always have with us, whether Putin, Trump, or their many ethics-free, power-hungry, money grubbing minions. But we as a nation should have the technical capability to keep one step ahead, at least on the technical side of things. Bowden points to some good actors here. given that the instruments of government will be in small, hostile hands, they, and their like, should be recruited by those who care about our country and who have the means to finance their activities to plug up as many holes in the dike as can be identified, and to try to keep ahead of the emerging threats. QUOTES - I read this on a Nook, so the page numbers might not track with the hardcoverP84 – Networks connected to the internet are vulnerable even if protected with hardware and software firewalls and other security mechanisms. The government, military, business and economic institutions, key infrastructure elements, and the population at large of the United States are completely dependent on the Internet. Internet-connected networks operate the national electric grid and distribution systems for fuel. Municipal water treatment and waste treatment are controlled through such systems. Other critical networks include the air traffic control system, the system linking the nation’s financial institutions, and the payment systems for Social Security and other government assistance on which many individuals and the overall economy depend. A successful attack on these internet-connected networks could paralyze the united States.” – [This is from a U.S. China Economic and Security Review Commission report to Congress.]P 170 – in Modern warfare there is no such thing as unqualified victory, or unconditional defeat…Casualties mount. The public gets surly. The treasury coffers bottom out. The ruling party gets dumped. One no longer wins; one claims victory. Often both sides do. And sometimes both are right…in their own way.
Worm The First Digital World War Bowden, Mark The Conficker worm infected its first computer in November and within a month had infiltrated . million computers in 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. Worm The First Digital World War Bowden, Mark Oct , The Conficker worm infected its first computer in November and within a month had infiltrated . million computers in countries Banks, telecommunications companies, and critical government networks including the British Parliament and the French and German military Worm The First Digital World War by Mark Bowden The Conficker worm infected its first computer in November and within a month had infiltrated . million computers in countries Banks, telecommunications companies, and critical government networks including the British Parliament and the French and German military were infected. Morris worm Worm The First Digital World War C SPAN Oct , Mark Bowden, author of Worm The First Digital World War and T.J Campana, senior program manager for the Digital Crimes Unit at Microsoft, talked about the Conficker This computer worm Worms Visions Zendaya The first Dune trailer looks Sep , The question is posed to Paul Atreides Timothe Chalamet in the first trailer for Dune, which premiered Wednesday One of the most legendary sci fi epics of all time is inching closer to its release The new film, directed by Denis Villeneuve Arrival, Sicario , is the latest Team TNT The First Crypto Mining Worm to Steal AWS Aug , It s the first worm we ve seen that contains such AWS specific functionality The worm also steals local credentials, and scans the internet for misconfigured Docker platforms We have seen the attackers, who call themselves TeamTNT , compromise a number of Docker and Kubernetes systems These attacks are indicative of a wider trend. Was Worms the First Indie Video Game PC Games May , Team snapped it up on the spot, polished the game up to commercial standards, and released it for the Amiga in Worms, one of the most popular franchises in PC gaming, was born There is nothing outwardly indie about the Worms series Computer worm A helpful worm or anti worm is a worm designed to do something that its author feels is helpful, though not necessarily with the permission of the executing computer s owner Beginning with the very first research into worms at Xerox PARC, there have been attempts to create useful worms.

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  • Mark Bowden Post author

    Mark Robert Bowden born July 17, 1951 is an American writer who is currently a contributing editor at Vanity Fair Born in St Louis, Missouri, and a 1973 graduate of Loyola College in Maryland, Bowden was a staff writer for The Philadelphia Inquirer from 1979 2003, and has won numerous awards He has written for Men s Journal, The Atlantic Monthly, Sports Illustrated, and Rolling Stone over the years, and as a result of his book, Black Hawk Down A Story of Modern War, Bowden s received international recognition The book has been made into a 2001 movie, and was directed by Ridley Scott He currently lives in Oxford, Pennsylvania.

One thought on “Worm: The First Digital World War

  • There is a war being waged in the world today Not one of the many you read about in newspapers or newsfeeds or the ones you see on your televisions and computer screens This war is going on while we sleep, eat our breakfasts and go about our business, in our cities and suburbs, in the homes of our major industries, in our home computers Forget the annoying daily viruses that attack, primarily, Windows systems, spewing unwanted spam forget the unwanted pop ups that emanate from the same source fo [...]


