Worm: The First Digital World War by Mark Bowden

Do you still remember Conficker, also known as Downup, Downadup and Kido? Conficker infected between 9 million and 15 million PCs

Here are just some examples that I pulled down from wikipedia

  • Intramar, the French Navy computer network, was infected with Conficker on 15 January 2009. The network was subsequently quarantined, forcing aircraft at several airbases to be grounded because their flight plans could not be downloaded.
  • The United Kingdom Ministry of Defence reported that some of its major systems and desktops were infected. The virus has spread across administrative offices, NavyStar/N* desktops aboard various Royal Navy warships and Royal Navy submarines, and hospitals across the city of Sheffield reported infection of over 800 computers.
  • On 2 February 2009, the Bundeswehr, the unified armed forces of Germany reported that about one hundred of their computers were infected.
  • An infection of Manchester City Council’s IT system caused an estimated £1.5m worth of disruption in February 2009. USB flash drives have since been banned, as this was believed to be the vector for the initial infection.

I noticed the book Worm: The First Digital World War by Mark Bowden and decided to check it out since I already read Killing Pablo which was written by Mark Bowden as well

The book is written for people who are not familiar with all the terms that most IT people know. Things like TCP/IP, ports, RPC and buffer overflow are all explained in very simple ways, an IT person might think that this book is too simple for him or her. The part of the book which I found of most interest is the infighting between the members of the Conficker Cabal (later renamed to the Conficker Working Group). The cluelessness from the US government was interesting as well.

The book takes you through how the Conficker worm started to infect computers to the cat and mouse game that followed between the Conficker creator and the Conficker Cabal. Also covered is a general history of worms and viruses/virii so that you can see that each virus is based on some elements of the previous one.

The book is only 245 pages and it is a very easy read with a nice size font. If you don’t know anything about Conficker, I think this is a good book to read. If you already know about Conficker and followed it then I don’t think you will find a lot of new things in this book that have not been discussed before, however I think that this book will still be of interest to you, the Conficker Cabal stuff was the most interesting part to me

In the end I would recommend this book and I think you will enjoy it.

To see all the books I have read so far in 2012 visit my pinterest board here: http://pinterest.com/denisgobo/books-i-read-in-2012/