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Publisher's Summary

Worm: The First Digital World War tells the story of the Conficker worm, a potentially devastating piece of malware that has baffled experts and infected more than twelve million computers worldwide. When Conficker was unleashed in November 2008, cybersecurity experts did not know what to make of it. Exploiting security flaws in Microsoft Windows, it grew at an astonishingly rapid rate, infecting millions of computers around the world within weeks. Once the worm infiltrated one system it was able to link it with others to form a single network under illicit outside control known as a “botnet.” This botnet was soon capable of overpowering any of the vital computer networks that control banking, telephones, energy flow, air traffic, health-care information — even the Internet itself. Was it a platform for criminal profit or a weapon controlled by a foreign power or dissident organization?
Surprisingly, the U.S. government was only vaguely aware of the threat that Conficker posed, and the task of mounting resistance to the worm fell to a disparate but gifted group of geeks, Internet entrepreneurs, and computer programmers. But when Conficker’s controllers became aware that their creation was encountering resistance, they began refining the worm’s code to make it more difficult to trace and more powerful, testing the Cabal lock’s unity and resolve. Will the Cabal lock down the worm before it is too late? Game on.
©2011 Mark Bowden (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Lynn on 11-04-11

Engaging and Informative

Mark Bowden (Black Hawk Down), in Worm, tells the story of the Conflicker worm which was introduced to computers in 2008 and infected 1.5 million computers in 195 countries. He brings to the public the story of those who would disrupt the internet and those who are charged to protect it. A strength of Bowden is his uncanny ability to tell this story in a way that the nongeek will easily follow and understand. I was particularly interested in passage where Bowden explains what goes into protecting the internet, profiles the people involved in that task, and explains something of what takes place in such an atmosphere and environment. It is probably the topic covered, but I found Black Hawk Down to be far more engaging than Worm. On the other hand, the battle scenes of Black Hawk Down lend themselves to life-and-death struggle and computer hacking and worms are not that bloody. Nonetheless, Bowden fan will be entertained, informed, and otherwise rewarded for reading his most recent book. Christopher Lane's reading is well done.

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10 of 10 people found this review helpful

By Julie on 10-21-11

Clear, Concise Story of the Conficker Worm

I enjoyed this book more than I expected to. It was very clearly written with plenty of background on the technical side of computer viruses and worms to make the story clear and easy to follow. The Conficker worm turns out to be rather mysterious, and I appreciated that mystery element. For the most part, Bowden keeps himself out of the story - another plus. Recommended for those who like Hackers, The Cuckoo's Egg, and stories about computer history.

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Customer Reviews

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By Jim Vaughan on 11-25-12

An exiting account of a new kind of apocalypse!

Hugely enjoyable, if slightly scary account of the "Confiker worm", which is probably inside your computer (and mine) at this moment, waiting for a command from "the BotMaster" to awake, and create havoc, by comandeering your PC, along with millions of others to target and "pwn" banking, utilities, defense and other essential computer networks of our civilisation's fragile infrastructure.

This is a true story of potential network apocalypse, of huge egos, and huge intelligences, experts in arcane knowledge most of us cannot begin to grasp, evil geniuses and selfless volunteers; real life "X-men"; "white hats" fighting the shadowy "black hats" in a battle of wits, with the fate of our society at stake - the good guys trying to stay just one step ahead. It's all great fun, and brilliantly written and narrated.

Rather worryingly, the people who should be monitoring this kind of thing, the CIA, FBI, MI5 and others, seem to be blissfully unaware of the danger. Hmmm!

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

By Jonathan on 07-23-15

A real-world techno thriller

Would you listen to Worm again? Why?

Yes. It is brisk, well written and rich with the kind of detail I like in my books. There's stuff there for IT security professionals too

What did you like best about this story?

It zips along at a pace. It could have been dry and functional but Bowden compels the listener to keep up

Have you listened to any of Christopher Lane’s other performances? How does this one compare?


Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?


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