  • Conficker is the first Digital World War Get the f out of here Ugh, I knew I remembered Mark Bowden from somewhere He wrote Black Hawk Down Not a bad book but you can t shoehorn every damn phenomenon into the category of war As the saying goes, when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.This book is an utter waste of time If you re interested in the subject you already know everything in it Do we really need yet another recounting of the internet s origins, ARPANET etc There s like 3 a [...]


  • I have learned some very basic, geeks how could you know it, information Definitely written for those of us who have little clue on how a computer works By adulthood most of us know that if you cannot imagine the end result, don the start Well, the Internet began before those doing the connecting thought about security Considering that the early connectors were the government and large universities,the lack of security shows a lack of maturity So now we are playing catch up with barely effective [...]


  • This book was simultaneously pandering and condescending, plus one of the melodramatic books I ve read in a long time It s aimed squarely and I think cynically at geeks and nerds who apparently know nothing about computers Despite almost every single example of an uber nerd in the book being basically the opposite of a stereotypical basement dweller, Bowden treats it as if that s a massive surprise as every new character is introduced He constantly refers to the glaze and the wink as if those a [...]


  • This book was Ok I decided to read it after hearing him speak on Fresh Air I felt like he did an Ok job of conveying technical information to a presumably non technical audience The author will be the first to admit that he s not a technical person, and unfortunately, I do think this comes across in his writing you can tell that he spent some time coming to understand the various complicated issues involved, but I think that an author who has a technical background would be able to use the term [...]


  • An account of the Conficker worm written for everyman and a pretty excellent primer on computer viruses I enjoyed learning this stuff from Bowden who handles the technical subject with his usual deft prose Entertaining and quick moving for 80% of the book If you feel like skimming through the parts where it details the personality battles between the major players, no one will mind I found them interesting too.



  • The subtitle for this book is The First Digital World War That s overstating it, to be honest The book focuses on the creation of the world s largest botnet by a worm called Conficker back in 2008.At its peak, it was estimated to have infected between 9 and 15 million machines, and even as late as 2011 was still on roughly 1.7 million That made it the largest botnet recorded If all of the devices were used to transmit data together, there was a real possibility it would have overwhelmed the inte [...]


  • WORM The First Digital World War 2011 Mark Bowden The author is a science writer, and attempts to let his reader in on the secrets of the computer threat called the worm During his explanations, he describes the glaze that often appears on the faces of the non computer student when a computer techie tries to explain how things inside a computer work After about fifty pages of this book, I had acquired the glaze to such an extent that I had to go wash my face I got a kick out of all the acronyms [...]


  • Bowen s latest is an extremely readable, quick history of the Conficker worm or malware virus and a loose knit group of technologues who banded together to defeat it If you re a technology illiterate skeptic like me who, on your worst days, borders on Kaczynski esque delirium , reading Bowen s elucidation of the internet s inherent fragility will not surprise you.You may be surprised, however, by how readily you catch on to the usually opaque matter of network administration and such digi hooha [...]


  • Who could have imagined that the entire Internet almost went poof and no one really knew or cared about it But it did, and the fact remains that it could still happen today, or tomorrow, or in 100 years from now This book details the effort to stop and contain the biggest and most potentially destructive computer worm ever to hit the Internet Dubbed Conficker the worm has infected millions of computers around the world, and it was being fought by a small group of computer programmers who could n [...]


  • The author does a good job of making a geek tale readable and interesting Some humor and drama kept me involved in the story Generally, the techy aspects are handled with enough detail to challenge the reader without creating the glaze.The characters are very well developed and the reader can relate to their motives and commitment Even given that there is some exaggeration, the electronic society is fortunate indeed that these men exist If you are not already diligent about maintaining and updat [...]


  • This book is made better by Mark Bowden s writing style Author of Blackhawk Down he keeps the binary code and TCP IP, etc to understandable amounts to avoid that glassy stareill, this is a book about Nerds and geeks, even super smart geeks And be glad we have them This book details their fight against one of the worst computer viruses to date, the Conflicker Worm I won t ruin the story for you by telling you how it ends but computers worldwide are still infected and could still be taken over at [...]


  • About a computer worm that created the largest botnet in history, capable of taking down the entire internet, and the cabal of volunteers that tried to fight it Like most modern wars, this battle doesn t have a clear ending At its height the worm had infected 10 million computers, and today it still commands a formidable botnet of 400,000 I enjoyed reading about the in depth investigation and the story behind it Will be reading books about a single event or thing this year since I liked this on [...]


  • I m not tech savvy in the slightest I can open word and Firefox on my old laptop, but that s about as far as my knowledge extends I also don t read non fiction very often, so when reading a book like this one I m not sure what I m supposed to keep an eye out for, what to question or where to direct my criticism That all being said, I found this book extraordinarily interesting and engaging It gave me a look into a world I know little to nothing about and captured my imagination.


  • This is a breezy read but I didn t learn much beyond what I did from reading Bowden s Atlantic article And unless one wants to know what members of the anti Conficker Cabal looked like especially, strangely, their hair , then reading the article is probably a better use of one s time And it had fewer typos.


  • A solid piece of journalism As far reaching as the event described was even the author is aware of its appearance of having come to nothing The result is an anticlimactic story Yet, it was a significant event which has done permanent damage and the implications are frightening Read this if you are interested in computers and want a view of the people protecting the internet.


  • What a fascinating book I know just enough to get through work and life using a computer This book shows so much we DON T know and, while it s scary, it s good to be enlightened It s a book that hasn t lost its timeliness Anything else I say wouldn t be worthwhile, except that if you use a computer at all, you need to read this book to prepare yourself.


  • FFS, no This book is essentially about the Conficker worm botnet from some years ago Conficker is reasonably interesting as a subject, but this book is painful for two reasons First, it s basically a book about a nerdy topic, for nerds, who know nothing about anything in this area sort of like writing a military book with lots of military topic for people who have never read a military memoir and who know nothing about the military or related topics It s simultaneously too detailed and too simpl [...]


  • Worm was a well told tale of recent Cyber fight against a botnet named Conficker, by a motley band of Internet and security Gurus Overall sheds some light on the lack of officially coordinated cyber efforts around securing the infrastructure as a whole, while lacking a sort of satisfaction as to a conclusion of what happens with the worm We never learn who created it, why, etc.Overall the book was big on build up, and short on resolution, but had some great insights into the cyber warriors who a [...]


  • I think the title is a tad hyperbolic The story itself is interesting, along with the primer the book provides on the history of networking and how viruses work The topic definitely has the potential to lead to The Glaze , as the book refers to the look people get due to the disinterest ignorance when it comes to this topic Bowden, as he s proven he has the talent to do, tells a tale that never becomes boring And now, I have an even healthier respect for strong computer security practices, for m [...]


  • In 2008, a new virus Conficker was detected that made use of a wide range of familiar techniques in a new and particularly innovative way to make it very stable and hard to stop the spread of.As the potential danger of the botnet it was creating became clear, an ad hoc group of industry pros and researchers got together to build defenses against it requiring the first ever global collaboration of a wide variety of technology organizations with diverse interests.As of today, the worm botnet still [...]


  • Pretty nerdy, but fascinating, recounting of the early days of cyber security and the rise of worms viruses bots to infect computers and the internet But, really of a wake up call for the need for security and for the government to get off their duffs and pay attention to their own systems security.Love Mark Bowden s still of writing and telling a story I ve read about half his books, and will read them all.


  • Probably a little out of date now 6y since being published , yet it still provides a great insight into the threats of cyber warfare that exist and also speaks highly of the, largely, volunteer team that polices the net and its infrastructure



  • A good story that is fortunately anticlimactic However, this edition is in desperate need of a copy editor Typos, missing words and repeated words are scattered throughout.




  • SummaryI received this book as a Christmas gift from my boyfriend s mother I thought that was very sweet and the timing is perfect, since I m covering historical security threats in my classes this year This book covers the Conficker Worm, an extremely powerful malware worm that was discovered in 2008 but has yet to be destroyed The group of security professionals who combat it, still do not know who came up with this worm or it s full potential This is why it s a high priority It was able to i [...]


  • The True Story of How Hackers Almost Brought Down the Internet and Still CouldIt 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 [...]


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